17,000-strong security for Asean

17,000-strong security for Asean

A officer checks a vehicle at the Athenee Hotel in Bangkok on Thursday. (Pphoto by Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)
A officer checks a vehicle at the Athenee Hotel in Bangkok on Thursday. (Pphoto by Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)

The government is preparing the highest levels of security for participants at the Asean Summit by deploying 17,000 officers.

“We are 100% ready,” assistant national police chief Damrongsak Kittiprapas said as he inspected a demonstration of security measures in front of The Athenee Hotel on Witthayu Road in Bangkok.

The venue is accommodating leaders and representatives from Myanmar, Japan and the United Nations.

Pol Lt Gen Damrongsak said officers have set up checkpoints in the hotel compound to scan cars and people arriving at the venue.

Bomb detectors were used to examine whether explosives were attached beneath the vehicles.

All hotel guests were told to have themselves scanned by walk-through metal detectors inside its buildings.

The officers, accompanied by dogs, also went on patrol to look for bombs. They demonstrated ways to dispose of explosive materials if they are found at the hotel.

“We’ve deployed EOD [explosive ordnance disposal] officers in all 15 hotels,” Pol Lt Gen Damrongsak said, referring to the places where participants in the summit are staying.

Though some countries have come with their own security guards and even personal vehicles, Thai officials will still give them full protection during the summit.

No reports have emerged of any attempts to stir up disorder during the meeting, but police have been told to keep an eye on “some [insurgent] leaders,” Pol Lt Gen Damrongsak added.

Thailand, the current chair of Asean, will officially open the 35th Asean Summit tomorrow at the IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Centre in Nonthaburi.

The event, which started with a small meeting among senior officials, will run until Nov 4.

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