Bangkok police apologize after officers were accused of extorting Taiwanese actor


An investigation revealed that seven Bangkok police officers allegedly extorted Taiwanese actress Charlene An during her visit to the Thai capital in early January.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, National Police Chief Damrongsak Kittiprapas said officers had been found guilty in the case. would face punishment.

There are still a lot of good police. We must encourage the good and take care of the bad. I would like to point out that our city welcomes many visitors. Immigration police, tourist police and local police must take the best care of tourists. And for the incident that happened, if there is any wrongdoing, as the head of the organization, I apologize to the victims affected by what happened.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha reiterated the police chief’s statement saying, “This problem is deeply rooted. We have to separate the good [police] difficulty [police]and the real offenders must be punished.

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The incident occurred at a checkpoint in that of Bangkok Huai Khwang District, near the Chinese Embassy, ​​around 1 a.m. on January 4, reportedly wrote An on his now-deleted Instagram Stories.

Recounting the incident, the 32-year-old actress said shehas been travel with friends in a Grab taxi when Bangkok police stopped them and searched their bodies, bags and vehicles for drugs and other illegal items. Officers also reportedly noted how much money they had at the time, An told Taiwanese media after returning from Thailand.

She also said officers did not accept her visa on arrival, which was issued to her at the airport, as proof of identity, allegedly insisting it lacked certification.

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In his statement, An said they were arrested at 2:25 a.m. on January 4. She wanted to “secretly record” the incident, but the police made her delete the footage she managed to capture.

An said she and her group were then taken to the police station, where they tried to talk to officers for two to three hours.

They were discouraged from making a phone call for help unless they wanted their fees increased, An said.

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They asked us to apologize. We went out of our way to apologize, even saying it in Thai – the only thing we didn’t do was kneel down and beg. After I finished apologizing, I was still angry… I really felt very helpless and wronged.

An and his group were reportedly taken to a dark alley, away from surveillance cameras, where they were told to “pay 27,000 baht” (about $820) for their freedom. The actor noted that five other South Korean women were also detained at the station upon arrival.

New reports also said that An claimed officers put a vaping device in her hand and charged her – although she didn’t know what it was at the time. Possession of vaping devices or e-cigarettes is illegal in Thailand and can result in up to 10 years in prison.

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An’s social media post drew criticism from Thai media and social media users, with the police at the checkpoint denied all allegations.

After opening an investigation on Thursday, it was discovered that seven officers – two captains, two senior sergeant majors and three sergeants – stationed at the checkpoint had been charged with “committing malfeasance or inaction to cause damage to a particular person or having committed a dereliction of duty with dishonest intent.

Some of the officers involved are also said to have confessed to the bribery charge, the Bangkok Post reported, citing a law enforcement source.

Chuvit Kamolvisit, a former politician turned massage parlor mogul, also claimed that evidence against the officers had been suppressed, such as surveillance footage from the checkpoint and memory cards installed in their helmet cameras.

Kamolvisit also accused the officers of coercing Grab’s taxi driver into telling the media that An was drunk at the time of the incident and that the duration of the incident was much shorter than it was. .

The seven officers have been charged with dereliction of duty and have been transferred to inactive positions while the investigation is ongoing.

Following Monday’s news, An thanked Taiwanese fans and media for their support in a Instagram post.

Thank you to the BBC and all participating media in Taiwan for taking your precious time to listen and share the truth. Thank you all for your words of encouragement, support and caring to help me through this traumatic moment of “darkness”.

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