Police escort officers face criminal probe

PHOTO: Police who offered a Chinese tourist and illegal motorcade now face a criminal probe. (via Thai Police Vehicles / Facebook)

After a social media post showing a Chinese woman getting a VIP police escort from Suvarnabhumi Airport caused an uproar, the officers involved are facing a criminal probe. Thai police have come under fire for alleged misconduct. A committee is being established to investigate and potentially take disciplinary or criminal action against four officers who are accused of providing illegal vehicle escorts to Chinese tourists.

The police officers are said to have used their private cars, which were equipped with sirens, which is illegal, and painted in police livery, to provide escort services from Suvarnabhumi Airport to tourist hotels in Bangkok.

The investigation comes after a Chinese woman, named only as “Adele,” posted a video on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, in which she recounts her experience. In the video, she states that she asked an agent about a car to pick her up at the airport and take her to Pattaya. The agent offered her a police motorcade for a fee of 7,000 baht for a police car motorcade or 6,000 baht for a police motorcycle escort.

The woman bought the service and posted a video showing a police officer in uniform collecting her straight off the plane and breezing out of the airport within five minutes. They sidestepped the immigration line and he acted as a host, even opening the car door and carrying her luggage for her.

The post showed the woman laughing as they bypassed any traffic and arrived in Pattaya in just one hour with the police car ride and a motorcycle escort.

When the video went viral, many Thai people commented very critically about the police. The Royal Thai Police (RTP) spokesman originally questioned the validity of the video by stating that a tourist could not skip immigration queues as seen in the clip.

Thai PBS World reports that National Police Chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittipraphat issued an order for the appointment of the panel to investigate the matter. The four officers have already been taken off tourist and traffic police duty and have been relegated to a desk job at the operations centre of the RTP, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Suvarnabhumi Police are responsible for handling any potential criminal litigation, but a separate committee has been established to study relevant laws and regulations and develop clear guidelines for police escort services for VIPs, to prevent similar incidents in the future.

The national police spokesperson emphasized that, in addition to the officers accused of the illegal escort, their superiors are also considered accountable for not preventing it.

Bangkok NewsCrime News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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