Actress not lying about bribe: source
A number of officers among the seven Huai Khwang policemen accused by Taiwanese actress Charlene An of extorting 27,000 baht from her in the early morning of Jan 4 have now admitted she was telling the truth, according to a police source.
The source was quoting information from a meeting of a Royal Thai Police (RTP) committee.
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 27,000 baht not to arrest the actress who was found with a vaping device, said the source.
The member of the group who actually handed the bribe money to the officers was a Singaporean friend 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.
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.
The Huai Khwang police station chief has been transferred and the seven police officers have been found guilty of dereliction of duty for failing to take legal action against the Taiwanese actress or accurately recording the incident.
On Monday, 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.
Mr 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.
Learn from listening
- allegations (noun): accusations - ข้อกล่าวหา
- bribe: money or a present given to someone so that they will help you doing something dishonest or illegal - สินบน
- checkpoint: a place where people are stopped and questioned and vehicles are examined, especially at a border between two countries - ด่านตรวจ
- committee: a group of people who are chosen, usually by a larger group, to make decisions or to deal with a particular subject - คณะกรรมการ
- complaint: when someone says that something is wrong or not satisfactory - การร้องเรียน
- dereliction of duty: the fact of deliberately not doing what you ought to do, especially when it is part of your job - ล้มเหลวในการทำหน้าที่ของคุณ
- extortion: the crime of trying to obtain something by force or threat - การขู่กรรโชก รีดไถ
- incident: something that happens, usually something bad - เหตุการณ์
- interrogate: to ask someone a lot of questions in order to get information - สอบถาม,ซักถาม
- source: someone who gives information - แหล่งข่าว
- surveillance footage: video from a camera that is put in a place to constantly record what happens there - เทปวิดีโอจากกล้องวงจรปิดเพื่อรักษาการความปลอดภัย
- turning a blind eye: deliberately not paying attention to; ignoring - ทำไม่รู้ไม่ชี้ ทำเป็นไม่เห็น
- tycoon: a person who has succeeded in business or industry and has become very rich and powerful - นักธุรกิจที่ร่ำรวยและมีอิทธิพลมาก
- vape (v): to inhale and exhale vapour containing nicotine and flavoring produced by a device designed for this purpose -
- vape (n): a device used for inhaling vapour containing nicotine and flavoring -
- wipe (verb): remove; get rid of something - ทำลาย, ขัดออก