CHONBURI — A 28-year-old man was arrested in the resort town of Pattaya last night for allegedly posing as a police officer to extort "protection money" from a Cambodian fruit vendor.
Police said the suspect, identified as Arie Araya, was arrested after witnesses saw him asking a 24-year-old Cambodian fruit vendor to pay a 500 baht bribe near Soi Pattaya 13 at around 10 pm.
Arie reportedly threatened to arrest the fruit vendor if he did not comply, police said.
"Out of fear, the vendor quickly gave Mr. Arie 300 baht, but fortunately, there were good citizens nearby who saw the incident and called police," said Pol.Col. Sukthat Pumpanmuang, the superintendent of Pattaya Police Station.
He told reporters Arie attempted to flee on motorcycle but was later intercepted near the Dolphin Circle in northern Pattaya.
Police said Arie confessed to extorting the Cambodian vendor and insisted that he was asked by an officer from Pattaya Police Station to collect bribes from migrant workers in the area, but would not identify the officer by name. The incident is under investigation.
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