Patong Police Chief Col Anothai Jindamanee confirmed the transfers, which are effective immediately, this morning (April 2).
The transfers followed Lt Col Surasak Peungyeam, Deputy Commander of the 25th Military Circle, accompanied by Sub Lt Wattanachai Klongpradit, also of the Royal Thai Army 25th Military Circle, filing a complaint in person about the officers at Patong Police Station at 8:30am today.
“Provincial Police Region 8 Chief Gen Sorasak Yenprem ordered to find out the facts about these two policemen,” Col Anothai said.
“The two officers have now been transferred to Region 8 Provincial Police Training Centre in Surat Thani,” he added.
Col Anothai and Patong Police Deputy Chief Lt Col Jetsada Seangsuree received the complaint, which stems from the officers’ role in serving the hotel executive, who is now to face formal charges of defamation against the Royal Thai Army over a video posted on YouTube.
The video shows a meeting of Sub Lt Wattanachai with the hotel executive last Tuesday (on Mar 27) that has now led to allegations of extortion by soldiers, and the army’s retaliatory claims of defamation.
The talks with the hotel executive were initially intended to focus on the allegedly unfair dismissal of a hotel employee.
The video was posted after the meeting on Mar 27, and Lt Gen Piyawat Narkvanich, Commander of Royal Thai Army Region Four, publicly confirmed yesterday (April 1) that he had formally requested that the two police officers be transferred after Col Surasak pointed out that the two officers were accompanying the hotel management figure concerned in a “protection” role.
Gen Piyawat also confirmed yesterday that he had instructed army legal officers to prepare their complaint to take legal action against the hotel management as the allegation in the video clip – that a group of army officers went to the hotel to extort money from the hotel management – had tarnished the reputation of Army Region Four. (See story here.)
“Right now we are investigating the clip, which was posted on YouTube by ‘Cheng Yeap C’ on March 28,” Col Anothai said.
“We are continuing our investigation [into the incident]. We have to find out the full facts to be fair to both the Royal Thai Army official and the hotel management,” Col Anothai noted.
However, he added, “Meanwhile, the hotel executive was supposed to have an official appointment with Royal Thai Police today, but that has been postponed.”