Police chief orders probe into VIP escort service sold online

Police chief orders probe into VIP escort service sold online

A picture captured from the viral video posted by a Chinese tourist, showing a police motorcycle escort taking her from Suvarnabhumi airport.
A picture captured from the viral video posted by a Chinese tourist, showing a police motorcycle escort taking her from Suvarnabhumi airport.

The national police chief has ordered an accelerated investigation into an unapproved police VIP escort and immigration service sold online, and promised criminal and disciplinary action against any officers found responsible.

The move came after a popular Facebook page exposed the VIP service, with immigration officers fast-tracking entry into the country and a police motorcade, for Chinese tourists. It had reportedly been on offer for 10 years.

Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas said on Wednesday he had ordered an accelerated investigation into the alleged sideline business run by police officers.

Facebook page "Lui Chine" or "shoot2china'', which has 1.4 million followers, posted reviews about a VIP entry services on sale via the e-commerce platform shortly after the Tourism Authority of Thailand said on Tuesday that its offices in China could not find the advertisement reportedly offering such services.

The national police chief said the investigation panel, headed by a police inspector-general, was now investigating a Chinese woman’s claim that she paid Thai police for VVIP treatment on arriving at Suvarnabhumi airport. She posted a video showing a tourist police officer and uniformed traffic police providing the service.

The video was posted on a Chinese social media platform, part of her review of her trip to Thailand. The clip went viral and drew a torrent of criticism from Thai viewers.

Pol Gen Damrongsak said there may be other people colluding with the accused officers and the panel would look into all issues. He had instructed spokesmen for each police agency not to comment on the matter, to avoid confusion.

The Royal Thai Police Office had clear guidelines and criteria for police motorcades, Pol Gen Damrongsak said. The police motorcade seen in the video did not match with the criteria, and those involved acted on their own.

Police needed time to investigate and find out anyone else who may have been involved, and how many years they had been involved, he said. Anyone with information should come forward and supply it to the probe panel.

Pol Gen Damrongsak said police officers in uniform who used private cars or police vehicles to do sideline jobs were at fault. They acted on their own, not on orders issued by their commanders.

He would ensure that officers found to have comitted offences were punished, and the penalties would set a precedent for others.

Police would work with website administrators to remove any tour packages offering police motorcade services.



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