Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang has ordered a probe into a viral TikTok video which shows six military police lining up in front of a van guarding Chinese tourists, saying that a disciplinary punishment must be meted out.
The video was taken at a hotel in Pattaya, Chon Buri province. It also features a Chinese caption that reads, "It was a one-day private tour in Pattaya with a private guide and personalised schedule, including a ride to airports in Bangkok".
The video was posted on TikTok on Oct 28 and went viral, attracting criticism from netizens about the legitimacy of hiring Thai military police to facilitate Chinese tourists.
On Thursday, Mr Sutin revealed the video was first published in 2021. Still, an investigation and disciplinary punishment must be made if it is found the military police violated government regulations.
Mr Sutin added that he must treat the matter fairly and give justice to all involved.
Recently, a video clip of a Chinese tourist named Luijeen wearing a Thai police uniform with a nameplate, rank insignia and decorations, which he donned apparently for fun, also went viral and drew harsh criticism of police hospitality towards tourists.
The location in the video was the Royal Thai Police Sports Club in Bangkok.
Luijeen, with 1.4 million followers, asked whether this behaviour was appropriate and mentioned the controversial incident early this year involving a Chinese tourist receiving an unauthorised VVIP service from police.
After the Facebook page "Red Skull" posted the viral video, many users questioned the repeated incidents of police providing controversial hospitality to Chinese tourists.
"It has actually been ongoing for a while. Many military and police officers sometimes work a gig in their free time. [I] have seen some of them at seminars and meetings in Chon Buri province," a Facebook user wrote.