Gang uses phones to foil police

Gang uses phones to foil police - Bangkok Post, July 7, 2006
... ''They look like ordinary people and some are well-dressed. When they reach their 'workplace', they change into shabby clothes and roam the local streets holding out their hands for money,'' police said.
When night falls, the pick-ups take them to other begging spots.
Some journalists failed in their attempts to capture the mobile phone-flaunting beggars on camera because the beggars were vigilant and quick to spread warnings among themselves.
Their patrons usually give money out of sympathy for the beggars, some of whom walk with what look like painful limps.
But generous folk might now be having second thoughts after seeing the police appearance send the beggars sprinting off at top speed, police said.
Mr Somphop said it is tough for the police to crack down on the beggars because the gang is well organised, with influential figures behind it.
Moreover, some local residents have condemned the authorities for harassing the underprivileged and the poor, Mr Somphop said.
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