BANGKOK, Jan 31 (The Nation Thailand/ANN): Seven police officers from Bangkok’s Huay Kwang Police Station have been transferred and charged with dereliction of duty for allegedly extorting 27,000 baht from a Taiwanese actress early this month.
Pol Maj-General Attaporn Wongsiripreeda, commander of the Metropolitan Police Division 1, signed an order on Monday transferring two captains and five sergeants to inactive posts so a strict disciplinary investigation can take place.
The seven officers have been identified as:
- Pol Captain Yodrit Langdulsen, deputy crime suppression inspector at Huay Kwang Police Station
- Pol Captain Patiphan Sirichaiwatana, deputy administration inspector
- Pol Snr Sgt-Major Ativej Jullaphan, crime suppression and prevention officer
- Pol Snr Sgt-Major Krissada Khammana, crime suppression and prevention officer
- Pol Sergeant Chalermchai Siriwangso, crime suppression and prevention officer
- Pol Sergeant Watcharanon Khaoyong, crime suppression and prevention officer
- Pol Sergeant Nanthawat Suwanna, crime suppression and prevention officer
The transfer orders took immediate effect.
The seven officers were accused of extorting 27,000 baht from Taiwanese actress Charlene An (An Yu-qing) at a temporary checkpoint in front of the Chinese embassy in the early hours of January 5.
The actress, who debuted in the film “Perfect Girl”, dropped a bombshell with a social-media post in which she accused Thai police of planting a vaping device on her and demanding 27,000 baht in exchange for her freedom.
Her allegation caught the attention of netizens in both countries, prompting the Metropolitan Police Bureau to issue an order on January 26 to set up a fact-finding committee.
On Monday, the fact-finding panel filed charges against the seven police officers at Huay Kwang Police Station, accusing them of “committing malfeasance or nonfeasance to cause damage against a particular person or committing dereliction of duty with dishonest intention”.
Also on Monday, the Metropolitan Police Bureau set up another disciplinary panel to probe the seven policemen.
The National Police chief has also held the Huay Kwang Police Station chief responsible for the scandal and has issued an order transferring him to an inactive post.
Earlier, the panel had found grounds to believe that the seven policemen had found the vaping device on the actress, but chose not to confiscate the item or arrest her and take legal action.
The panel also found grounds for charging the seven policemen at the checkpoint with committing nonfeasance in violation of Section 157 of the Criminal Code.
The import and sale of e-cigarettes is banned in Thailand and the possession of such devices is unlawful. Though Thai police do not normally go after users of e-cigarette devices, they are required by the law not to turn a blind eye once they spot anyone having a vaping device in their possession. - The Nation Thailand/ANN