Thailand News: Austrian publisher arrested in Pattaya

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Police arrest Austrian man for attempted blackmail
Phuket Gazette / The Nation- DPA
PHUKET: Police arrested an Austrian magazine owner in the Thai resort town of Pattaya on charges of attempting to blackmail a German multinational consumer products firm, police confirmed today.

The technology crime suppression police unit arrested Peter Alois Anton Neunteufel, 61, at his apartment in Pattaya yesterday, 100 kilometers south east of Bangkok.

Neunteufel, the owner of the German-language ThaiFokus monthly magazine, had lived in the beach town for more than seven years.

Interpol had traced a blackmail threat to Neunteufel’s computer and informed the Thai technology crime suppression unit, Major General Pisit Paoin said.

The Salzburg native had allegedly sent emails to a well-known German consumer goods manufacturer threatening to leak stories saying the company was selling contaminated food, unless it paid him 15 million euros, Paoin said.

The emails also threatened to plant poisoned food items bearing the company’s brand name on shelves in supermarkets.

Neunteufel will be extradited to face charges in Germany because the unidentified company is based there, Paoin said.

“He was always looking for a buyer for his magazine in Pattaya,” said Hans Fritschi, a Pattaya-based Swiss national who started The Farang magazine there. “I don’t think ThaiFokus has been published for several months now,” he added.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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