Police in southern Thailand accused of extorting 230,000 baht

Photo via Facebook/ MGR Online ภาคใต้

A Thai man accused officers from La Mae Police Station in the southern province of Chumphon of extorting 230,000 baht from him. He said he was falsely charged during a random road checkpoint inspection.

Suwit Khamjean met with his lawyer yesterday to address the issue and took the opportunity to share his story with the media. Urging news outlets to spread awareness, Suwit hopes to catch the attention of the Commissioner of the Royal Thai Police (RTP) regarding his complaint.

Suwit, who owns a garage in Surat Thani province, recounted the events of Friday, May 12 when he was en route to Bangkok, transporting a pickup car on a trailer to his brother’s garage. Upon reaching the checkpoint in Chumphon, he was instructed to halt for inspection. Suwit cooperated and provided all the necessary documents, but to his dismay, it wasn’t sufficient.

According to Suwit, the officers informed him that he could not proceed with his journey unless the actual owner of the car accompanied him. Suwit tried to explain that the pickup belonged to one of his customers and that it was impractical to contact the customer in the middle of the night.

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Suwit said he made a call to a lawyer to ask for suggestions. He said he ended up transferring 30,000 baht to the officers to continue the journey. He said this incident marked the breaking point for him, prompting him to take a stand against the extortion he had endured.

Suwit claimed that he had been extorted twice before, amounting to 230,000 baht. He disclosed that he gave the police 160,000 baht two years ago. The second extortion occurred on March 4 of last year, but he did not mention how much he had paid.

Suwit added that he was not the only victim of these police officers, other residents were too afraid to pass through the checkpoint, fearing they would also fall victim to this extortion.

ThaiRath reported that an unidentified police officer reached out to Suwit following the publication of his story by various media outlets. The person urged Suwit not to reveal his name to the public stating that he had no involvement in the illicit action.

As of now, there have been no reports or updates in the media regarding any clarifications or developments in the case.

The case is similar to what the Taiwanese actress, An Yu-Qing, experienced at the beginning of this year when she travelled with friends in Bangkok. She revealed that Thai police extorted 27,000 baht from her and her friend. The actress exposed the activities of the Thai police corruption on social media making it became viral both in Thailand and Taiwan.

The RTP finally admitted that seven police officers from the Huay Kwang Police Station did extort the money from the actress at a road checkpoint.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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