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Bangkok Illegal Debt Collectors Arrested

5 July 2002

BANGKOK, Thailand – As reported by the Bangkok Post: "Two men posing as police officers were charged with illegal detention and extortion yesterday after attempting to collect a gambling debt stemming from bets placed during the World Cup football tournament.

"Boonsong Pianbanyat, 38, and Adisak Apibansri, 34, told police they had been asked by a man named ``Koh'' to collect 850,000 baht (US$20,430) and a Volvo sedan from Saksin Poonchalak, 40, who runs a car showroom in Nonthaburi.

"…Mr Saksin admitted owing a bookmaker about 2.5 million baht (US$60,087), saying he had been lured into gambling by a man named ``Puwadol,'' who stopped at his showroom during the World Cup and persuaded him to place a bet.

"After winning more than 100,000 baht (US$2,403) with his first wager, Mr Saksin subsequently lost 2.5 million baht on the third-place match between South Korea and Turkey.

"He attempted to win his money back by betting on the final, but the bookmaker refused to take his stake, forcing him to sign a loan contract, transferring ownership of 15 shophouses belonging to Mr Saksin, and seizing four cars as a guarantee…"

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