Bar Owner Allegedy Extorted by Cop, Calls Police Chief to Intervene

Pattaya's Walking Street in a 2013 photo. Photo: Vishwanath Hawargi / Flickr

PATTAYA — If there’s a cop demanding bribes, and it don’t look good, who you gonna call?

For bar owner Paranisa Chaiyanapanichkul, it was Chakthip Chaijinda, commissioner of the Royal Thai Police, she rang for help when a police inspector reportedly tried to extort 20,000 baht from her, leading to his suspension Sunday.

For the alleged extortion attempt on Thursday night at Nang Fa Karaoke Bar in Pattaya, Lt. Col. Narawuth Karamahito was moved to an inactive post while criminal and administrative inquiries were launched.

Prior to the disciplinary punishment, Narawuth served as an inspector for Chonburi’s regional police force. His transfer came two days after Paranisa filed a criminal complaint Friday at Pattaya Police Station.

According to the complaint, Narawuth visited the bar Thursday and accused Paranisa of running a prostitution and human trafficking ring. When Parasina denied the charge, the police inspector reportedly offered to let her walk free for 20,000 baht.

But Paranisa refused. Instead, she said, she phoned national police chief Gen. Chakthip for help, and he in turn told Narawuth’s supervisor to call the inspector’s cellphone.

Narawuth left the place after his boss, Chonburi police commissioner Amphon Buarubporn, called him and asked what he was doing, Paranisa said.

The police inspector has been charged with illegal detention, extortion and malfeasance. He’s also placed under disciplinary investigation, though police have not said how long the inquiry would take.