Bangkok - A Thai soldier infected with HIV has been arrested and charged with raping more than two dozen boys in north-eastern Thailand, police told dpa on Friday.
Police nabbed the 43-year-old sergeant major at a military base in Khon Kaen, a province 450 kilometres north-east of Bangkok, on Wednesday, Athiwit Kamolrat of the country's anti-trafficking police force said.
The soldier used the gay dating app Blued and a fake Facebook profile to convince dozens of boys aged 13-18 to send him naked photos. He then used the photos as blackmail to force face-to-face meetings before he raped the boys in his car, Athiwit said.
"So far, we have identified 28 boys raped by this man," Athiwit said.
"We haven't got them tested yet because it's a delicate matter that needs to be handled carefully."
Information gleaned from the soldier's Facebook page suggests the man raped at least 70 boys total, he added.
The man denied the rape allegations but admitted he had been HIV-positive for many years after police found HIV medication at his residence.
If the allegations against the soldier are true, it would not be the first serial sex offence committed by an HIV-infected individual in Thailand: In January 2017, a Czech man was arrested for deliberately infecting over a dozen Thai men with HIV.dpa