February 3, 2023
Bangkok – The Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) has warned officers to abide by Royal Thai Police regulations on setting up and operating road checkpoints.
Station chiefs and their superiors at two levels would be made responsible for any failures to comply with these regulations, said MPB chief Thiti Saengsawang in an urgent order dispatched on Tuesday.
The order was issued after Huay Kwang police reportedly admitted to extorting 27,000 baht from a Taiwanese actress in exchange for turning a blind eye to her illegal vaping device.
Seven police officers allegedly extorted the money from Charlene An (An Yu-qing) and her friends after stopping them at a checkpoint close to the Chinese Embassy on Ratchadaphisek Road at about 1am on January 5.
The actress later told her story to Taiwanese media, sparking dismay in the Thai tourism industry as well as an extensive investigation that saw the seven policemen moved to inactive posts.
Tuesday’s order said all police checkpoints must be approved and supervised by senior officials at the inspector level or above.
Checkpoints must also abide by the Royal Thai Police’s 2023 plan for crime suppression and prevention.
Thiti also ordered station chiefs and their deputies to conduct daily inspections of police checkpoints in their jurisdiction to ensure they are complying with the rules.