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Korean man who died in custody in Thailand drank alcohol during interrogation

THAILAND (TR) – A 27-year-old South Korean man who died while in custody for allegedly confining and extorting three Japanese nationals was provided alcohol during an interrogation, police in Bangkok said on Tuesday, reports TV Asahi (Apr. 3).

On Monday, police dismissed an officer, aged in his 30s, for providing Hwang Geonil with three cups of whiskey during an interrogation.

On January 31, Hwang collapsed while being transported to a police station. Three days later, he died as a result of congestive heart failure. There were no other details available.

In making the latest announcement, police said that they were not aware that the alcohol was related to Hwang’s death.

Hwang Geonil
Hwang Geonil was accused of confining three Japanese nationals

Hwang had been under investigation for swindling the three male and female Japanese victims out of more than a total of 10 million yen by seizing their passports and confining them to a residence in Bangkok. In threatening them, he claimed to have underworld connections.

In September, a 24-year-old woman from Yamaguchi Prefecture came to Thailand after becoming acquainted with Hwang on a dating site. After he allegedly beat her and confined her to the residence, he coaxed her into having her parents forward around 2 million yen to him, police said.

Hwang later tricked the woman’s 21-year-old brother into coming to Thailand by having her claim that she wished to discuss a business opportunity. Upon his arrival in October, the suspect also allegedly beat and confined him. He then obtained about 8 million yen from the brother’s associates, police said previously.

The third victim, a 21-year-old man from Hokkaido Prefecture, arrived in Thailand in January. Hwang subsequently swindled him out of around 800,000 yen.

On January 28, police apprehended Hwang. During questioning, he claimed to have only gotten into disputes with the victims. “I didn’t do anything,” the suspect said.