CNN reporters leave Thailand after controversial report

CNN reporters leave Thailand after controversial report

Anna Coren and Daniel Hodge of CNN check in at a Thai Airways International counter at Suvarnabhumi airport as they leave Thailand for Hong Kong on Monday.
Anna Coren and Daniel Hodge of CNN check in at a Thai Airways International counter at Suvarnabhumi airport as they leave Thailand for Hong Kong on Monday.

Two CNN reporters left Thailand for Hong Kong on Monday after their visas were withdrawn following their report on the preschool mass shooting raised questions about their ethics and professionalism.

Immigration Bureau deputy chief Pol Maj Gen Archayon Kraithong said Anna Coren and Daniel Hodge departed from Suvarnabhumi airport at 1.55pm on Thai Airways International flight TG638 bound for Hong Kong. They left for the airport from the bureau's Suan Phlu office, he said.

The bureau revoked their visas on Sunday after they reported the story from the crime scene inside the child care centre where 23 children had been murdered.

The two had entered the country on Thursday on tourist visas, which did not allow them to work in the country.

National police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas said Ms Coren and Mr Hodge were fined 5,000 baht each for violating tourist visa regulations.

They would not face criminal charges because the reporters had no intention to damage any evidence at the crime scene, and were not put on the immigration blacklist, he added.

Pol Gen Damrongsak said they apologised for their actions.

Thirty-six people were slain, 24 of them children at the daycare centre in Na Klang district of Nong Bua Lamphu, by former Pol Sgt Panya Khamrab last Thursday. He later shot himself dead.

- Spokesman removed -

 Pol Lt Gen Yanyong Vejosot, chief of the Provincial Police Region 4, has removed his deputy, Pol Maj Gen Paisal Luesomboon, from the position of spokesman for the regional police office. He was replaced by another deputy, Pol Maj Gen Putthipong Musikul.

The reason for the chage was not given. but was believed to be for inappropriate behaviour.

Pol Maj Gen Paisal was heard laughing during a phone interview with a broadcaster when he was asked about the number of victims.

Police Region 4 includes Nong Bua Lamphu province. 

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