'No police officer offering VIP services to tourists will be spared'
The national police chief has ordered the police inspector-general to launch an investigation after a popular Facebook page alleged that VIP fast-track entry services sponsored by Thai police have been advertised in China for more than 10 years.
Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas said on Wednesday that he had assigned the police inspector-general to set up a fact-finding committee to investigate the allegations.
“Please be assured that no one will be spared,” the national police chief said.
Damrongsak was responding to a post on the “Lui Chin” (“Shoot to China”) page that said many ads of fast-track entry services aided by Thai police have been advertised by China’s e-commerce platform Taobao for over 10 years.
The ads claim, according to the page, that Thai police could help Chinese tourists receive fast-track immigration clearance without having to stand in line and that the tourists could even hire Thai police to provide motorcade escorts to their hotels.
If the probe implicates any police officers, they will face both disciplinary and criminal action, Damrongsak said.
“But please give us some time to gather facts because it involves tourist and traffic police, and [possibly] more. There could be other accomplices, such as tour guides, so the probe will be carried out at all levels,” he said.
After the comprehensive probe is completed, the police inspector-general will tell the media who will face charges, Damrongsak said.
Damrongsak said the police inspector-general would be the sole authority to talk to the media about the scandal.
“From now on, the spokespersons of all police bureaus will not be allowed to speak on the issue as they could cause public confusion with conflicting information,” Damrongsak said.
The national police chief added that he was certain that no international terrorists had bought such services because they had been blacklisted and would not escape police scrutiny before entering the kingdom.
Uniformed officers can not provide VIP services to tourists – even after their shifts, the police chief said, adding: it would be wrong even if they used personal vehicles to escort tourists to their hotels.
The investigation will make all police personnel too afraid to ever provide such services again, Damrongsak said.
When asked whether the police would summon the Chinese influencer whose VIP service clip went viral for interrogation, Damrongsak said the woman in the clip might have left Thailand.
The Chinese woman in the clip claimed she paid 6,000 to purchase a police escort from Suvarnabhumi International Airport to her hotel in Pattaya. She also claimed police whisked her through immigration.
Her clip prompted the Facebook page to expose ads in China saying Thai police offer VIP services for a price.