This month in Bangkok, the police are investigating a claim by a Taiwanese celebrity that she was searched by Thai police and extorted for 27,000 baht. According to the police spokesman, the chief of the Royal Thai Police has ordered an investigation into the matter, and the police are attempting to contact the Taiwanese actor for more information.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Atchayon Kraithong addressed the January 1 Instagram post by Taiwanese actor Charlene An, in which she alleged she was extorted by Thai police while on vacation in Bangkok. The spokesman explained that according to the post, Ms. An and her friends were in a taxi when they were stopped at a police checkpoint and searched. The post claims that members of the group attempted to present their visa on arrival (VOA) to the police, who instead demanded that they pay 27,000 baht. They were only released after payment was made.
The Taiwanese actor entered Thailand on December 29 and left on January 5, according to the police spokesman. The police are contacting the actor via his Instagram account, which published the post, to request more information about the incident. Additionally, they have reached out via the Economic and Cultural Representative Office of Taiwan in Thailand. Atchayon stated that no responses have yet been received.
On the evening of January 4, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Pol. Lt. Gen. Thiti Saengsawang confirmed that a checkpoint was indeed set up in front of the Chinese embassy in Bangkok. According to him, the checkpoint was established in accordance with a policy to prevent and suppress crime during the holiday season. He stated that police officers manning the checkpoint reported that a group of foreign tourists were detained for carrying electronic cigarettes. Nonetheless, communication with the group was at best haphazard.
The head of the Huai Khwang police station, which is responsible for the checkpoint, has been instructed to investigate, according to the head of the Metropolitan Police. The surveillance camera footage from January 3–5 will be examined. The taxi driver will also be required to present his receipts. Additionally, witness statements will be gathered from the hotel where the tourists were staying.