Dispute between Phuket expats may lead to charges of extortion

PHUKET: Police yesterday arrested a restaurant owner in Phuket’s busy tourist town of Patong, on Phuket’s west coast, after he visited another Patong restaurant owner and threatened him if he didn’t “repay” 7 million baht.

Lt Col Tammasan Boonsong told the Phuket Gazette today that he arrived at Orient Restaurant at 7pm last night with a squad of police officers and a warrant for the arrest of the restaurant’s owner, Naser Amim Mohammad Mansour, 45, from Jordan.

“When we arrived at the restaurant, we found Mr Naser inside. We presented the warrant and arrested him. His Thai personal bodyguards were also there, but we arrested him anyway,” he said.

Lt Col Tammasan explained that the alleged extortion followed a complaint being filed at Patong Police Station by a foreigner on December 14.

“The case involves a personal conflict between two business partners. Mr Naser told me that he did take his bodyguards when he visited the man who filed the complaint, but only because he was trying to get his money back,” said Lt Col Tammasan.

“They opened a restaurant in Bangkok together, but Mr Naser [allegedly] did not receive any of the profits as promised. That is why he went to see his business partner with a group of Thai bodyguards – in order to get his money back.

“I will have to investigate further before deciding whether or not we will file any charges,” he added.

The arrest follows Patong Police Superintendent Col Arayapan Pukbuakao on December 14 reportedly ordering his troops to clean up any outstanding cases of extortion reported to Patong police.

That same day, December 14, the foreigner filed the complaint of alleged extortion.

Lt Col Kittipong Klaikaew brought the case to the attention of Col Arayapan, who ordered his officers to immediately launch an investigation.

— Chaiyot Yongcharoenchai

Phuket News

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