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Traffic police demand bribe

A traffic police officer, suspected of demanding money from a Japanese national, has been transferred to an “inactive post,” Metropolitan Police Commissioner Pol Lt Gen Thiti Sangsawang announced today.

A complaint against the officer for soliciting a bribe has been filed at Tha Rua police station, Thiti said. The incident, believed to have occurred several years ago, recently came to light when a video clip of the encounter was posted on Thai social media.

The clip, shot from inside a vehicle driven by a Japanese driver, shows him being stopped by a traffic officer who issued him a ticket. Unable to read the ticket because it was entirely in Thai, the driver asked the officer where he could pay the fine or if he could pay it on the spot. The officer told him to pay immediately, so the driver prepared to hand over a 500 baht banknote when the officer is heard saying in English, “put under, put under.” The driver placed the money under the ticket and handed it back to the officer. He then drove away, remarking, “This only happens in Thailand, definitely not in Japan.” The driver is a famous YouTuber exploring Thailand for his channel.

Thiti said the officer in question, now a lieutenant, held the rank of sergeant when the incident occurred, sometime between 2016 and 2019. Thiti added that he has already spoken to the officer, who claimed to vaguely remember stopping a car at the Ranong intersection.

“The officer said he did not remember much about the incident and requested more time to review the details,” Thiti said.

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