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Sunday, February 28, 2021

“Big Khaki” Scrutinized in Thai Press for Taking Commissions from Entertainment Venues

If venues didn’t pay, the patrons were given urine tests to collect fines to make up the difference.

When: December 15th, 2020

Where: Isaan provinces; Bangkok; South East Thailand

What: There were many big changes in the Royal Thai Police hierarchy this year. The country saw the appointment of Suwat Changesuk to be the police chief of the Royal Thai Police force. He succeeded Chakthip Chaijinda, who retired, on October 1st, 2020.

But the Thai press are talking about another “Big Khaki” – or top brass in the force – who is gaining attention for the wrong reasons. The unnamed “Big Khaki”, which is a nod to the color of the uniform that the Thai police wear, was moved from his position as a commander of Provincial Police in the northeast Isaan region to a chair in the Tourist Police Headquarters agency.

The move happened last month, according to reports. He oversees the tourism police in many provinces. Reports state that this “Big Khaki” mobilized and coerced subordinates to join a “specialist team” to collect “commission tickets” from nightlife establishments. The reports state that the Tourist Police Headquarters does not have this duty or responsibility.

The “Big Khaki” ordered the subordinates to check out the entertainment venues, both large and small. If they did not cooperate, then the officers were ordered to check the urine of the tourists in order to collect the fines to cover the commissions that weren’t paid.

It’s reported that this “Big Khaki” has particularly focused on the southeast area of the country – we assume this as Chonburi – along with the operations in Isaan. And that he had a major loss of income when COVID-19 crippled the economy.

One venue owner in an Isaan province informed reporters that the operation worked as follows. A large establishment would pay 20,000 baht per month. A small or medium size establishment would be several thousand baht.

The “Big Khaki” was promoted in Isaan to oversee a wider area of the region. His task force operated in Korat, Ubon Ratchathani, and even Nong Khai.

The Thai press raises the question now if the Tourist Police Headquarters has this duty to check entertainment venues or the urine tests to detect narcotics, especially when some of the venues refused to pay.

It is reported that many of the subordinates refused to follow the orders.

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My take: We will simply deliver what the Thai press is reporting on this case. NationTV and Komchadluek are two outlets that have run stories about the case. Reporters inquired with a Lieutenant General, but he stated that the matter will be clarified in 2-3 days.

We will be following this case very closely as it develops. None of the Thai press connects this with the recent Insanity Club raid, even though some elements are similar in both situations.

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Source: https://www.nationtv.tv/main/content/378809884, https://www.komchadluek.net/news/crime/451863

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