Police allowing misuse of royal insignia threatened with charges under Section 112

Police allowing misuse of royal insignia threatened with charges under Section 112

PHUKET: A lawyer accompanied by a top representative of an anti-corruption organisation filed a complaint with Region 8 Police yesterday over police in Nakhon Sri Thammarat not taking any action to investigate a member of a “volunteer foundation” accused of misusing a royal insignia and a Royal Thai Police badge.

The member of the “volunteer foundation” used the insignia, called the ‘Phra Maha Phichai Mongkut’, and the police badge to stage checkpoints and force local residents to comply with other instructions given, explained Kottachayanat Liaotrakul, Secretary to the President of the Anti-Corruption Governance Association, at Region 8 Police headquarters in tha Chatchai yesterday (Jan 12).

The “volunteer foundation” was not named in the report of the meeting yesterday by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket), but the actions described match those usually conducted by Civil Defense Volunteers, or ‘OrSor’.

Region 8 Police Commander Lt Gen Amphol Buarabphon received the complaint.

Also present was Parinya Jitijedsadaphon, Advisor to the Chairman of the Police Commission.

The matter was brought to the Region 8 Police because a formal complaint filed at Sichon Police Station in Nakhon Sri Thammarat had resulted in no action being taken by police to investigate the complaint, Mr Kottachayanat said.

Lt Gen Amphol noted that he was aware of the complaint and that he would look into the claims,  including “investigating the behaviour of the police officers to determine whether or not they have been neglectful of their duty.”

According to a report of the meeting yesterday by Thai-language news agency Manager Online, but not mentioned in the PR Phuket report, after the meeting Mr Kottachayanat said, “The [anti-corruption] association calls for justice in this case and will prosecute the police concerned under Section 112 [the lese majeste provisions] for allowing the Foundation to use the Phra Maha Phichai Mongkut insignia without asking for royal permission.

“We will also file for the police officers, from the commander in chief down to the investigating officer, to be prosecuted under Section 157 [of the Criminal Code],” he added.

Section 157 of the Criminal Code regards “an official wrongfully exercises or does not exercise any of his functions to the injury of any person, or dishonestly exercises or omits to exercise any of his functions”.

Mr Kottachayanat also levied an ultimatum: “If we don’t get an answer tomorrow [sic] we will prepare to file legal proceedings through the Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases, Region 8.”

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