KATHU: Siripong Sripayang, deputy district officer of Kathu District, is to head an investigation into the beatings of five staff of the Tara Patong Hotel on March 13, allegedly by undercover police from Kathu Police Station, the Gazette learned today In the meantime, the accused officers will remain on duty, said Pol Lt Col Jarus Jetsadawan, Deputy Superintendent of Kathu Police Station. “The policemen are still working,” he told the Gazette. “But if they are found guilty, we will have to first remove them from our station as requested by the [Tara Patong] hotel. The law will then decide what will happen to them and what their punishments will be.” In a meeting on Monday with the police station’s Superintendent, Pol Col Kokiat Wongworachart, the management of the hotel had demanded that the seven officers be suspended from duty. Managers also demanded compensation of 550,000 baht for the five victims. Lt Col Jarus said, “About the money, we have not confirmed or promised them anything. It depends on how the case turns out.” Meanwhile, Piyapong Kwanmuang, 20, a bellboy at the hotel who was hospitalized after the beating at the Galaxy Disco on Soi Sunset, Patong, left Wachira Hospital on Tuesday, accompanied by a bodyguard sent from Bangkok by his uncle, Pol Maj Gen Asawin Kwanmuang, the Commissioner of the Crime Suppression Division. Sutham Sae-Jia, personnel manager at the Tara Patong, said that two more bodyguards had since arrived from Bangkok to look after Piyapong.
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