Police officers arrested a Thai soldier for allegedly using fake social media accounts to lure boys.
Sergeant Major Jakkrit Khomsing, 43, was taken into custody on 6 November in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen, 450 kilometers north-northeast of capital city Bangkok.
28 of his alleged victims are underage
Police had received a complaint that Khomsing was allegedly using fake profiles for catfishing more than 75 boys, 28 of whom between the age of 13 and 18.
Khomsing is said to have used a photo of a younger man as his profile picture on Chinese gay dating app Blued and Facebook. Anyone under the age of 18 are not allowed to create Blued profiles.
Police say he talked to his victims to win their trust and get them to send naked pictures. Authorities then said he arranged to meet them and, when they realized they have been catfished, he threatened them to make their nudes public.
A 14-year-old filed the first complaint
Thai newspaper The Thaiger reported the 14-year-old boy who filed the first complaint claimed that he had met a military man after first chatting with him online.
The boy said he tried to leave because the man was not the person in the profile photo. Khomsing allegedly threatened to release the boy’s pictures online and raped him in his car.
‘Even though the suspect is a soldier, this behavior, and I’ve consulted with army commanders, is a personal issue, not an organizational one,’ police Major General Surachate Hakparn said, according to The Thaiger.
Sex with a minor is punishable by up to 20 years in Thailand
Police are also attempting to contact other victims who have not yet filed charges.
They charged Khomsing with six offenses so far, including sex with a minor under 15 with or without their consent. This crime is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Police also charged him with indecent assault of a minor, using threats, separating a minor from their parents, blackmail and coercing minors to conduct inappropriate acts.
Khomsing has yet to say whether he is pleading guilty or not guilty.