Interior Ministry official disrupts police at Songkran checkpoint

A high-ranking government official from the Ministry of Interior caused a stir when he confronted and attempted to obstruct police officers at a traffic checkpoint during the Songkran Festival celebrations.

The incident, which took place yesterday, April 11 at around 5pm, occurred in the district of Yang Chum Noi, Sisaket Province. The man, identified as a district chief, reacted aggressively after his entourage was apprehended for drunk driving.

Amid the Songkran Festival, a period known for its increased efforts to curb traffic violations and drunk driving, a high-ranking civil servant from the Ministry of Interior found himself at the centre of a controversy.

Witnesses captured footage of the middle-aged man, dressed in a long-sleeved patterned shirt and black trousers, vocally clashing with the officers from Yang Chum Noi Police Station. The police were conducting routine checks on vehicles to enforce traffic discipline and administer breathalyzers as part of the national police’s policy to reduce accidents during the festival.

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The altercation was sparked when the district chief loudly proclaimed his status as a high-ranking official and accused the police of disrespecting him. The officers replied by reminding the man that, as a senior civil servant, he should be setting a positive example.

The district chief, appearing inebriated and smelling of alcohol, became increasingly belligerent and pushed against one of the officers, who was quickly defended by his colleagues and other bystanders.

Despite the police’s attempt to arrest a member of the district chief’s party for drink driving, the official intervened, shouting at the officers and warning them not to arrest his associate. He further asserted that the police would need his approval to make purchases, such as firearms, hinting at his authority and influence.

The public, having witnessed the event, widely criticised the district chief’s behaviour. It was seen as highly inappropriate, especially given his role in government and the ongoing efforts to ensure public safety during the holiday period.

The incident has led to calls for serious legal action against the district chief by the local community, demanding that the provincial governor of Sisaket, Anupong Suksomnit, and the regional police commander, Pol. Maj. Gen. Phisanu Wathu, pursuing charges of drunk driving and obstructing police duty, reported Khaosod.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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