BANGKOK (dpa) – Police in a popular tourism area of Bangkok have been ordered to stop searching foreigners without due process following widespread complaints of harassment, a report said Sunday.
Recent news and social media reports have highlighted tourist complaints of being randomly stopped, searched, ordered to show passports and even subjected to on-the-spot urine tests by police along the Sukhumvit Road tourist belt.
“I have instructed policemen under my command to strictly refrain from searching foreigners or asking to see their passports unless necessary,” the Bangkok Post quoted newly appointed Thong Lo Police Superintendent Khajohnpong Jitpakpoom as saying.
His predecessor was removed as chief of the district that includes a long strip of tourist hotels, spas, restaurants and nightclubs following several complaints of police shakedowns.
“Now it is our job as policemen to provide services to tourists rather than conduct searches,” Khajohnpong said. “We need to create confidence for them.”