Investigation ordered after Chinese visitor posts video boasting of special ride from airport
Police are looking into a Chinese tourist’s claim that she paid Thai police to obtain VVIP treatment on arriving at Suvarnabhumi airport, with immigration fast-tracked and a police motorcade provided to her hotel in Pattaya.
National police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas has been briefed about the incident and was concerned it would affect the image of the force, said Pol Maj Gen Atchayon Kraithong, the Royal Thai Police spokesman.
The chief has ordered a police inspector-general to launch a fact-finding investigation to find out whether those in the video were in fact police officers. He also wants to know what reasons were given for the special treatment and whether those involved had beached any laws or regulations, said the spokesman.
The response followed a review posted by a Chinese woman of her trip to Thailand on the account @choudan0302 on Douyin — the Chinese version of TikTok. The video quickly went viral and local comments about the police were not complimentary.
The woman said in the video that she had contacted an agent about having a car pick her up at the airport to take her to Pattaya, and that person had asked whether she wanted a police motorcade or not. People in police uniforms would come to pick her up at the airport to bring her to the beach town with a police motorcade and full VVIP treatment.
Service fees were 7,000 baht for a police car motorcade or 6,000 baht for a police motorcycle escort, she said.
The woman agreed to use the service and posted a video featuring a police officer coming to pick her up at the exit from the plane, with no immigration queue, carry her luggage and open a car door for her. It took only five minutes to finish airport procedures.
She then took a police car with a motorcycle escort to a hotel in Pattaya in just one hour with no traffic along the route, she said. The woman was seen laughing as she rode.
Pol Maj Gen Atchayon said cutting immigration procedures for a tourist as shown in the video could not be done, and use of a police motorcade must follow traffic laws or cabinet resolutions. In Bangkok, use of a police motorcade required approval from the Traffic Police Division commander while approval from the Highway Division commander was required for areas outside Bangkok.
Authorities would consider the necessity of using a police car to lead a vehicle or vehicles for the safety of the procession or the safety of road users, such as school buses to take students to attend religious activities or other ceremonies, said the spokesman.