A policeman from the Pattaya police station has been transferred to an inactive post pending an investigation into a claim that he had extorted 30,000 baht from a Chinese tourist who was caught carrying an illegal vape.
The concerned officer, Pol Snr. Sgt-Major Noppakrit “Khai” Pornwatthanakit, head of the Traffic Division at the Pattaya police station, was accused by several Thai media outlets of extorting 30,000 baht from an unidentified Chinese tourist on Pattaya Walking Street around January 28th or 29th.
Thai media reported that the accused officer initially demanded 60,000 baht as a “fine” from the tourist who was caught having a vaping device in their possession, which is illegal in Thailand.
The tourist bargained it down to 30,000 baht and gave it to the officer who subsequently released the tourist without giving a fine ticket.
The tourist then shared their peculiar experience with an unidentified tour guide who later contacted the Thai media to help spread the news in the hope that it would make headlines like the case of a Taiwanese actress, Charlene An, who also experienced a similar incident during her vacation in Bangkok.
According to an initial probe, there were indications of validity in the incident, Pol Maj Gen. Kampon Leelapraphaporn, Chonburi Provincial Police Commander, said in a statement issued on January 31st.
As a result, the concerned officer Pol Snr. Sgt-Major Noppakrit had been moved to an inactive post at the Chonburi Provincial Police Operations Center, pending a probe by a fact-finding panel.
Pol Major Gen. Kampon stated that relevant officers were looking into CCTV recordings of the incident and interviewing witnesses. To protect Pattaya’s dignified image, legal action would be taken if the accused was found guilty.
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