Allegations made by the woman about what happened to her, when her car broke down on a road in Saraburi province in October 2022, are a dark reflection not only on the endemic corruption now seen almost daily within the Royal Thai Police but also on the dangers that women in Thailand may be exposed to for simply seeking help from fellow Thais when in need.

Another shocking case of police corruption emerged this week which also raises questions about the Kingdom’s attitudes towards women after a young female car driver found herself stranded on a road in Saraburi in October 2022. Instead of a helping hand from a passer-by, the young woman found herself sexually attacked, arrested, charged with a serious criminal offence, extorted and then subjected to degrading sexual exploitation by a senior police officer.

The woman at the centre of the complaint was brought to the Royal Thai Police Club in Bangkok on Monday to meet Deputy National Police Chief General Surachate Hakparn. She met the Commander-in-chief of Saraburi Police on Wednesday and the man who initially sexually abused her has been the subject of charges and an arrest warrant while the senior police officer at the rank of Police Lieutenant Colonel faces questioning next week when the allegations will be put to him. He already has two prior complaints alleging similar abuses.

The nightmare ordeal suffered by a young woman on a night in October 2022, came to light this week when she was presented to Deputy Chief of Police General Surachate Hakparn at the Police Club in Bangkok, seeking justice.

At 2 pm on Monday, Mr Kanthas Pongpaiboon, a lawyer, brought the victim to meet the senior police officer so that she could explain the circumstances that led to her, in a shocking sequence of events, as a victim of a sexual crime, being arrested, detained in custody then only to be extorted and sexually harassed by a senior police officer in Saraburi province, over 108 kilometres from Bangkok.

Car ran out of petrol and battery died on a road in Saraburi in October 2022. It was the start of a prolonged nightmare ordeal for the young woman

The young woman told the police chief that she had been driving at night time in the central province, just 108 km from the capital Bangkok, last October when her car ran out of petrol and her battery died on a highway at the same time.

On this particular night, her mobile phone was also out of power, leaving her helpless on the road.

At length, another car arrived at the scene and what appeared to be a good citizen.

He offered to push it to a place of safety but at the same time brought it to a secluded area off the main road.

He suggested that she accompany him to his home to pick up some petrol there and then they could return to restart her car and let her drive to refuel at a local filling station.

At the man’s home, the woman asked if she could borrow a phone charger and was directed to a room inside the property by him. 

‘Rescuer’ locked the door and began to sexually assault and molest her before asking for the bathroom

When she entered, he followed her and locked the room.

He then proceeded to molest her.

Reacting on instinct, she said she needed to use the bathroom and managed to escape from the house by climbing out a window and entering the neighbouring premises.

However, the owner of that property called the police and had the woman arrested for trespassing, which is a serious crime in Thailand, particularly at night time. 

The Thai Criminal Code, Sections 362 to 365, deals with trespass but it is a particularly serious offence when it involves the invasion of a dwelling place at night which can lead to a severe prison sentence.

Under Section 265 the prison term rises from one to five years while the offence becomes a non-compoundable one, meaning it can not be negotiated after a criminal complaint is filed as is the case with many property-related and other non-fatal offences.

Unlike Western countries, Thailand strictly prosecutes crimes associated with property, particularly related to trespass.

Detained at the police station and told the criminal charge of trespass at night could not be dropped even when the homeowner withdrew the complaint

When the woman was taken to the police station in Saraburi, she reported that she had been indecently assaulted by the man that had picked her up at her car but police seemed more intent on prosecuting her for the trespass offence.

The case against her stood, she was told, even after the property owner who had filed the complaint withdrew it after hearing what had happened to her.

She was detained in custody by police at the station. 

The woman then found herself being interviewed by a Police Lieutenant Colonel who offered to have the case against her for trespass dropped in return for a payment of ฿100,000. 

Police officer allegedly sexually exploited the young woman after demanding a bribe to drop the charge

She told him she did not have that sort of money and the payment was negotiated down to ฿10,000.

But the senior officer requested sexual relations with her in return for this concession to dispose of the matter. 

This week, it was reported that the officer in question had a history of cases filed alleging corruption against him.

The legal team for the victim is demanding that he face prosecution and be dismissed from the police force. 

Listening to the details of the case and reacting afterwards to reporters, General Surachate undertook to investigate the circumstances of the case and made an appointment for the woman to meet the chief of police of Saraburi province. 

Good citizen who abused the woman he met at the side of the road the subject of a Saraburi Provincial Court warrant and arrest as police act in the case

On Wednesday, Police Lieutenant General Wichit Boonchinwuttikul, the provincial police commander of the province, announced that the force was applying to Saraburi Provincial Court for an arrest warrant for the man who sexually assaulted the woman at his home last October.

Police earlier announced also that they were acting against the 34-year-old man identified as Mr Somsak, who had initially abused the woman and started the sequence of events in October.

He was expected to be detained and charged.

Senior policeman faces charges, disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the police force, two other prior complaints already reported against him

The police lieutenant-colonel at the centre of the affair will be summoned next week to respond to the allegations against him and the matter will be pursued with both criminal and disciplinary proceedings likely. 

Among other offences, he is understood to be facing a charge under Section 157 of Thailand’s Criminal Code relating to neglect of duty, failure to perform his duties in a proper manner and dishonesty.

It is thought disciplinary proceedings will be launched will include moves to remove the officer from the force and government service.

At least two other significant prior complaints were lodged in the past against the senior officer.

General Surachate, in a message to the public about dealing with such instances of abuse at the hands of police officials, urged people to refuse to pay money demanded under duress in such situations and to report such matters to the local superintendent in each area if a similar situation arises.

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