A broken system
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A broken system

Last year, Mintra Chuawangkham, better known as Minton, a young female influencer with 3.5 million followers on TikTok and 1.92 million subscribers on YouTube, revealed in a video that she had been stalked and sexually harassed by a security guard for a year. The security guard also created a fake Facebook account pretending to be her. The fake account defamed the influencer by posting false information about their sexual relationship. He created a fake marriage licence and tried to deceive other people into believing that they were a couple. He also posted many creepy messages which expressed his sexual desire for her on social media.

When she reported these incidents to the police, she was told that since no crime had been committed yet, they could not take any action. She had to endure these incidents for a year to collect evidence to support her case. On Aug 11 last year, the authorities announced that the stalker was charged with possession of obscene and pornographic media involving the exploitation of children for personal and/or others' sexual benefit. He was also accused of defamation, forgery, causing embarrassment or trouble to others and violating the Computer Crime Act. With so many accusations, Minton and her fans expected that he would be jailed for years. Unfortunately, he recently returned to harass her again.

On Facebook, the stalker posted a photo of himself with Minton's car along with photos of a GPS tracker. He commented that he would like to install a GPS tracker on her car. He also left a handwritten message on the car mirror. He asked her if she loved him and told her that he would meet her at her place. He emphasised that wherever she went, he would find her. His disturbing behaviour was frightening. There should be legal action to prevent the stalker from being close to Minton and if he violates the legal order, he should immediately be put in jail. However, there is currently no law that prohibits stalking.

Mintra "Minton" Chuawangkham's Facebook facebook.com/MintraDingdong

Minton shared photos of the stalker with her car and his disturbing message to fans. In her post, she wrote that she had to endure his stalking and sexual harassment for two years. She shared an unblurred portrait of him because he is dangerous. She warned other women to be aware of him. The influencer reported that although the police publicly claimed that he had been arrested last year because of his involvement with obscene materials related to minors, he received only a suspended sentence.

In Minton's post about her case, many women commented that they also had experienced stalking and sexual harassment. It was sad to learn that many of them did not receive support from the authorities, people at their workplace or people around them. Hence, they had to move or quit their jobs for their own safety.

In one case, a victim was a university intern who was verbally harassed by her boss, making jokes about her breasts and staring at them. When she told other people about this, she was advised to either just laugh or avoid her boss because her internship was almost over. Her complaint would not change anything. It was wrong and unfair, but we have to admit that not many workplaces in Thailand have strict guidelines regarding sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is also about power and this intern had none in the company, but if she were the daughter of a CEO, she would be treated differently.

In Thailand, celebrities are granted privileges for many things. For instance, if crimes are committed against celebrities, authorities will respond to their case and assist them quickly. It is surprising to see that Minton did not receive much assistance from the authorities. Perhaps they decided no crime had been committed yet.

The influencer commented on her social media that Thailand's laws do not prevent victims from being attacked. Stalkers are only arrested after victims have been attacked violently. To stay safe now, she always has her team with her.

Many of her fans suggest that she take matters into her own hands since the legal system cannot help her. To be honest, a part of me agrees with the idea, but the involved people may be legally punished which is not worth it. The stalker is frightening and he may have a mental illness. He should be put in a mental hospital for everyone's safety.

Minton revealed that when the authorities announced the stalker had been arrested, many of her female fans sent her messages asking for advice on how to deal with sexual harassment. She confessed that she was unable to help them and told them to look after themselves as best they can. Many major media outlets are currently reporting this story. This may encourage the authorities to take action about her case and hopefully, she will feel safe again at least for a while.

Suwitcha Chaiyong is a feature writer for the Life section of the Bangkok Post.

The stalker left his handwritten messages on Minton's car mirror facebook.com/MintraDingdong

Suwitcha Chaiyong

Feature writer for the Life section

Suwitcha Chaiyong is a feature writer for the Life section of the Bangkok Post.

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