Thai staffer arrested after secret cameras found in female toilets at Bangkok’s Australian Embassy

Thai police have now arrested a former staff member at Australia’s embassy in Bangkok. The arrest follows the discovery of of hidden “spy” cameras in the embassy’s female bathrooms. The former embassy staffer was arrested last month.

At this stage it is not known how long the cameras had been in place, what they recorded or whose privacy has been violated by the discovery. The cameras were only found after an SD card (digital recording card) was found on the floor of the female bathrooms. The cameras were allegedly pointed towards the female showers and toilet cubicles.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has confirmed that the former Thai staff member was arrested by Royal Thai Police on January 6.

The former employee has been named as Bank Thamsongsana, a married man in his 30s, and is reported by Australia’s ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) to have dual Australian and Thai citizenship, and had been employed as an IT systems manager since 2013. Before his employment in the Bangkok embassy the man had lived and studied in Australia, and been employed in other Australian government positions.

An unnamed ABC staffer, based in the Australian embassy, told the ABC that female staff are “very anxious”.

“Some of the women don’t feel safe to stay there. They feel compromised and threatened.”

Thai Police have told the ABC that the matter was “a sensitive case” and that it “involved many people”.

Australia’s embassy in Thailand is meant to be a secure government building and questions are being asked how such a security breach could have occurred. The new embassy building has only been in use since 2017 when the Australian Embassy moved from its former iconic Sathorn Road location.


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Tim Newton

Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2011. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 42 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program (public radio Australia), presented over 11,000 radio news bulletins, 3,950 in Thailand alone, hosted 1050 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. He also reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand.