Man says cops misused seized car

Man says cops misused seized car

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has urged the Royal Thai Police (RTP) to investigate a case where a police officer in Rayong seized a vehicle as evidence, but instead of being stored in a lot, the car was used to travel 1,700 kilometres over six months.

NHRC Commissioner Wasan Paileeklee said at a press briefing on Friday the agency had received a complaint from a car owner this March claiming his vehicle had been used illegally by police at Rayong Provincial Police Station since October 2019.

Mr Wasan said the man's car had been seized as evidence and was later returned to the victim after the Rayong Provincial Court issued a disposition to this effect.

The man had photographed the odometer and the condition of the car before handing it over to the police.

"However, the victim found that the odometer showed an extra 1,700km had been travelled during the six-month seizure. Moreover, the two front seats' cushions had been changed, the battery removed, and the victim was issued parking tickets amounting to 500 baht a month," Mr Wasan said.

According to Rayong police records, the car's model, colour and licence plate were recorded in May 2020. It was later stored at a private lot where officers typically park vehicles that are to be used as evidence.

Mr Wasan said the removal of the car battery and cushions was a violation of private property and the police's storage protocol.

The NHRC urged the RTP headquarters to set up a committee to probe the matter. If the car was misused by officers, the victim must be compensated, Mr Wasan said.

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