The Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) is warning motorists who park near department stores not to pick up any unattended bags near their vehicles as this is a trick by conmen claiming to be anti-drug police to extort money.
Pol Maj Gen Pornchai Charoenwong, deputy commissioner of the NSB, said conmen were posing as anti-drug officers to extort money from innocent people by falsely accusing them of drug possession.
He warned people to be on their guard and alert the nearest police station if people claiming to be police try to take money from them.
Even during the arrest of real drug suspects, officers must not ask for money from them, Pol Maj Gen Pornchai noted.
On Sunday, musician Nol Singholaka posted on his social media page a warning for people to be wary of fake narcotics police operating in a car park of a department store in Rangsit.
According to the post, a black car was parked close to a target vehicle. If the target picked up a paper bag placed nearby, the fake police would immediately swoop on their victim and try to extort a large sum of money.
He also wrote that he had almost fallen victim to the scam but had chosen not to pick up an unattended bag he had spotted.
Pol Maj Gen Pornchai said these conmen also use other methods to extort money. In some cases, they send a package to a house and pretend to arrest whoever signs for it.
The fake officers claim the package contains drugs and demand money from their victim.
Innocent people who fall victim to fake police officers are urged to contact the police.
Pol Maj Gen Pornchai insisted real police would take a suspect to a police station.
He added that even if a victim was tricked by conmen, he might be required to testify to police whether the package contained drugs.