Police officers at a checkpoint in Bangkok’s Huay Kwang district admitted to extorting 27,000 baht (RM3,485) from a Taiwanese actress in exchange for letting her off after allegedly finding a vaping device on her.
A Royal Thai Police (RTP) source said policemen manning a temporary checkpoint in front of the Chinese embassy in the early hours of Jan 5 admitted to extorting the money while being interrogated separately on Sunday.
Pol Lt-Gen Thiti Saengsawang, commissioner of the Metropolitan Bureau, confirmed the reported confessions yesterday but did not provide details.
The RTP, already reeling from a series of scandals, was hit again when Taiwanese actress Charlene An (pic) posted a TikTok video earlier this month alleging that she and her friends were stopped at the checkpoint and police planted a vaping device on her before demanding 27,000 baht to let her go free.
Thailand bans the import and sale of e-cigarettes and the possession of vaping devices is unlawful.
An claimed she and her friends were held at the checkpoint for two hours and were only let go after they paid the bribe.
However, footage from several security cameras in the area proved that her allegations were inaccurate, as she was seen holding and using the vaping device before being stopped by the police. CCTV footage also showed that she and her friends were held at the checkpoint for 47 minutes, not two hours.
While footage from security cameras appeared to contradict her account, whistleblowing former politician and massage parlour tycoon Chuwit Kamolvisit came to her rescue yesterday, saying he had a clip showing one of An’s friends paying the bribe to a plainclothes policeman.
Thiti said yesterday that investigators had now shifted to filing charges.
“Several police officers will be charged,” he said without elaborating.
“I want to apologise to everybody for some police officers’ actions that have damaged the image of Thailand and Thai society.” — The Nation/ANN