Bangkok police chief vows to punish five station heads if graft stickers surface in their responsible areas

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The acting commissioner of Metropolitan Police Bureau yesterday vowed to remove five top police officers of any police station in Bangkok if the so-called “stickers” surface again in their areas of responsibilities.

The strong warning by Pol Lt Gen Sanit Mahathavorn came as migrant workers were found to show the stickers when they were arrested by police for illegally selling merchandises on sidewalks and streets.

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Latest inspection on several sidewalks in Bangkok’s China Town by the labour officials yesterday also found several migrant workers, mostly Myanmar, vending on streets and sidewalks.

Upon arrested by labour inspectors, the migrant workers showed them “stickers” saying they were told that the stickers could help to clear police away from them.

They also said their employers have paid to obtain these stickers so they could continue vending free of police interventions.

The stickers found in three forms such as Doraemon – a popular Japanese cartoon character; dices, and automobiles.

But so far no official action has been taken.

The migrant workers said these stickers allow them to sell stuff on the street without fear of official intervention as bribes have been paid but so far the identity of the person or persons who issued them is unknown.

The acting commissioner stated that although the case actually falls under the jurisdiction of the Immigration department, the police station in charge of the vicinity must take action on the matter.

He said that he will be calling a meeting with all police stations in Bangkok this afternoon to order action to be taken on the matter of these stickers.

He vowed that if any of these stickers surface again within the following weeks, immediate disciplinary action will be taken on all 5 heads of the police station that is in charge of the area.

Yesterday officials from the Department of Employment made an inspection of shops and businesses located in China Town.

They discovered at least three Myanmar workers were selling packaged soya bean milk.

Upon seeing the arrival of officials, these foreign nationals quickly showed their dice pictured stickers which they say they were told to do by their employers.

One man revealed that he has been in the country for more than 3 years.

He said that he was previously employed as a painter but the earnings were small and he quit and began selling soya bean milk which he says allows him to make 500 baht a day.

As he had no legal working permits, his Thai employer gave him the dice pictured sticker to carry with him so that he would not be arrested.

Similarly, two other Myanmar workers were also seen vending in the area.

Both also had similar stickers but when they were questioned they stated that they did not know the identity of the person that employed them.

Papers that contain the address of the company that actually did the hiring were the only documents that they carried.

Employment officer Chaithat na Nakorn said whenever officials make an inspection, these stickers were regularly shown to officials.

He said so far they have no information on these stickers but an investigation has been ordered to look into the matter.