Police hunt foreigners who ripped down Thai flags

Police hunt foreigners who ripped down Thai flags

KRABI -- Police are looking for two unidentified males thought to be foreigners who were caught on video pulling down Thai flags from awnings in central Krabi town and walking on them, an act which can land them in jail for two years.

The incident occurred at 3.30am on Saturday in front of shophouses which were decorated with national flags in Soi Maharaj 4 in tambon Pak Nam of Muang Krabi district. 

Footage taken from two CCTV cameras installed outside a silk fabric store, Sunny, showed two men, who appear to be foreigners, walking along the row of shophouses. One of them started to pull on a hanging flag. His companion, who is shorter, then ripped down four more flags including the one grabbed by the first man. The shorter man tried to rid down the fifth flag but failed. He trode on them when leaving the scene. 

Wattana Saranart, 65, owner of Sunny shop, said he felt disappointed at the men’s insulting behaviour. His son filed a complaint with police. 

The video clips have been widely shared on Thai social media, including the popular You Like Clip Ded page, and sparked condemnation from Thai netizens.  

Pol Col Sa-ngob Changsingha, chief of Muang Krabi police, said destroying a national flag violated Section 118 of the Criminal Code on insulting flags or symbols of the state, which is subject to a jail term not exceeding two years and a fine up to 4000 baht or both.  

The offence also breached Section 54 of the Thai Flag Act governing actions that deride a flag, which carries a 6-month prison term and a 1000-baht fine, he said.

The video clips uploaded on YouTube by Thairath TV show the two men.

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