Local news

Protest guard leader arrested as police break up New Year’s Eve shrimp sale

A NEW YEAR’S EVE shrimp sale at Sanam Luang ground arranged by the We Volunteer (WeVo) guards was halted by police who also arrested the protest group’s leader Piyarat Jongthep, or Toto, Thai Rath newspaper reported.

WeVo had brought in approximately five tonnes of shrimp worth over 800,000 baht for their countdown activity at Sanam Luang but at around 11 a.m. a crowd control police unit and officers from Chana Songkhram station showed up and told them that it is strictly forbidden to sell anything here, while also surrounding their amphilifer vehicle.

The WeVo guards told the police that not letting them bring in the trucks with shrimp packed in ice thus preventing sale today would lead to spoilage.

However Pol. Maj. Gen. Piya Tawichai, deputy chief of Metropolitan Police, said while police were negotiating with WeVo that they could not hold any activities as gatherings are banned to prevent transmission of Covid-19 with violations entailing two years imprisonment or 40,000 baht fine.

At 12.20 p.m. a fracas broke out between the police and the guards as the former moved to close the gate but the latter tried to keep it open so that they could bring out their belongings and help their friends get out.

In the melee a female volunteer guard (name and surname withheld) was kicked and fell supine on the ground. While lying flat out she saw someone wearing combat boots kick her on her face till she started bleeding. A policeman then pulled her into the compound but her friends rescued her.

The whole incident was captured on videotape which she is going to use as evidence in filing charges against them.


The fracas at Sanam Luang today. Photos: Thai Rath



TNR staff
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