Police chief wants transparent probe into extortion claim
published : 28 Jan 2023 at 12:35
writer: Online Reporters
The national police chief has ordered investigators to find more evidence related to a Taiwanese actress’s complaint that police extorted 27,000 baht from her at a checkpoint in Bangkok's Huai Khwang district earlier this month.
Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas has asked the Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner (Pol Lt Gen Thiti Saengsawang) to instruct investigators to look thoroughly into all aspects of the alleged extortion, Royal Thai Police (RTP) spokesman Pol Maj Gen Archayon Kraithong said on Saturday.
Pol Gen Damrongsak wanted the investigation expedited and the truth came to light, said the spokesman.
"If the probe results find the accused officers guilty, drastic disciplinary and legal action will be taken against them," said Pol Maj Gen Archayon quoted the national police chief as saying.
The actress, Charlene An, complained via social media that she was stopped by Thai police near the Chinese embassy at around 1am on Jan 4 and was kept there for about two hours.
According to her complaint, the officers told her that her Visa on Arrival was unacceptable and must be printed in her passport with an official emblem. After being searched and having long conversations with police and asking what she did wrong, the 33-year-old actress finally learned she had to pay for her freedom. She finally paid 27,000 baht and was freed.
On Friday, the RTP spokesman said footage from three security cameras in the area where the alleged extortion took place contradicts her account of the incident.
The woman was seen together with three men in a Grab taxi, a red Mazda 2, which was stopped by police at a security checkpoint at 2.27am, said Pol Lt Gen Archayon.
The four passengers were asked to get out of the car. They stood on the pavement while communicating with the officers for a long while before an orange taxi came and picked them up, said Pol Maj Gen Archayon. From start to finish, neither the actress nor the other three men were seen on the cameras walking into the alley to pay the police as was claimed, said the spokesman.
The first Grab driver who picked the four up and drove them to where they were stopped claimed that he remembered the woman passenger was drunk.
However, the actress insisted she was not drunk and challenged police to show closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage.
- Thai police
- Taiwanese actress