The saga also roped in the national police chief, who came to the victim’s aid.
Deputy police spokesman Col Krissana Pattanacharoen said the six officers – including Lt Col Narawut Karamahito, investigating inspector, and Lt Jatuphum Limsiriwattanakul attached to the Inquiry Division of Provincial Police Region 2 – have been transferred to inactive posts at the Police Region Bureau pending an investigation for disciplinary violations.
Early this week, the two officers, together with four subordinates, were summoned to answer charges at Muang Pattaya station. The charges include false imprisonment, malfeasance causing injury and attempted extortion, said Col Apichai Krobpetch, of Muang Pattaya police.
The bureau has 30 days in which to wrap up the investigation into the six. Muang Pattaya police said the case would also be forwarded to the National Anti-Corruption Commission for investigation regarding corruption charges.
The move came after Paranisa Chainapanichkul, 36, the owner of Nangfa karaoke bar in Bang Lamung district of Chonburi, filed a complaint against the six for illegally detaining her and her employees, attempting to extort money from her and misconduct.
According to Ms Paranisa, on July 14, a man came into her bar and offered B2,000 to a waitress, asking her to say she was selling sex to him. However, the waitress refused. The man then tried the same thing with another waitress, but this time he put the money in her hand.
Then, a group of five men, including Lt Col Narawut and Lt Jatuphum, stormed into the bar.
Lt Jatuphum used his mobile phone to take a photo of the waitress holding the money and forced her to phone Ms Paranisa and tell her to come to the bar.
When Ms Paranisa arrived, Lt Col Narawut allegedly accused her of being involved in prostitution and human trafficking and claimed the police had evidence, referring to the photo of the waitress.
Ms Paranisa said she called a close relative who knows national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda to seek help.
Gen Chakthip later called her mobile phone and she told him his subordinates were making false accusations.
The police chief asked her to hand the phone over to the officers who refused to take the call.
She said the officers did not believe she was speaking to the police chief, saying if he was the real police chief he would be able to call their boss, Maj Gen Ampon Buarupporn, commander of Chonburi provincial police.
Lt Col Narawut then asked his subordinates to handcuff her and her workers and put them in a van.
Once inside the van, the police allegedly demanded a bribe of B30,000 from her in exchange for their freedom, Ms Paranisa told investigators.
While in the van, Maj Gen Ampon telephoned Ms Paranisa, but the group did not believe it was really Maj Gen Ampon who had called either.
The commander of Chonburi provincial police then phoned Lt Col Narawut.
At that point the group understood it was the actual provincial police chief who had been speaking to her. The complaint alleges they then freed Ms Paranisa and her colleagues before driving away.
Yesterday (July 20), Col Krissana said the national police chief answers every call to his mobile phone, if he is not in a meeting. The deputy spokesman added the inquiry into the six officers would be fair to all sides.
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