A 28-year-old Lampang man who impersonated a Crime Suppression Division (CSD) police officer has been arrested on charges of duping people into investing 1.6 million baht in a restaurant business that never materialised.
CSD police apprehended Phonlakorn Siriwan at an apartment on Thepprasit Road in Bang Lamung district of Chon Buri on Friday.
He was wanted on an arrest warrant issued by the Thon Buri Criminal Court on charges of fraud, impersonating an officer and inputting false information into a computer system.
Seized from the room were insignias of special warfare training courses, rings featuring the emblems of the nation and the Royal Police Cadet Academy, a bullet-proof vest, a black vest bearing the emblem of the CSD, three mobile phones and other items, said Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej, commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau.
The suspect, claiming to be a CSD officer and a graduate from the 64th class of the Academy, had lured people into investing in a restaurant business in November last year, said Pol Col Pornsak Raorujilarai, deputy chief of the CSD.
Mr Phonlakorn also sought to gain his victims’ trust by claiming to be a close associate of Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop. He promised them a high return.
He raised a total of 1.6 million baht but after people started asking for the promised returns, the suspect kept postponing the payments, said Pol Col Pornsak.
When the suspect could not be contacted, the victims filed a complaint with the CSD.
During questioning, Mr Phonlakorn admitted to the charges.
He said he masqueraded as a police officer because he had a passion for the career. He had taken the test to enter a non-commissioned officer school, but was unsuccessful.
He said he claimed to be close to Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop because the CIB chief was famous and had a good image.
Pol Maj Gen Montri Thetkhan, the CSD commander, said a criminal record check showed that the suspect was also wanted on two other arrest warrants for fraud.
Phonlakorn Siriwan, 28, covers his face as plainclothes police show him an arrest warrant at an apartment in Chon Buri on Friday. The suspect, claiming to a Crime Suppression Division police officer, is wanted for fraud. (Photo supplied: Wassayos Ngamkham)