Thai police apologise for Taiwan actress' alleged extortion
Actress Charlene An posted on social media that she was threatened with a criminal charge for having an e-cigarette when the taxi she was in was searched at a checkpoint in Bangkok.
BANGKOK: Thailand's police commissioner apologised on Tuesday (Jan 31) after seven officers were placed under investigation for allegedly extorting money from a Taiwanese actress who was visiting Bangkok on a holiday.
Actress Charlene An posted on social media that she was travelling in a taxi with friends after a night out in the Thai capital when they were stopped and searched at a checkpoint in the early hours of Jan 5.
She said she was threatened with a criminal charge for having an e-cigarette and later paid 27,000 baht (US$820) before they were able to leave.
Two captains, two senior sergeant majors and three sergeants who were at the checkpoint were transferred to inactive positions while the investigation is ongoing, police said.
“There are still many good police. We must encourage the good ones and deal with the bad ones," police General Damrongsak Kittiprapas told reporters at police headquarters.
"I would like to stress that our city has lots of visitors coming. Immigration police, tourist police and local police must take the best care of tourists. And for the incident that has happened, if there is wrongdoing, as the head of the organization, I apologise to the victims affected by what happened,” he said.
Anyone found guilty will be punished, he said.
Thai police earlier denied the accusation and suggested that the actress was intoxicated and had not been able to produce travel documents, possibly because of a language barrier. Police were unable to produce videos from body cameras from the night, according to local media.