American arrested over 200k extortion claim

Police have arrested the American owner of an English-language newspaper in Chon Buri's Pattaya City for allegedly extorting Bt7 million (S$287,334) from an Australian businessman, Chon Buri police chief Pol Maj-General Jamnong Rattanakul told a press conference yesterday.

Thonglor Clinic (Pattaya-Chom Thien) owner Michel Oscar Goulet, 59, filed a police complaint accusing Pattaya Times owner Drew Walter Noyes, 56, of extorting the money from him, leading to a sting operation in which Noyes was arrested and Bt100,000 cash seized.

Goulet had told police that Noyes claimed to have information about substandard equipment at the Australian's beauty clinic and threatened to publish it or notify the authorities unless Goulet paid him Bt7 million.

After bargaining the price down to Bt2.3 million, Goulet alerted police, leading to the sting operation.

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