Policewoman accused of torturing maid surrenders

Policewoman accused of torturing maid surrenders

Tearful officer claims medical condition left her unable to control behaviour

Pol Cpl Kornsasi Buayaem is interrogated by Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn, assistant national police chief, right, and other investigators at the Muang district station in Ratchaburi on Saturday. (Photo: @policetv.tv Facebook)
Pol Cpl Kornsasi Buayaem is interrogated by Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn, assistant national police chief, right, and other investigators at the Muang district station in Ratchaburi on Saturday. (Photo: @policetv.tv Facebook)

A police corporal who claimed to be a senator’s wife and was accused of torturing a female soldier who served as her maid surrendered to police in Ratchaburi on Saturday.

Pol Cpl Kornsasi Buayaem, 43, reported to police at the Muang district station, where she was questioned by Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn, the assistant national police chief. An officer with the Special Branch Bureau, Pol Cpl Kornsasi had been seconded to the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) Region 4. 

The accused policewoman presented a medical certificate and claimed she had been unable to control her behaviour at the time when the alleged abuses occurred, according to Pol Lt Gen Surachate. She had been under treatment for mental illness for about two years, she said before breaking into tears and apologising for her actions.

Pol Lt Gen Surachate said the case had attracted widespread public and media attention, and called on officers to conduct a thorough investigation to ensure that the victim receives justice.

While the accused would face serious legal action if the allegations were proved, her direct commanding unit would also be asked to take disciplinary action to prevent such wrongoing from occurring again, he added.

On Friday, Royal Thai Police deputy spokesman Pol Col Krissana Pattanacharoen said the Special Branch Bureau would set up a panel to investigate the allegations.

The 30-year-old victim had told police that Pol Cpl Kornsasi claimed she was the wife of a senator, the spokesman said.

The torture allegations were first exposed on the Hone Krasae programme on TV Channel 3 on Thursday. The victim claimed Pol Cpl Kornsasi had burned her skin using a hair curler and smacked her with a metal rod, causing nose and head injuries. She also said her employer once sprayed alcohol on her hair and set it on fire.

The victim told the media she had known Pol Cpl Kornsasi for several years. She had worked earlier at a coffee shop run by the policewoman before it closed. Pol Cpl Kornsasi then told her that she would help her to join the military. She reportedly demanded 500,000 baht in fees to make the arrangements.

The victim said she had repaid part of the money and still owed 240,000 baht after she became a soldier. She continued to work for Pol Cpl Kornsasi, who deducted repayments from her salary and left her just 3,000 baht a month.

The accused police officer later forced her to quit the military or face more abuse if she refused to comply. The victim left military service in May but the abuse continued, she said.

The victim then sought help from social media influencer Kannarat Pongpaiboonvet, alias Gun Jompalang, who later took her to file a complaint with police in Ratchaburi.

In a message posted on his Gun Jompalang Facebook page on Saturday, Mr Kannarat cast doubt on the authenticity of the medical document produced by the accused. He said he would have more to say to counter the policewoman’s story on Sunday.

Police investigators are preparing to press a number of charges in connection with the case. They include being a government official reaping benefits from forced labour, illegal detention, intimidation, using force against other persons and related offences in violation of Sections 6, 6/1 and 13 of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and Section 295 of the Criminal Code.

Pol Lt Gen Surachate said it was possible that police would not oppose bail as the accused had surrendered to officers and the case was fairly straightforward. But bail would be revoked if any attempt was made to interfere with the investigation or intimidate the victim, he added.

Police later took the suspect to search her house in Muang district of Ratchaburi to find more evidence.

Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn, the assistant national police chief, questions a former soldier (black jacket) who has accused her policewoman boss of physically abusing her, at the Muang district police station in Ratchaburi. (Photo: @policetv.tv Facebook)

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