Bangkok police offer public apology, but do not admit to extortion of Taiwanese actress
The Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) said in a statement issued today (Monday) that they are investigating an allegation that a group of Huai Khwang police extorted 27,000 baht from a Taiwanese actress, found in possession of an electronic cigarette, during a stop at a road checkpoint.
The MPB said it wants to hear from witnesses who paid the bribe and to whom, in exchange for releasing the actress without charge. It declined to admit, however, that Huai Khwang police had extorted money from the actress as alleged, claiming that there are some conflicting details in the allegation which need to be cleared up.
The MPB did, nonetheless, offer a public apology for the conduct of Huai Khwang police officers in allowing the Taiwanese actress to be released instead of charging her for illegal possession of an electronic cigarette.
The officers in question, said the statement, will face disciplinary action and criminal litigation for not performing their duty properly.
The alleged extortion of money from a Taiwanese actress is the latest of a string of scandals, implicating Thai police and officials from the Department of Special Investigation.
A group of 191 patrol and special operations police and some DSI officials are currently accused of taking bribes from a group of Chinese businessmen, including one who is on Interpol’s wanted list, during a raid on the rented house of a former consul-general of the Republic of Nauru. Two traffic police and a tourist police officer are accused of providing car escort services to Chinese tourists, using their private vehicles, modified to look like police cars and equipped with a siren.
Whistle-blower Chuwit Kamolvisit said in his Facebook post today that a police officer from Huai Khwang police station had admitted that he and his colleagues extorted 27,000 baht from a Taiwanese actress, who was allegedly in possession of an electronic cigarette.
The former massage parlour tycoon claimed that senior police officers at the Metropolitan Police Bureau had earlier rushed to the defence of the Huai Khwang police, denying that they extorted money from the actress.
Chuwit also claimed that the big shots in the MPB later changed their approach and instructed the Huai Khwang police officers in question to confess, after it was discovered that the Singaporean boyfriend of the actress had paid 27,000 baht to the police officers.
Chuwit also alleges that the CCTV system in front of the Chinese Embassy had been tampered with, to remove the footage from the night on which the actress’s car was pulled over, adding that the footage from a police bodycam has also been erased.
Informed police sources claim that seven Huai Khwang police officers were involved in the extortion and the 27,000 baht was allegedly divided among them on the night the actress was stopped.