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Actress bribe claim borne out by officers’ confessions: source

Actress bribe claim borne out by officers’ confessions: source

BANGKOK: A number of officers among the seven Huai Khwang policemen accused by Taiwanese actress Charlene An of extorting B27,000 from her in the early morning of Jan 4 have now admitted she was telling the truth, according to a police source.

By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 31 January 2023, 09:11AM

Taiwanese actress Charlene An says cops wanted B27,000 vape bribe. Photo: Bangkok Post

Taiwanese actress Charlene An says cops wanted B27,000 vape bribe. Photo: Bangkok Post

The source was quoting information discussed by executives of the Royal Thai Police (RTP) during yesterday’s (Jan 30) meeting of a committee which screens senior police officials for promotion, reports the Bangkok Post.

The seven officers who stopped the Taiwanese actress and her companions in a Grab taxi for a security check at a checkpoint in front of the Chinese embassy on Ratchadaphisek Road did in fact demand B27,000 not to arrest the actress who was found in possession of a vaping device, said the source.

The member of the group who actually handed the bribe money to the officers was a Singaporean companion of the actress. Vaping remains illegal in Thailand.

“Some of the officers admitted to extortion after being interrogated separately,” said the source.

They had kept the incident secret and even initially denied the allegation as they thought their victim was a foreigner who wouldn’t dare report the details to authorities.

Attendees at the meeting also discussed whether they should be dismissed for serious disciplinary misconduct, said the source, adding their superiors are also facing a probe to find out if they too were involved.

A Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) panel will examine previous cases of alleged extortion, said the source.

Following reports about the actress’ social media complaint, a number of similar complaints have been made in which people say police demanded payment in exchange for officers turning a blind eye, said the source.

Earlier in the day, Pol Maj Gen Archayon Kraithong, spokesman for the RTP, said national police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas had begun moves to transfer the Huai Khwang police station chief during the probe.

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MPB commissioner Pol Lt Gen Thiti Saengsawang later signed the order to transfer Pol Col Yingyos Suwanno, the station chief, to the MPB’s operations centre.

As for the seven police officers, a MPB committee had found them guilty of dereliction of duty for failing to take legal action against the Taiwanese actress or accurately recording the incident, said Pol Lt Gen Thiti.

Court action may follow over the more serious allegation of extortion.

Separate comments made by Pol Maj Gen Nitinan Phetborom, an MPB deputy chief, after meeting senior officers at Huai Khwang station, corroborated the source’s claim that, so far, the officers are only assumed to have been in dereliction of duty, with a further probe to follow.

Yesterday, former politician and massage parlour tycoon Chuvit Kamolvisit issued more details of what is said to have happened that night.

Writing on his Facebook page, he said the Thai girlfriend of An’s Singaporean companion has a video clip filming the payment.

According to Mr Chuvit, the girlfriend said she was the person who handed the money to the police.

Chuvit said surveillance camera footage of the security checkpoint that night had been deleted and the memory cards installed in the officers’ helmet cameras wiped.

He also accused the police of talking the Grab car driver into lying that the Taiwanese actress was very drunk and the duration of the incident had been far shorter than alleged. The driver has told the media repeatedly that she was drunk.

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Pooliekev | 31 January 2023 - 15:49:24

@Kurt. The penalty for vaping in Thailand is as much as THB30,000. 

Fascinated | 31 January 2023 - 10:48:00

Best police farce money can buy. No vitriol from @JohnC yet?

Kurt | 31 January 2023 - 10:46:16

RTP officers are so dumb to think that in 2023 foreign victims of their extortion don't dare to complain/report to Thai Authorities. Tourists don't have too! They just go global with prove on internet and the Thai Authorities can't ignore and must pick it up. Simple. Sorry that global cyber going undermines the Thai thinking that Thailand is centerpoint of the world.

Kurt | 31 January 2023 - 10:12:00

.... It's simply RTP Thai sub cultural. Foreign tourists should now have in their Thai travel budget a amount of money for police extortion. A job to do by TAT to inform Thailand travelers on forehand.

Capricornball | 31 January 2023 - 10:10:14

I'll say it again... Having the corrupt RTP investigate the corrupt RTP is absurd. I'm sure the "Special MPB panel" will come up with more bulls#!^ like "we have found no additional wrong doing, this was an isolated incident", even though everyone knows it is standard operating procedure. Dirty from the top down. They need to call in the Army for a major purge of the RT...

Kurt | 31 January 2023 - 10:03:56

Interesting to read in BP Editorial: "RTP graft out of control". Shocking to read that general Prayut dismissed himself of his in 2014 promised RTP reforms. Police corruption? 'Their bosses at depts will take care of the issues', Prayut said. Well, these 'bosses' have not done such since 2014. RTP corruption getting worse, even more and more openly. It's simply RTP su...

Kurt | 31 January 2023 - 09:41:55

RTP, creme de la creme of Government Society. The RTP officers in this affair are just a bunch of criminals. Lying, bribing, cheating, threatening. Even fool around with evidence (removal , deleting personal police cameras). Persuading a taxi driver to lie about a passenger's condition. How much actually is the fine for having a vapor device? Not B27,000 ,right?


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