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A policeman, currently not on active duty, gave Phuket Governor Nisit Jansomwong and his personal driver and assistant a nasty fright on Tuesday (May 5) when he reprimanded them for stopping their car in a no-parking area.
At 12:30pm, the policeman, a lieutenant-colonel and technically deputy chief of Thai Muang police in Phang Nga, approached Gov Nisit’s driver, Somporn Salee, outside the Seng Ho book store on Montri Rd in Phuket Town.
He identified himself as the police chief of Kathu and demanded to see Mr Somporn’s driving licence. This led to an altercation which resulted in damage to the governor’s car.
Governor Nisit’s secretary, Kreangkai Klinhom, who was in the car, called police.
They arrived at the book store where Mr Somporn had parked the governor’s black Toyota Camry in a red-and-white no-parking zone to find the governor and Ms Kreangkai in the car, but no sign of the angry “Kathu police chief”.
Officers noted that the car had small scratches on the windscreen and one indicator, and that control levers on the steering wheel had been damaged.
They escorted the governor, in has car, back to his mansion on Narisorn Rd and then Mr Somporn and Ms Kreangkai went to Phuket City Police Station to file a complaint.
While they did this a team of officers went out to search for the odd cop.
Mr Somporn told police that he had stopped at the book store for Gov Nisit. They were sitting in the car waiting for the governor when a man in a police uniform knocked on the window.
“He demanded to see my driving licence because the car was parked in a no-parking area. I took my wallet from my pocket and he snatched it out of my hand,” Mr Somporn said.
He told police that the indicator and cruise control levers were broken off the steering wheel while the two wrestled over the wallet.
Gov Nisit came out of the book store and identified himself in hope of easing the situation. The man told Gov Nisit, “I am Col X [name withheld], Kathu Police Chief.”
At this point Ms Kreangkai called the police. As they arrived the “colonel” drove away.
There was more drama to come.
While Ms Kreangkai and Mr Somporn were filing their complaint, the “colonel” came to the station. He marched up the stairs and told police he wanted to file a report that he had been assaulted and injured.
He announced “Even Prime Minister Prayuth [Chan-Ocha] listens to my orders! How dare you oppose me?” He then stomped out to his car and drove off, leaving everyone rather confused.
Police have since confirmed that the man is not a colonel nor is he from Kathu police. He is in fact a lieutenant colonel on the rolls of the Thai Muang police station, and has been suffering from a psychiatric disorder for some time.
He previously worked in Phuket Town and Thalang and has a reputation in Thai Muang and Phuket for approaching people and demanding to see their driving licences, telling them he is the Kathu police chief. He even has an ID card to “prove” this.
In fact he is no longer on active police duty but has a job helping out in the cells in Thai Muang police station.
It is not yet clear how the case involving the governor will be handled.