A Thai lawyer has denied allegations that a German expat who was arrested on child sexual abuse charges in Pattaya paid a bribe of 1 million baht to escape Thailand.
The allegations first surfaced in a German documentary published on YouTube on November 2nd, 2023. The German media stated that the German expat, identified as Mr. Jens Kirch, paid a bribe to Thai officials to leave the country.
Mr. Jens, a 55-year-old German national, was arrested in September last year following a Pattaya police investigation into an alleged prostitution ring operating at the Cobra Beer Bar nightclub.
Mr. Jens was charged with child sexual abuse; however, he was later released on bail on September 26th, 2022, before leaving Thailand for his home country. In a subsequent interview with German media, he alleged that he had to pay a one-million-baht bribe to Thai officials to facilitate his departure.
The allegations quickly made headlines in Thailand, prompting the Royal Thai Police to launch a serious probe into the incident. Mr. Parinya Promsak, Mr. Jens’s lawyer at that time, also came out to provide clarification to present the other side of the story.
According to Mr. Parinya’s account, Mr. Jens was indeed allowed to leave Thailand, but he was due to return on November 14th, 2022, to face trial.
Mr. Parinya said that Mr. Jens was granted permission to leave the country because he claimed that he had to return to Germany to attend a business meeting with his partners to verify his identity because his foreign bank accounts had been frozen.
The lawyer further stated that the money that was mentioned in the German media was actually used to pay for Mr. Jens’s legal fees, adding Mr. Jens paid a bail of 500,000 baht to the court, and that the remaining money was used to cover the legal expenses.
Another reason the German suspect was permitted to exit the country was because he lived in Thailand and had a Thai wife. He also operated a business in the country, the lawyer stated.
Mr. Parinya emphasized that Mr. Jens’s false allegations were causing great damage to Thailand and its law enforcement officials.
Meanwhile, Thai authorities had closed down the Cobra Beer Bar nightclub, where the alleged prostitution ring operated, since 2022.
The case has been prominently featured on much Thai media, causing intense debate, despite being over a year old.
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