Cop escort prompts probe calls

Cop escort prompts probe calls

Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul is urging the Royal Thai Police to take swift action against three police officers who were seen on a viral video clip offering “VVIP” service to a tourist from China.

The officers — two of whom are with the Traffic Division, while the third is a Tourist Police officer — came under fire over the weekend after the Chinese tourist posted several clips to a Chinese social media platform in which she claimed to have been escorted past the immigration queue and offered a police motorcycle escort to her destination in Pattaya.

Mr Anutin yesterday reminded all state officials that using government resources for personal gain is illegal, before adding that such practice risks undermining the image of the country’s law enforcement officers, as well as the tourism sector.

Separately, Mana Nimitmongkol, security-general of the Thai Private Sector Collective Action Against Corruption, said the case shows how corruption is a perennial problem in the country.

Meanwhile, RTP spokesman Pol Maj Gen Atchayon Kraithong said a police probe found that Pol Sgt Thanakorn Nukulkij, one of the two accused traffic officers, was tasked with providing vehicular escort for Foreign Affairs Minister Don Pramudwinai until March last year. Investigators also found evidence that Pol Sgt Thanakorn and his accomplice had decorated their personal motorcycles and cars to resemble official government vehicles.

As such, Pol Maj Gen Atchayon noted, investigators have not found evidence that the trio violated any major regulation.

The probe found that there was another senior officer involved in this controversy. The officer, Pol Maj Gen Atchayon said, acted as a coordinator with tour agencies.

The trio have been charged with illegally installing a siren on a vehicle, but the RTP will consider pressing additional charges if investigators find more evidence suggesting further violations, he said.