PHUKET: The leading representative in Phuket for the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has called on Colin Vard to file a formal complaint so that the Royal Thai Navy can launch an investigation into allegations of inaction by police into death threats, kidnapping and property fraud.
The call follows Mr Vard’s 15-year-old daughter Jessie posting a video on her “Justice for Jessie” Facebook page on February 3, in which she pleads for justice for her family, who have allegedly suffered from years of police corruption, death threats, property fraud and kidnapping (story here).
The video has since gone viral. As of Wednesday afternoon, the video had attracted 98,286 views, 3,114 likes, 350 comments and 2,867 shares.
The “Jessie for Justice” page had drawn more than 350,000 visitors in the preceding 24 hours.
The video as of today has garnered 130,000 views and 3,600 shares.
Jessie posted the video ahead of her father appearing in front of the press in Bangkok on February 12, asking for justice in a more than 64-million-baht property fraud case dating back to 2009.
At the press conference, Mr Vard handed national police spokesman Prawut Thavonsiri documents supporting his case of the alleged fraud.
Lt Gen Prawut promised to investigate the more than five-year-old case as soon as possible, the Thai news portal Manager Online reported.
Regardless, Capt Borworn Promkaewngam of the Navy’s Third Area Command in Phuket has called for Mr Vard to file a complaint through the Damrongtham Center (ombudsman’s office) at Phuket Provincial Hall.
“I was not aware of the case,” Capt Borworn, who heads the Internal Security Operations Command in Phuket, told the Phuket Gazette.
“However, I suggest that he file a complaint through the Damrongtham Center. They will pass it on to me and the governor [Nisit Jansomwong]. We will take it from there.”
Maj Gen Krajang Suwannarat, the Region 8 Police deputy commander in charge of Phuket, told the Gazette that he also was unaware of the Vard case, and that he was powerless to take any action without a complaint or an order from his superiors to investigate the claims.
“I have yet to receive any orders regarding this, but if I do, of course we will investigate,” he said.
Phuket Provincial Police Commander Patchara Boonyasit, although aware of the case, also said his hands were tied.
“I am aware of Mr Vard filing his complaint to Gen Prawut, but at this stage I have not received any orders to investigate,” he told the Gazette.
“At the moment, there is nothing we can do, but as soon as we receive official orders from our commanding officers, we will investigate the complaint.”
— Chutharat Plerin