Pattaya’s mayor defended a city hall unit embroiled in a bribery scandal, saying the Special Operations Unit plays a key role in keeping tourists safe.
Mayor Anan Charoenchasri said Aug. 21 that the squad, comprised of municipal regulatory-enforcement officers, works with the volunteer Surveillance and Rapid Response Team to patrol popular tourist spots in Pattaya, such as Bali Hai Pier, the lighthouse and Pratamnak Hill viewpoint.
While scenic signatures for the city, they also are a magnet for pickpockets and petty thieves, he said. The SOU officers work in shifts to keep an eye on these areas.
One Special Operations Unit officer was caught on video doing more than eyeing the tourists. The unidentified officer was seen in the video that went viral last week pocketing a 1,000-baht note from an Asian tourist he had caught littering.
An SOU official said the tourist should have paid the fine at city hall and the money sent to the central fund. Instead, the officer distributed among his workmates.
The officer now is under investigation and will be fired if found guilty.