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Pattaya tourist police escort prompts swift rebuke

Pattaya tourist police escort prompts swift rebuke

BANGKOK: Two traffic officers and one tourist police officer who appeared in a video clip posted online while delivering a VVIP service to a Chinese woman have been identified and are facing a probe.

By Bangkok Post

Monday 23 January 2023, 09:02AM

The service included an immigration clearance shortcut at the airport and a traffic-dodging police escort all the way to her hotel in Pattaya. The woman posted the clip to a Chinese social media platform, reports the Bangkok Post.

National police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas labelled the incident a disgrace to the force, said Pol Maj Gen Atchayon Kraithong, spokesman for the Royal Thai Police (RTP), on Sunday (Jan 22).

The three officers have been transferred to the Command Centre of the RTP pending an investigation, he said.

The investigation is being carried out to prove whether their use of the police vehicles, as shown in the video clip, led to personal gains and if there was anyone else involved.

The chief and deputy chief of the officers’ division, and their supervisors, will also be investigated, he said.

Bypassing immigration clearance at the airport is unlawful while official escorts are provided to only very important persons, politicians and state guests, he said.

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Pol Maj Gen Apichat Suriboonya, spokesman for the Tourist Police Bureau (TPB), meanwhile, said the tourist police officer in the video clip was Pol Capt Somphon Phinyosamoson, a deputy police inspector attached to Sub-Division 3 of Tourist Police Division 1 and working at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

The incident took place on Thursday (Jan 19) at about 10pm, after Hong Kong Airlines Flight HX671 landed, said Pol Maj Gen Apichat.

The Chinese tourist in the clip was also identified by name in the investigation but her identity will not be disclosed, he said, adding the woman travelled along with her mother.

Pol Capt Somphon is facing not only an investigation for the current incident but also a probe into his past performance in the role, said Pol Maj Gen Apichat.

He said initial findings show that the officer escorted the car using his personal motorbike. However, he said this case is a disgrace to both the TPD and the RTP as a whole.

In the clip posted on Douyin, a Chinese social media platform, the woman claimed she paid B7,000 for a car motorcade that she and her mother rode in and B6,000 for a motorcycle escort.

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Kurt | 25 January 2023 - 08:38:12

Read in BP that the illegal RTP VVIP Service indeed was advertised in China. And for Dek, as long RTP/Immigration work hard on bringing down their image ( of what is left) with illegal activities, and not work on getting Red Bull Boy brought to justice, that long, once in a while, I will compare apples  and oranges. Thai Officialdom continue to underestimate international Social Media.

Pooliekev | 24 January 2023 - 18:17:55

@Kurt. It is a serious problem indeed. I mean, one only has to read the comments here to realise that!

DeKaaskopp | 24 January 2023 - 14:22:41

Omg ! Again the mentioning of that Red Bull boy. Comparing apples and oranges again ? Will a certain poster ever stop ?

Kurt | 24 January 2023 - 10:41:26

Long time already Arriving/Departing Thailand is possible the way you feel to do, with help of Officials. This chinese lady and Red Bull Boy are just published examples only.  Thailand has a serious Border Leaking issue. It is simple a Thai national security threat.

Kurt | 24 January 2023 - 10:22:35

..."She was whisked through Immigration at Suvarnabhumi Airport"... ( report BP). Seems the airport immigration is involved as well in this side money making VVIP set up. Quite organised, needs a lot of people. This is not just a private set up of 2-3 persons only. And it must have been advertised abroad.

JohnC | 24 January 2023 - 09:21:45

Guess the big question is who is this Chinese woman? Mr Tuhao's sister come to take over the reins on the business since he has been "arrested", maybe. Somebody with enough pull to have the monkeys jumping for peanuts that's for sure! LOL

Kurt | 24 January 2023 - 08:49:21

Hahaha, another way to earn RTP tea money. Very well and smooth handled, through immigration and the ride. Guess this was not the first time. Just now it reach the media. IN BP: The Deputy Commissioner said that policeman did not commit a criminal offence as he used his own motorbike. Hahaha. How did the arriving tourist knew about this 'service' and made a booking?


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