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Pattaya police officers to face charges in German bribe scandal

Deputy National Police Chief Surachate Hakparn.
PHOTO: Thai Newsroom

Two Thai police officers who allegedly allowed a German tourist facing child sex charges to flee the country are to face disciplinary action. The ‘shuffling’ of the officials follows allegations made in a Deutsche Welle documentary entitled “Sex tourism in Thailand”.

A Pattaya station chief and police interrogator are accused of failing to keep 55 year old Jens Kirch in police detention and oppose his bail request.

Deputy national police chief Surachate Hakparn adds that both officers could face criminal action if bribery is found to have been a factor, as has been reported in a German documentary.

Kirch was facing charges of having sex with a minor after allegedly taking an underage girl from a bar to his Pattaya hotel room in September 2022. The documentary has put a spotlight on Pattaya’s dark underbelly and the trafficking of underage people for work in the city’s sex industry.

While the case against him was pending, in November 2022, he sought permission to leave the kingdom on a business trip. He was ordered to return for his trial at Pattaya Court later that month but failed to do so.

Surachate says the Thai authorities plan to speak with the German ambassador about the possibility of extradition, nothing that Thailand does not have an extradition agreement with Germany.

In a documentary made by German channel, Deutsche Welle, Kirch claims that prior to being allowed to leave Thailand, he paid around 700,000 baht in bail and legal fees, in addition to 1 million baht in cash to officials.

He was home in Frankfurt within 7 days of being charged in Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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