Two Malaysian victims told local media that corrupt Royal Thai Police solicited bribes of 100,000 baht to return their stolen cars which were taken from their native country and driven to Thailand.
The Malaysian news agency, The Star, reported that the cars were stolen from Malaysia and shipped to Thailand. The media also added that RTP officers were involved in the car smuggling.
The Star reported that a Malaysian man named Zack rented a four-wheel car to a man in Kuala Lumpur. The nationality of the renter has not been reported.
Zack said he tracked his car’s GPS system at 10pm on that day and found it was still in Malaysia. However, Zack woke the following day to find that his car was in Narathiwat province, in the southern part of Thailand.
The Star revealed that it took about 12 hours to drive a car from Kuala Lumpur to Narathiwat.
Zack said he reported the issue to the local police in the evening but an officer told him that renting his car was illegal. The officers then told him to find a towing service and get his car back on his own.
Zack reported that his car was then moved to another location. A Thai friend checked the location of his car and discovered that it was parked at the house of an influential person in the Sadao district of Songkhla province.
Zack and his wife travelled to the Sadao district and kept track of the car. He found that his car had been moved to a district wrecking yard and called the RTP from Sadao Police Station to help get it back.
Zack claims that the RTP told him to pick up his car and drive back to Malaysia. He was pleased that everything appeared to be OK and rushed to the yard. When he arrived RTP officers told him that he had to pay 3,000 Malaysian ringgit, about 23,000 baht, if he wanted his car back.
Zack added that the officer called the money a “gift.” Zack agreed to pay to get his car back and later found that a dash camera, spare tyre, and car rugs had been removed.
The Star also reported the story of another victim, Fatima. Fatima told The Star that she parked her car at home and woke up in the morning to find that it had been mysteriously driven to Narathiwat.
The 53 year old said that she contacted a friend who could communicate in Thai and tracked the car to a house near Sadao Police Station.
Fatima and her family travelled to the spot and discovered that the car registration plate had been changed and a car radio antenna had been removed.
Fatima claimed that RTP officers asked for 10,000 Malaysian ringgit, about 77,000 baht, to get her car back. The officers threatened to sell the vehicle if she could not find the money within 30 minutes. She managed to obtain the money and paid it on time.
At the time of press, there was no information to reveal whether there is an investigation into the RTP’s dastardly deeds or whether anyone will be prosecuted. But one thing is certain, police corruption never appears to be far from the surface and continues to be a perpetual cancer in the Kingdom of Thailand.