21 May 2024

Taiwanese actress Charlene An, who is at the centre of a Thai police extortion scandal, broke her silence about her traumatic experience in Thailand in an interview with Taiwanese media and on social media in Taiwan last week.

According to the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB), the actress, travelling in a car, was stopped at a road checkpoint, in front of the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok, by a group of Huai Khwang police officers for a search on the night of January 5th. The officers claimed they found an electronic cigarette in her possession.

It is alleged that the police extorted 27,000 baht from her in return for letting her go without charge. Her Singaporean boyfriend reportedly paid the money to the police who divided it among them.

The seven Huai Khwang police officers, implicated in the extortion scandal, were transferred today (Tuesday). The transfer order, issued by the commander of the 2nd division of the MPB, accused the seven officers of dereliction of duty for setting the Taiwanese actress free after they found an electronic cigarette in her possession.

Their transfer came one day after their superintendent was abruptly moved to the operations centre of the MPB.

Charlene An explained in her Facebook post, saying that the Thai police lied about her owning the electronic cigarette, claiming that it was put in her hand by the police themselves and they then photographed her.

She also claimed that she never drinks alcohol and that the “bad” Thai police now want to use her to “whitewash” themselves. She also challenged the police to release the images from the CCTV system in front of the Chinese Embassy.

Whistle blower Chuwit Kamolvisit claims, however, that the footage from the CCTV system and from the police bodycam have already been erased.

On Instagram, the actress asked “Why the twisted truth and lies? I sincerely thank you all for your concern and encouragement. I have agreed to a final interview with the media. I will be sharing details of my traumatic experience in Thailand for the final time……”

The Thai Metropolitan Police Bureau yesterday offered a public apology for the Huai Khwang police’s alleged misconduct, by letting the actress go without charging her, but declined to admit that the police had extorted money from her.

In his Facebook post, Chuwit offered an apology to Charlene An, hoping that Taiwanese people will forgive and will continue to visit Thailand. He also vowed to follow up this scandal and to carry on with his exposure of police misconduct.

Chuwit also revealed an audio clip of his interview with the actress’s Singaporean boyfriend, who claimed to have paid 27,000 baht to the Huai Khwang police on her behalf.