Commissioner of Police Orders Investigation Into Hiring of 50 Police Officers and Unauthorized Use of Police Uniforms

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In a recent development, Pol. Lt. Gen. Achayon Kraithong, spokesperson for the National Police Agency, announced on June 19, 2023, that an investigation has been launched following an incident involving a prominent YouTuber, MyMateNate. It has been alleged that MyMateNate hired 50 individuals, including both real police officers and non-police personnel, to participate in a commando chase staged in an abandoned shopping mall. The controversial clip was shared on social media platforms, gaining significant attention and sparking discussions about the appropriateness of such content.

Reacting swiftly to the issue, Pol. Gen. Damrongsak Kittipraphat, the commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Police, has directed Pol. Lt. Gen. Thanayut Wut Charatthamrong, the Commander of Police Region 7, and Pol. Maj. Gen. Pairoj Khumphai, the Chief of Police in Kanchanaburi Province, the area where the incident occurred, to conduct a thorough investigation. The purpose of the investigation is to ascertain whether the individuals appearing in the video clip were genuine police officers and whether proper permissions were obtained for filming the scene, including the use of firearms, weapons, and vehicles.

Preliminary findings indicate that some actual police officers were involved in the show, while the identities of other performers are still under scrutiny. If the participants are confirmed to be police officers, they will be subject to scrutiny for potential violations of police regulations. Specifically, regulations concerning press releases, media interviews, and dissemination of images to the media require individuals involved in public relations activities to adhere to specific guidelines. These guidelines include seeking permission to use Royal Thai Police facilities, personnel, equipment, and vehicles for filming purposes. Additionally, a hierarchical approval process for script and scene composition must be followed. Violations of these regulations may result in disciplinary action.

For individuals who are not police officers but were hired to dress as policemen, it is crucial that proper permissions were obtained. Failure to do so may lead to legal consequences. According to Section 152 of the National Police Act 2022, wearing a police uniform without authorization is a punishable offense, carrying a prison sentence of three months to five years. Furthermore, the Criminal Code, Section 146, stipulates that those without the right to wear police uniforms or insignia may face imprisonment for up to one year, a fine of up to 2,000 baht, or both.

Notably, if the famous YouTuber, Nate MyMateNate, who organized the show, is found to have employed individuals to dress as police officers without proper authorization, he may be held primarily responsible for the offense. As per the National Police Act 2022, Section 155 of the Ministerial Regulations, it is mandatory to notify the Chief of Police Station at least five days in advance of any shooting or performance involving the use of police uniforms. The notification must include detailed information about the attire to be worn. Failure to seek proper permission and hiring individuals who are not police officers to dress as such will be considered a violation by the organizer, with punitive consequences.

A police spokesperson emphasized the importance of adhering to the law when it comes to individuals involved in YouTube videos or other media productions. Any instances where individuals dress as police officers or use Royal Thai Police vehicles or equipment necessitate obtaining proper permission. By doing so, any potential misunderstandings or inappropriate actions can be avoided, preventing harm to the reputation and integrity of the police force. Failure to comply with these regulations may result in criminal charges and subsequent legal proceedings.

It is reported that authorities are currently preparing to summon the famous YouTuber Nate MyMateNate for questioning regarding the hiring of 50 individuals for the commando chase staged in an abandoned shopping mall. The investigation aims to determine the appropriateness of the actions taken, with disciplinary and criminal actions being considered if any violations are identified.

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