Pattaya police panel denies extortion of bar owners after ‘bribe list’ goes viral
Accusations that Pattaya police routinely demand bribes from entertainment venue operators are untrue, the city police audit and monitoring committee said on Monday.
The committee was responding after a list of alleged police bribery rates for Pattaya entertainment venues was shared widely on social media. The alleged bribes range from 9,000 to 30,000 baht per month depending on the business type.
The original poster also attached a photo of police officers sitting in an Italian-style restaurant, and urged National Police to investigate alleged bribery by officers in Pattaya.
Amporn Kaewsaeng, chairwoman of the Pattaya police audit committee, denied the allegations and said the officers pictured were taking part in the police audit committee’s meeting on operation guidelines.
She said entertainment venue operators had been invited to the meeting to resolve any misunderstandings and ensure they obeyed the law.
"The photo shows an outdoor meeting of Pattaya City Police Station's police audit and monitoring committee," she said.
Amporn warned the committee will take legal action against anyone who posts such messages tarnishing its reputation.
Lumpung “Lisa” Hamilton, chairwoman of the Pattaya Entertainment Operators Club, has pleaded for fair treatment from the police, saying the issue is impacting tourism and entertainment venues as they struggle to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Two owners of venues on the alleged police bribery list have denied making under-the-table payments to stay open. Supattra Cholapol and Pichai Plienphol said they could not afford to pay the high rates on the list. They also questioned its accuracy given that some venues listed had shut down.
However, both operators echoed Lumpung in saying that the issue was affecting Pattaya tourism and entertainment venues.