Thai National Police chief apologises for the ‘bad 7’ in Taiwanese actress case
National Police chief Pol General Damrongsak Kittiprapas has issued an apology for the deeds of the seven police officers who allegedly extorted money from a Taiwanese actress.
“I would like to apologise to the people and affected persons, who suffered damages from the actions taken by the [seven] policemen,” Damrongsak told reporters on Tuesday.
He added that these seven officers were a tiny part of Thailand’s police force, who have been working to serve the people and the country.
“I would like to assure the people and foreign tourists that they can have confidence in police operations. I will instruct immigration and tourist police to work with transparency and integrity,” Damrongsak said.
The National Police chief was referring to the case in which two police captains and five sergeants from Bangkok’s Huay Kwang Police Station allegedly extorted 27,000 baht from a Taiwanese actress for turning a blind eye to the vaping device in her possession in the early hours of January 5.
After returning to Taiwan, the actress –Charlene An (An Yu-qing) – cried foul on social media saying that Thai police were bad and had extorted 27,000 baht from her. It was reported that a Singaporean member of her group had given the money to the police at the checkpoint in front of the Chinese embassy.
Damrongsak said he has instructed the Metropolitan Police Bureau chief to speed up the fact-finding process and send police officers to interview the actress in Taiwan and her friend in Singapore as witnesses if necessary.
“But if the witnesses are too afraid to cooperate, we may coordinate with Interpol to seek their testimony. We are open to receiving information from all channels,” Damrongsak added.
When asked about reports that the seven police officers had admitted to dereliction of duty but refused to admit they demanded a bribe, Damrongsak said a disciplinary committee was still investigating this point.
He said he has had the Huay Kwang Police Station chief transferred because he erred in his responsibility to govern his subordinates.
If the seven policemen are convicted, the deputy police station chief, the chief inspector and his deputies will also face a transfer, Damrongsak said.
He added that he will put in place measures to ensure police officers work with transparency, and one of these measures will be to mount body cameras on every officer on duty. He said he will seek funding for these body cameras.