New Pattaya police chief tells officers to stop taking bribes

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New Pattaya police chief, Pol. Col. Sukthat Pumpunmuang told officers to stop taking bribes and focus on snatching thefts and tourist druggings to clean up the city’s image.

In a meeting with officers at Pattaya City Hall Jan. 22, the new superintendent – the brother of national police chief Gen. Somyos Pumpunmuang – said snatchings of jewelry and handbags occur 30-50 times a month in Pattaya with the perpetrators getting young, now often in the 15-16 age range.

New Pattaya police chief, Pol. Col. Sukthat Pumpunmuang.New Pattaya police chief, Pol. Col. Sukthat Pumpunmuang.

The second most-reported crime is the drugging and robbery of tourists, usually by transvestites and female prostitutes on Pattaya Beach, he said.

Sukthat said if those two types of crimes could be controlled, the city’s crime problem would greatly be diminished.

He also warned officers – particularly traffic cops – to stop taking bribes. With cameras in every phone and social media so prevalent there are “eyes and ears” everywhere, he said. Officers caught taking bribes would damage the image of Pattaya.

He made special mention of traffic police and said there have been many complaints about the large number of checkpoints, which people see as bribe-taking centers. He said officers must justify the need for checkpoints and clarify if they are to prevent crime or control traffic.

The meeting wrapped with a greeting by Pattaya Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome, who assured officers that city hall had no intention of taking over some of the jurisdiction of police and said the city wants to support the police department either through food, drinks or allowances.