SENIOR police officers today (March 8) denied having demanded a bribe from the owner of a new Japanese restaurant whose foreign staff did not have their papers on them when they went in for an inspection recently, Sanook.com said.
Pol. Lt Gen. Phakphong Phongphetra, head of the Metropolitan Police, confirmed that a team of Thonglor policemen did go in to inspect this restaurant but denied that they had received any money from the owner.
Pol. Col. Duangchot Suwanjarat, head of Thonglor police station, related that his team of policemen had made a regular inspection. However they discovered that that staff there, all Japanese, did not have work permits with them therefore they were taken to the station.
Later the owner brought in the work permits, and as the papers were all in order, they were set free with the restaurateur not having to pay any money.
However, a Facebook user had related a different account of this incident as his foreign girlfriend was present at the time.
According to him, about seven to eight Thonglor policemen came into the restaurant and demanded to see the workers’ passports and work permits. They told the police team that the papers were kept at their residence which is just 50 metres away from the restaurant.
However the policemen were unyielding and took them all to the station, leading to orders of 20 customers being cancelled.
The Facebook user added that at the station the policemen demanded payment of 40,000 baht but no fines were collected. They said if this money was not paid, they would not be allowed to leave the station.
The Facebook user said his girlfriend heard the policemen demanding payment every month, but she is unsure whether this is 3,000 or 30,000 baht.
This restaurant had strictly followed the law and all the employees had correct documents. However there is no evidence of this incident because CCTV cameras had not yet been installed as it had only been opened for a month.
Top: The interior of a Japanese restaurant. Photo: Vivien Ebran (CC BY 2.0)
Home Page: An illustration of eating at the Japanese restaurant. Photo: José Antonio Cartelle (CC BY 2.0)