A Taiwanese actress who was shaken down by Bangkok cops and then accused of lying about it thanked Thailand’s people this morning for their help in revealing the truth.
Hours after the metro police bureau reversed its denials and confirmed that its officers had extorted money from Charlene An while she was visiting the capital, the 32-year-old actress took to social media to express her gratitude toward the media and others for her vindication.
“Granted for the many new Thai friendships made,” she wrote on Instagram. “You have taught me that bravery has no language barriers.”
After going public with her experience and warning her compatriots from going to Thailand, An seemed to have changed her mind about never returning, saying she looked forward to “a better experience in future visits.”
Among those she name-checked was former politico and media figure Chuwit Kamolvisit, who had been following the case and yesterday claimed to know of footage supporting An’s version of events.
On Monday night, Chuwit went live on Facebook to interview a friend who was with An earlier this month when she said they were pulled over and harassed into paying a large sum.
“Did you pay the police THB27,000?” the former massage parlor tycoon said.
The man said there were about four officers trying to extort him. He said police had asked the group why they weren’t carrying their real passports and why they did not have visas.
The incident was the latest scandal involving venal police taking money from travelers, coming days after a Hong Kong traveler detailed her paid police “VIP escort.”
On Friday, police brass categorically denied that it had happened, but said it would investigate.
It wasn’t until Monday afternoon that metro police commanders admitted that their officers had taken money from An. They later acknowledged that, just as An had testified, the officers took THB27,000 from her group that night and divvied it up between seven officers.
It was a complete turn-around from Friday’s denial, in which they said they arrested An and her friends for not carrying their passports and possessing e-cigarettes. They insisted that they did not take any money and had let them go with a warning, claiming distant, poor quality CCTV footage proved their point.
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