Pattaya has a new police chief in town. The new chief, Pol. Col. Thanapong Phothi, pledged to prioritise tourists’ safety when he joined Pattaya Police Station yesterday.
A crowd of police officers, city officials, and business people happily welcomed Thanapong. Thanapong is a long-time Pattaya dweller, who has previously served in other roles in and around the city. He said he was not nervous about leading the Pattaya Police force because the city was his “old home.”
Thanapong said that Pattaya is a world-class destination where people from all corners of the globe come to visit, so it was essential to keep everyone safe to maintain a positive image of the city.
He also promised to take care of all 400 police officers at the station, saying that all officers were eager to exceed expectations in improving the city.
The new chief said he was eager to perform his duties, and care for tourists and residents in all areas, especially security, The Pattaya News reported.
This news comes in the middle of a tense time for Pattaya Police. Just yesterday, it was reported that a senior police sergeant major from the station was transferred to Chon Buri Police Headquarters after admitting he illegally fined Chinese tourists 30,000 baht for carrying vapes.
A Professional Tourist Guide Association of Thailand committee member, Paisarn Suethanuwong, said he received a complaint that an officer fined Chinese tourists 60,000 baht for using and carrying e-cigarettes before reducing the fine to 30,000 baht.
According to the minister of Tourism and Sports, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, and the famous lawyer Kirdphon Kaewkird, Thai police cannot arrest or fine foreign tourists who carry e-cigarettes. They can only report it to the court.
The officer, Police Sergeant Major Nopphakit Pornwatthanakit, denies all allegations.
We’ll have to wait and see how issues with Pattaya Police play out under Thanapong’s leadership.
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