Police chief steps in to bribes row

Police chief steps in to bribes row

MPB must review actress case

An: Wants CCTV footage made public
An: Wants CCTV footage made public

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 Huai Khwang district this month.

Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas has asked the Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner, Pol Lt Gen Thiti Saengsawang, to instruct investigators to look into all aspects of the case, Royal Thai Police (RTP) spokesman Pol Maj Gen Archayon Kraithong said on Saturday.

Pol Gen Damrongsak wanted the investigation expedited and the truth brought to light.

"If the probe results find the accused officers guilty, drastic disciplinary and legal action will be taken against them," said Pol Maj Gen Archayon, quoting the national police chief.

The actress, Charlene An, complained via social media that she was stopped by police near the Chinese embassy at about 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 finally learned she had to pay for her freedom. She 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 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 Maj 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 three men were seen walking into the alley to pay the police as was claimed.

The first Grab driver who picked the four up and drove them to where they were stopped claimed the woman passenger was drunk.

However, the actress insisted she was not drunk and challenged police to show their CCTV footage.

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