Van drivers charged for transporting Yingluck supporters

Van drivers charged for transporting Yingluck supporters

Van drivers report to Thung Song Hong police station on Monday, after taking supporters of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra to the Supreme Court last Tuesday. (Photo by Thiti Wannamontha)
Van drivers report to Thung Song Hong police station on Monday, after taking supporters of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra to the Supreme Court last Tuesday. (Photo by Thiti Wannamontha)

Ten van drivers have been charged by police and could be fined up to 50,000 baht or even jailed for taking supporters of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra to the Supreme Court last week.

Thung Song Hong police on Monday pressed charges against the 10 drivers who took the former Pheu Thai party leaders supporters to the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions on Aug 1.

Pol Lt Col Suban Athiseth, a deputy superintendent, said four drivers of public vans operating on fixed routes had been charged with running on a different route without permission. If convicted, they faced a possible maximum penalty of 20,000 baht and/or a jail term of one year, he said.

The six other drivers operated charter vans and could face a fine of up to 50,000 baht for providing the service without a contract, he said.

Police had not yet decided what penalties they would seek, he said. 

Police said that 21 vans, 17 of them chartered vehicles, took supporters of Ms Yingluck to the court on the day that she delivered her closing statement in her trial for alleged costly mishandlng of her government's rice-pledging scheme.

Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanaku ordered Thung Song Hong police station to take action against them. All had been ordered to report to police by Monday.

Police were waiting for 11 other drivers to report to the station. Pol Lt Col Suban Athiseth warned them that police would obtain a summons after the deadline passes.

Chartered van driver Tawee Singsan told Matichon online he was paid 6,000 baht to take 11 passengers from Buri Ram to the court, leaving the province on the night of July 31.

He had no political motive in driving the people to the court. "It's what I do for a living. I go anywhere my customers ask me to," he said.

Chanakan Prommoon, chairman of the chartered van club took the drivers to the police station. He said all of them were just providing a service for customers and had no political affiliation to the former prime minister.


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