Top National Thailand Stories From the Past Week: Police Extorted Money From Taiwanese Actress, French Fugitive Arrested, and more

Here is a look at the top NATIONAL Thailand stories, chosen by our Pattaya News/TPN National team, from last week, Monday, January 30th, 2023, to Sunday, February 5th, 2023. They are not in any particular level of importance but are listed in the order of date of publication.

Let’s get started and see what the top stories were!

  1. Whistleblowing former politician Chuwit Kamolvisit posted on his Facebook wall that Thai police did extort money from a Taiwanese actress and her friends, adding if the police continued to lie and blame the victim, he would expose them with evidence.

The chief of the Huai Khwang police station where seven policemen were accused of extorting 27,000 baht from a Taiwanese actress has been transferred, pending an investigation of his subordinates.

Six Thai checkpoint policemen accused of extorting 27,000 baht from a visiting Taiwanese actress, Charlene An, and her friends have been charged with bribery on Thursday, February 2nd.

Thai checkpoint police have been ordered by the national police chief to store their body cam recordings for at least 20 days, following viral extortion cases against visiting tourists.

2. Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn said on February 3rd, that Thailand should amend the law to legalize e-cigarettes to reflect the lives of people in many developed countries.

A Thai senior police officer from the Legal and Litigation Department said that anyone caught carrying e-cigarettes or vapes can be fined up to 500,000 baht and get a maximum jail term of five years.

3. The Tourism Industry Council of Thailand predicted to see more than 30 million tourists traveling to Thailand throughout 2023, pumping 3 trillion baht into the country’s economic circulation.

The council chairman believed that tourist demand in 2023 would double that of last year, adding all government agencies should treat this matter like it was a national agenda.

4. A survey, which asked 200 Western tourists in Thailand, found that overpriced taxi services are the top complaint among foreign tourists in Bangkok.

Apart from taxi services, poor garbage management and facilitation at the airport, air pollution, and dirty tourist attractions also saw a high dissatisfaction score, according to TCT.

5. A French man was arrested on extortion charges after he allegedly went around extorting money from ex-pats in Pattaya, blatantly claiming he had close ties with senior police officers, including the Thai deputy national police chief famously known by his nickname as “Big Joke.”

The suspect took advantage of previously being a volunteer to support police activities to snap photos with senior police and use them to back up his claim.

And, that is all for this week. Thank you as always for reading the Pattaya News/TPN News!


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Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than four years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.