An investigation has found that seven Bangkok police officers allegedly extorted Taiwanese actress Charlene An while she was visiting the Thai capital in early January.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, National Police Chief Damrongsak Kittiprapas said the officers had been found guilty in the case. would face punishment.
There are still plenty of good cops. We must encourage the good and deal with the bad. I would like to emphasize that our city receives many visitors. Immigration police, tourist police and local police must take the best possible care of tourists. And for the incident that happened, if there is misconduct, 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 has deep roots. We need to separate the good [police] of the bad [police]and true offenders must face punishment.”
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The incident occurred at a checkpoint in bangkok Huai Khwang district, near the Chinese embassy, around 1 am on January 2. 4, An reportedly wrote on her now-deleted Instagram Stories.
Recounting the incident, the 32-year-old actress said thatwas 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. The officers also allegedly noted how much money they had at the time, An told Taiwanese media after returning from thailand.
He also said that the officers did not accept his visa on arrival, which was given to him at the airport, as a credential, claiming that he was not certified.
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In his statement, An said that they were detained at 2:25 am on January 2. 4. She wanted to “secretly record” the incident, but the officers forced her to delete the footage she managed to capture.
An said that she and her group were later taken to the police station, where they tried to talk to the officers for two to three hours.
They were discouraged from making a phone call for help unless they wanted their charges increased, An said.
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They demanded an apology. We did everything we could to apologize, even saying it in Thai; The only thing we didn’t do was get down on our knees and beg. After I finished apologizing, I was still angry… I really felt very powerless and wronged.
An and his group were allegedly taken to a dark alley, away from surveillance cameras, where they were ordered to “pay 27,000 baht” (approximately $820) for their freedom. The actor noted that five other South Korean women were also being held at the station when they arrived.
New reports also said An claimed officers put a vaping device in her hand and charged her for it, though she did not know what it was at the time. Possessing vaping devices or electronic cigarettes is illegal in Thailand and may result in up to 10 years in jail.
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An’s social media post drew criticism from Thai media and social media users, with policeman at the checkpoint denying all accusations.
After launching an investigation on Thursday, it was found that seven officers (two captains, two senior master sergeants and three sergeants) stationed at the checkpoint had been charged with “committing wrongdoing or negligence to cause harm to a particular person.” or commit negligence in the line of duty”. . “with dishonest intent”
Some of the officers involved reportedly also confessed to the bribery charge, the bangkok daily reported, citing a police source.
Chuvit Kamolvisit, a former politician turned massage parlor magnate, also claimed that evidence against the officers, such as surveillance footage from the checkpoint and memory cards installed in their helmet cameras, had been removed.
Kamolvisit also accused the officers of forcing the taxi driver Grab to tell the media that An was drunk at the time of the incident and that the duration of the incident was much shorter than it actually was.
The seven police officers have been charged with dereliction of duty and have been moved to inactive positions while the investigation continues.
Following the news on Monday, An thanked Taiwanese fans and media for their support in a instagram posts.
Thank you to the BBC and all the participating media in Taiwan for taking your valuable time to listen and share the truth. Thank you all for your words of encouragement, support and care in helping me walk through this traumatic time of ‘darkness’.
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