The Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) is investigating an alleged extortion incident involving Huai Khwang police officers. They fronted up to Thai media today admitting to ‘tampering with evidence’.
The police officers are accused of extorting 27,000 baht from a Taiwanese actress – aka. Charlene An – during a road checkpoint stop on Rachadpisek Road. The MPB statement did not confirm the extortion but offered an apology for the police officers’ conduct in releasing the actress instead of charging her for illegal possession of an electronic cigarette.
But whistleblower and ‘soapy king’, Chuwit Kamolvisit, claimed on his Facebook page that a police officer from the Huai Khwang station had admitted to the extortion and senior MPB officers initially defended the officers before changing their approach.
Chuwit also alleges that the CCTV footage from the night of the actress’ car stop has been tampered with, and footage from a police bodycam has been erased. According to informed sources, 7 Huai Khwang police officers were involved in the extortion and split the 27,000 baht.
He went further, claiming that MPB chief Thiti Saengsawang had ordered Metropolitan Police Division 1 commander Pol Maj-General Attaporn Wongsiripreeda and Huai Khwang police station chief Yingyos Suwanno to take four steps to cover up the incident, including…
- Delete footage from the Chinese Embassy’s CCTV cameras and police body cameras.
- Persuade the Grab taxi driver to say that he stayed at the checkpoint for 40 minutes, had no video of the incident, and that the Taiwanese actress was drunk.
- Release video clips to discredit An.
- Counter the extortion claim by declaring that she had made up the story.
Chuwit’s list of claims were published by Nation Thailand.
The MPB spokesperson today told media that the officers face disciplinary action and criminal charges for not following proper procedure.
The extortion incident is one of several recent scandals involving Thai police and the Department of Special Investigation. 191 patrol and special operation police and some DSI officials are accused of taking bribes from Chinese businessmen, including one with an Interpol warrant. Three Thai army generals have also been implicated in the ‘Tuhao’ scandal.
Two traffic police and a tourist police officer are accused of providing escort services to Chinese tourists using vehicles modified to look like police cars.