Visanu Ketmuenwai, 27, and Krirkchai Khanthawong, 24, were charged with posing as authorised officials in violation of Section 145 of the Criminal Code. The offence carries a jail term of up to one year and/or a fine up to B20,000. The two had been working with the Pattaya City Special Affairs Division.
The arrests followed a complaint by two Chinese tourists, accompanied by a tour guide, that two men wearing Pattaya City uniforms had demanded they pay fines of 2,000 baht each for discarding cigarette butts at Laem Bali Hai pier in south Pattaya on Thursday.
Fearful of being arrested, the visitors paid the money to the two officials, but the latter did not give them receipts, said Pol Col Sathit Phraodaeng, investigation chief at the Pattaya City police station.
Discarding cigarette butts or gum on roads or public areas is in fact an offence under the Public Cleanliness and Orderliness Act of 1992, and carries a fine of up to 2,000 baht. But offenders should ask for a receipt.
The two accused initially denied committing any wrongdoing, even though the Chinese tourists had come to the police station to identify them.
After police showed them closed-circuit video of the incident, the duo confessed to having demanded B2,000 from each tourist for littering. After receiving B4,000, they kept the money for personal use, they said.
Mr Visanu and Mr Krirkchai apologised to Pattaya residents for their actions.
Ronnakit Ekasing, deputy mayor of Pattaya City, on Saturday ordered the pair dismissed from their posts and asked police to take legal action against them. The two were outsourced workers and not city hall staff, according to the PR Pattaya Facebook page.
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