Police in paedophile bail case face action

Police in paedophile bail case face action

A view of Pattaya in Chon Buri province. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
A view of Pattaya in Chon Buri province. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

The chief of Pattaya City police station in Chon Buri and a number of his staff will face disciplinary action for failing to object to bail granted to a German national accused of child sexual abuse.

After he was released on bail, the German suspect fled Thailand.

His case made headlines as he claimed he had paid a bribe to authorities to secure the bail and leave Thailand.

His bribe payment claim was featured in a scathing documentary of Thailand's red-light "sex-for-sale" culture posted by the respected German DW-TV network last month.

Cobra Beer Bar, located on Soi Bua Khao in Bang Lamung district of Chon Buri, was raided on Sept 10. The bar owner and his Thai wife were detained and charged with human trafficking.

Jens Kirch, 55, the German suspect, was later arrested at a hotel on Pattaya Sai 2 Road and charged with child sex abuse. He was later released on bail and left the country at Suvarnabhumi airport on Nov 7 upon the condition he would have to return on Nov 14.

The police station chief and investigators handling the case will face charges if they are found to have received the bribe, said deputy national police chief Surachate Hakparn on Wednesday.

As for the German suspect, the police will meet the German ambassador to Thailand at 2pm tomorrow to discuss the prospect of bringing the German suspect back to be prosecuted in Thailand, said Pol Gen Surachate.

He refused to confirm a rumour that the suspect had already been detained by the German authorities, saying he had not received any report about that just yet.

"Although Germany doesn't have an extradition treaty with Thailand, an Interpol alert may still be issued for this suspect and it is expected to be out tomorrow,'' he said.

A major crackdown on human trafficking activities is also planned for Pattaya soon, he said.

Another suspect, an American man, had escaped from Thailand by trekking across the border, while a British man who owned the bar which was raided was being held in police custody and awaiting a court ruling, he said.

A Thai lawyer representing the German suspect admitted he had received 1 million baht from his client, but it remained unclear to whom the money had gone, said Pol Gen Surachate.

Parinya Phromsak, the lawyer, however, denied paying 1 million baht as a bribe to the Thai authorities to secure bail for his client, saying the money was partly used as a surety for the bail and the rest for his handling of the case on behalf of his client.

Many foreign paedophiles know they can get away with misconduct in Thailand and they have a good lawyer to help them, said Supagon Noja, a spokesman for the Child Rights Protection Group in Chon Buri.

Members of a paedophile group in Pattaya share information as to how to get a minor to have sex with them and usually meet them at a beer bar on Soi Bua Khao, he said.

He said these people use some symbols, including a cross earring and specific tattoos, to recognise one another in public spaces.

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