20 July 2024

A traffic police officer, suspected of having demanded money from a Japanese national, has been transferred to an “inactive post”, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Pol Lt Gen Thiti Sangsawang said today.

At Tha Rua police station, a complaint has been filed against the officer for the solicitation of a bribe, Thiti said.

The incident, believed to have taken place several years ago, recently came to light when a video clip of the encounter was posted on Thai social media.

Shot from inside a vehicle driven by a Japanese driver, the clip shows him being stopped by a traffic officer, who issued him a ticket.

The officer handed the driver the ticket, but the driver said he could not read it because it was all in Thai. He asked the officer where he could pay the fine or if he could pay it on the spot.

The officer then told him to pay there and then, so the driver was about to hand over a 500 Baht banknote when the officer is heard saying, in English, “put under, put under.”

The driver placed the money under the ticket and handed it back to the officer.

The driver then drove away, remarking, “This only happens in Thailand, definitely not in Japan.” The driver was a famous YouTuber exploring Thailand for his channel.

Thiti said the officer in question, now a lieutenant, held the rank of sergeant when the incident occurred, sometime between 2016 and 2019.

Thiti added that he has already spoken to the officer, who claimed he vaguely remembered stopping a car at the Ranong intersection.

“The officer said he did not remember much about the incident and requested more time to review the details,” he said.