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A Belgium man who police say is part of a mafia gang in Pattaya has been arrested on charges of extortion, fraud and overstaying his visa.
Tourist Police chief Surachet Hakpan on Thursday announced the arrested Gaetan Sergel Rsdoutey at a property in Bang Lamung district belonging to associate Mr Thongsai Hensail, who was also arrested.
The arrests were made after another Belgian man made a complaint to police that the pair had tried to extort 1.5 million baht from him. When the victim refused to hand over the money, he was beaten, Pol Maj-Gen Surachet said.
The suspects, along with two others who are still on the run, claimed to be property agents working in Pattaya.
Police say they know of at least three or four other victims of the gang.
Pol Maj-Gen Surachet said that Gaetan came to Thailand as a tourist and got married to a Thai woman but had overstayed his permission to stay by almost one year.
Police said that Gaetan’s marriage, or at least the documentation for, was arranged by an agent who is suspected of helping to register more than 300 similar ‘marriages’ between Thai women and foreigners.
Pol Maj-Gen Surachet said they are closing in on the agent, who is it suspected has helped foreign criminals remain in Thailand.
Pol Maj-Gen Surachet added that the arrests are part of the continued efforts by law enforcement to eradicate foreign mafia gangs from Thailand.