Uniform mandate after airport row

Uniform mandate after airport row

Suvarnabhumi Airport now requires all government officials working there to wear their uniforms, to make it easier to identify who they are and which organisation they work for.

The new requirement followed an incident in which two traffic policemen and one tourist police officer were caught on video at the airport providing a female Chinese tourist with an immigration clearance shortcut and then a traffic-dodging police escort to her hotel in Pattaya, said airport general manager, Kittipong Kittikachorn.

Another tourist policeman, later identified in a fact-finding probe into the incident, was also believed to be involved in the illegal provision of VVIP services to the tourist in exchange for money, according to the Royal Thai Police.

The airport has accordingly terminated airport passes granted to these four officers, meaning they can no longer gain access to the airport’s restricted areas, said Mr Kittipong.

“I’m glad to see this incident made public. And if those police organisations take this problem seriously, I strongly believe the problem will be solved,” he said.

Pol Maj Gen Apichat Suriboonya, spokesman for the Tourist Police Bureau (TPB), meanwhile, said the fourth officer in the bureau’s ongoing investigation was a police senior sergeant major who asked the other tourist police officer to do the VVIP escorting job for him.

As for the Chinese tourist who posted the video, the TPB will have to decide whether she should be questioned as that might hurt Thai-Chinese ties and Thai tourism, he said.