Thai cops indicted over extortion case with Taiwanese actress

Six Thai cops have been indicted by public prosecutors in the Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases for allegedly extorting money from a Taiwanese actress in exchange for dropping charges against her, Thai PBS reported yesterday. The officers are from Bangkok’s Huai Khwang Police Station.

According to Kosonlavat Intujunyong, deputy spokesman for the Office of the Attorney-General, the six officers have been charged with demanding and taking bribes in violation of Section 149 of the Criminal Code. The offence carries a jail term from five years to life, or the death penalty and a fine of 100,000-400,000 baht, according to Thai PBS. Kosonlavat said the 27,000 baht bribe was confiscated.

The actress, Charlene An, and her friends were stopped in a taxi by the police in front of the Chinese Embassy in Huai Khwang on January 4 for a search. The police claimed they found an e-cigarette in An’s possession and threatened to charge her with illegal possession unless she paid them the bribe. Her boyfriend later paid the money.

When she returned to Taiwan, An posted details of the incident on social media, causing a public outcry. The Royal Thai Police launched an investigation into the matter, resulting in the transfer of the six officers involved.

The first pre-trial hearing is scheduled for April 18.

After the incident happened, An revealed her horror trip to Thailand on her Instagram account saying the RTP, who she called “bastard police,” extorted 27,000 baht from her and her female friends on January 4.

Her story went viral on Thai social media after the travel blogger translated and shared the story on the Facebook page Hello Taiwan! I’m Coming! (หนีห่าวไต้หวัน ฉันมาแล้ว).

The Taiwanese actress was angry and posted on her Instagram account that the RTP were liars. She said…

“I wasn’t drunk at all! I will let all of you know again after I finish talking with Interpol. Thai police are unfair. They blamed me to make themselves clean. It’s all about their benefits! Stop talking nonsense!”

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.