Taiwanese actress Charlene An accused seven policemen in Bangkok of asking her to “fade” 820 USD to get rid of the error of possessing e-cigarettes.
Taiwanese actress Charlene An last month posted a post on social media saying that when she was with friends in a taxi going out at dawn on January 5 in Bangkok, a group of police at a checkpoint stopped her.
She said that police officers there threatened to prosecute her for possessing e-cigarettes and that she had to “fade” 27,000 baht (about $820) to be able to leave.
Thai police later denied the allegation, claiming that the Taiwanese actress was in a drunken state at the time and could not present her passport, possibly due to a language barrier. According to local media, police were unable to extract video from the officers’ body cameras on the night of the incident.
However, Thailand’s national police chief, General Damrongsak Kittiprapas, on January 31 announced that the police team of seven officers involved in the incident was being suspended from work for investigation. General Kittiprapas vowed to punish those who acted wrongly.
“There are still many good policemen. We must encourage good officers and deal with bad ones. As for what happened, if there is a mistake, I as the head of the force would like to apologize. Sorry to the affected victims,” General Kittiprapas said.
General Kittiprapas emphasized that cities in Thailand receive a lot of tourists and it is the duty of the police force to take care of them.
Charlene An then said that Thailand, along with its culture and cuisine, is still “very special” to her and hopes to have a better experience in future trips.
E-cigarettes have been banned in Thailand since 2014. Violators can be fined 30,000 baht (more than $900) and jailed for up to 10 years.
Ngoc Anh (Theo AP)