FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Phuket hotel faces defamation charges over Army extortion claims

PHUKET: The Commander of Royal Thai Army Region 4 base, which covers all of Southern Thailand, has confirmed that he has ordered army litigation officers to move ahead with filing a complaint of defamation with police against the management of a hotel in Patong.

militarycrimepatong
Author: Eakkapop Thongtub

Monday 2 April 2018, 01:06PM


Sub Lt Wattanachai Klongpradit of the Royal Thai Army 25th Military Circle (2nd from right) at the meeting at the hotel in Patong on March 27, as seen in the video posted online. Image: Screengrab

Sub Lt Wattanachai Klongpradit of the Royal Thai Army 25th Military Circle (2nd from right) at the meeting at the hotel in Patong on March 27, as seen in the video posted online. Image: Screengrab

The move follows the hotel management and a “concerned party” posting a video clip on social media claiming that a group of army officers went to the hotel to extort money from the hotel management, Army Region 4 Commander Lt Gen Piyawat Narkvanich told the press yesterday (April 1).

Gen Piyawat said he had already received written clarification from Lt Col Surasak Peungyeam, Deputy Commander of the 25th Military Circle, which is based in Phuket, about the incident.

In turn, Gen Piyawat said 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 had tarnished the reputation of Army Region 4.

In Thailand, defamation is a criminal charge. As such the Royal Thai Army will need to file a complaint with police, who will then investigate to see if defamation charges will be pressed.

Col Surasak explained to told the press yesterday that he and several other army officers went to the hotel last Tuesday (Mar 27) to investigate a complaint filed to him by a former employee of the hotel.

The employee had claimed that he had been unfairly dismissed by the hotel's management after he took five-day business leave on Dec 25-30 last year.

Col Surasak also said yesterday that the meeting with the hotel’s management was “secretly” video-taped and the video posted on social media accusing soldiers of extorting money from the hotel.

The video was posted on YouTube, click here.

QSI International School Phuket

No persons in the video posted online mention payments to be made. A separate video obtained by The Phuket News showing a conversation outside the hotel after the meeting between soldiers present and the hotel management also makes no mention of any payments to be made.

In response to the hotel management’s complaint that the soldiers arrived at the hotel carrying side arms, Col Surasak noted that doing so was required while soldiers were on duty.

He also noted that the employee had filed in his complaint that some members of the hotel’s management were influential figures.

However, Col Surasak made no mention of why Royal Thai Army soldiers were involved in investigating an unfair dismissal claim.

Gen Piyawat also noted yesterday that he has formally requested that two Royal Thai Police officers be transferred after Col Surasak pointed out that two policemen were accompanying the hotel management figure concerned in a “protection” role.

“These two policemen should not be around this hotel general manager. Police have their own job to do, not to follow this man around,” Col Surasak said.

It was not clarified which police station or police division where the two officers currently serve.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
PM Prayut calls for tourism safety across all forms of transport

Does general Prayut not have a public relation team to keep him on right publicity track? All the ...(Read More)


Call to expedite Prawit probe

Just asking the dealers? Let me laugh. They only can be forced by court order, which the mates of Po...(Read More)


Isolated heavy rain forecast for South, Phuket

And we will see again, small boats ( like the 2 disaster boats) still will sail out. More disaster...(Read More)


Phuket officials inert as fishing boat breaks apart at tourist beach

While the pathetic marine safety officials are proving that Phuket is a dangerous and risky destinat...(Read More)


Phuket marine safety goes on show, efforts to recover last Phoenix disaster body continue

Look like Thai Ind. Standards Marine "Work Vests", the type that will not give one a clear...(Read More)


PM Prayut calls for tourism safety across all forms of transport

Another empty message, imploring Thai officials "to make sure everyone is safe". He does n...(Read More)


Phuket marine safety goes on show, efforts to recover last Phoenix disaster body continue

Re: I hope all bookings are cancelled and tourists never return here. I think it would be better i...(Read More)


Phuket marine safety goes on show, efforts to recover last Phoenix disaster body continue

The governor did put on his marine safety face, coz that day there was on Phuket no volunteer cleani...(Read More)


Phuket marine safety goes on show, efforts to recover last Phoenix disaster body continue

And it also looks like all the bright orange "life vests" are the same toy flotation aids ...(Read More)


Phuket marine safety goes on show, efforts to recover last Phoenix disaster body continue

"The government's efforts to overhaul safety measures across all forms of transport".....(Read More)