More charges are due to be brought against the 27-year-old call centre worker after evidence of at least 10 other underage victims was found on his phone and devices including a large throve of pornographic images of women and girls which the accused used to place his victims under his control through the use of blackmail. It is understood that the 27-year-old was using the images collected to distribute pornography online for a profit.
Police conducted a raid on the home of a suspected blackmailer in Pathum Thani on Thursday morning as part of ‘Operation Cosplay Avatar’ with a mission to apprehend the mastermind and instigator behind a devious and lethal campaign which led to a 14-year-old girl, the daughter of a police officer, taking her own life after she was tricked into the obscene and twisted world of 27-year-old Piyabutr Urai-ngam, who was arrested at the scene and has already been charged.
A 27-year-old man, working within the call centre of a communications company, has been charged with offences under the Criminal Code and Computer Crime Act 2007 following his arrest by police officers with the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division (ATPD) in the Lam Luk Ka district of Pathum Thani on Thursday morning by investigators executing a search warrant issued earlier by the Pathum Thani Provincial Court.
Piyabutr Urai-ngam has provisionally been charged with offences under Section 287/1 of the Thai Criminal Code for possession and distribution of obscene images to others and additional offences under the Computer Crime Act 2007 relating to a devious scheme which preyed upon young women and girls aged under 15 years of age.
Suspect used Twitter and a relatively newer social network and messaging site called Discord to lure and hook his victims into his nightmare world
The suspect used applications like Twitter and the social network and friends messaging app Discord to befriend his targets online before offering to pay them money to send him revealing and obscene pictures after which he would later use the transmitted photos to blackmail them.
The raid and subsequent arrest on Thursday were part of a special police operation undertaken by several services including the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) led by Police Major General Charoonkiat Pankaew and the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division (ATPD) which undertook the search of the suspect’s home followed by his later arrest for questioning after criminal evidence was discovered on his devices.
‘Operation Cosplay Avatar’ followed a plea by the policeman father of a 14-year-old girl, who killed herself, for justice after he discovered her ordeal
The operation, named ‘Operation Cosplay Avatar’ was undertaken following an appeal by an overwrought police officer to the crime suppression agency to find the culprit responsible after his 14-year-old daughter, given the name ‘Nong Pearl’ by officers working on the case, committed suicide following her interactions with the blackmailer after being forced into bondage through the online blackmail campaign.
The young girl hanged herself.
The commander of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division (ATPD), Police Major General Wiwat Khamchamnarn briefed the media on the case in the last 24 hours.
He said the young girl had met the culprit on the messaging application Discord, established in 2015 and which in recent years, has a growing user base in Thailand.
She agreed to send Mr Piyabutr nude pictures of herself in poses, in exchange for money transferred to her.
27-year-old man emerged to the girl as a blackmailer
Later, the man emerged as a blackmailer and forced her into phoning him through the video chat application and to perform lewd or obscene acts.
Police also believe he was distributing the pornographic images for profit.
The suspect threatened the girl that any resistance to his demands or failure to follow his instructions would lead to her photos being made available and distributed online.
More criminal charges to be brought, possibly of a more serious nature, as the investigation continues
Police have revealed that they retrieved a laptop computer, router and mobile device from Mr Piyabutr’s home on Thursday and that it contained a large throve of obscene pictures of girls and women with many of the victims being under 15 years of age.
More significantly, officers received evidence from the suspect’s mobile device and messaging apps suggesting that the young girl who took her own life was not the only victim with at least 10 others, also underage, being blackmailed by the man.
Investigators working on the case are expected to charge the man with additional and possibly more offences in due course.