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Police, military deny knowledge of mystery men at rally site




Nearly a week after demonstrators clashed in Bangkok, police and defense ministry spokesmen say they have no idea who the 40 men were that appeared alongside riot police officers. The men, who donned military-style buzz cuts and civilian clothing allegedly assisted security forces during the crackdown on protesters.

At first, police spokesman Yingyot Thepchamnong denied that the men were even there, but then changed his tune after a reporter pointed out that there were photographs and video of the mysterious men. Now he says he isn’t sure what group the men belonged to.

“Those 30, 40 people who assembled, I have no idea either which group they belonged to. But we are investigating. According to our protocols, the people in charge of the crowd control operations would wear uniforms when conducting their duties in order to avoid any misunderstanding. There were also some plain-cloth officers, but they were usually scattered around the demonstration area.”

The men stood in 2 organised lines just behind the riot police during a confrontation with demonstrators in front of Grand Palace with most wearing white-coloured construction helmets. The men presented no identification documents and police made no attempt to have them leave the scene.

Defense Ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantravanich also denied in a phone call that the group of men were connected to the armed forces.

“We are not related to them at all. You have to ask the police.”

But many protesters believe that the men belonged to the authorities as they say they saw similar unidentified men working closely with security officers at past demonstrations. The men even earned the nickname as “Minions” after the cartoon character.

Police reform activist Somsri Hananuntasuk says this method of deploying unidentified men in civilian clothes is not in line with international standards of crowd control.

“Why wear casual clothes? Why not clearly identify themselves to the public who they were? There was no need for plain-cloth officers at all, unless you want to infiltrate the protest and blame the demonstrators when there was violence.”

Nonviolence advocate Gothom Arya also voiced his concerns over no one seeming to know who the men were. He is asking authorities to come clean about their agents involved in the protests.

“If there were security officers in operation, they must identify themselves as such. Police must have an answer. They can’t just deny knowledge of the men. If they were in the area, police must know which side they belong to.”

SOURCE: Khaosod English


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  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    That is why these police wear respirators. It is not because of tear gas, it is to hide their long noses.

  2. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 5:34 pm

    Strange – very strange. If police, why draw attention to themselves by being out of uniform?

    Did they do anything other than “mingling”?

    It all just seems not only pointless, but deliberately odd.

    • Avatar


      Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 6:09 pm

      I know from reading your comments just how much you like to dissect things into tiny details, IJ, so just for you, mingling means ‘To move among and engage with others at a social function’ The report says ‘The men stood in 2 organised lines just behind the riot police during a confrontation with demonstrators.’ Hardly the definition of ‘mingling’ there IJ, unless they led a charge against the demonstrators, at which point I guess that they could then have been said to have been ‘mingling’. 🙂

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 6:38 pm

        “mingling” was the word used in all the English language reports, Pedro, not my choice.

        They were clearly in no position to “lead a charge against the demonstrators”, though – most were wearing trainers, some wearing shorts, most wearing T-shirts of various colours, and a few with white construction helmets like some of the protesters.

        The only thing they all had in common was short hair and aged mid 20’s to 30’s.

        Very odd.

        • Avatar

          Toby Andrews

          Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 11:28 pm

          Very odd! Speak the truth although it will pain you to do so.
          These are Thai secret police there to do atrocities against Thai citizen protesters.
          Unidentified and untraceable.
          The thugs of a dictator government.
          Do not make excuses or a rotten Thai government.

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Friday, February 19, 2021 at 1:34 am

            They were anything but “secret”, Toby!

            If you look at the vids, they didn’t mind a press photographer walking slowly past them, close up, filming them all.

            If you want to do any “atrocities” to any “citizen protesters” you wait until they’re arrested and on the floor in the back of the truck / van / whatever, close the door, and then help yourself. That’s how everyone does it!

            You don’t turn up in civvies, make yourself noticed, then let the press take your photo!

  3. Avatar


    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    Not odd or pointless ij they were thier for a reason of which will come out but my thoughts are to attack the demonstrators but your thoughts would not ever think this of course ,the police denied they were thier then they admit they were once video and photographic evidence is shown bit like you in denial of being a areshole 555

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 7:00 pm

      Your “thoughts” make your lack of the experience you claim more than clear, Ian.

      They were wearing trainers; many were wearing jeans or shorts; T-shirts. Only a few had construction helmets.

      There were only a few of them.

      If they’d been stupid enough to “attack the demonstrators” they’d have had the sh1t kicked out of them as they weren’t dressed for it – they’d have been wearing boots, loose jeans and long sleeves.

      If they’d been there to “have a word” with those arrested they’d at least have been wearing boots.

      If they’d been there to grab a particular protester they’d have been “mingling” with the protesters, not paraded for all to see behind the police line.

      Just odd.

  4. Avatar


    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 7:33 pm

    Ij in uk police wear civvies and mingle with football hooligans gangsters ECT and infiltrate these gangs I hope the protesters are wise enough to not allow this to happen

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 8:44 pm

      Wow. Who’d have guessed it? 😮

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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