THE NATION January 12, 2012 1:00 am
Contraband-unit employee captured on video attacking security personnel
Police yesterday issued a summons for a C7 customs official after video
clip showing him assaulting an airport security officer and refusing to
be patted down started doing the rounds in cyber space.
Suvarnabhumi Airport superintendent Colonel Nattanan Nanasombat said
Sombat Chatchaiwaiyawit, 55, had seven days to respond to the summons.
"If he does not report to police, we will issue an arrest warrant for him," Nattanan said.
Meanwhile, after viewing the clip, Customs Department's
director-general Somchai Poonsawat has ordered that Sombat be
transferred out of Suvarnabhumi Airport. Sombat led a customs unit
responsible for crackdowns on contraband and narcotics.
Somchai also ordered an investigation into the incident and expects results in 30 days.
"If found guilty, he will face action in line with the Office of Civil Service Commission's rules," he said.
The clip showed Sombat walking through a security checkpoint on January
8, but refusing to be patted down after a security alarm beeped. Sombat
was then seen whacking security officer Sirichai Maichum, 33, in the
ear with both his hands. The senior official then pointed to his badge
and the junior officer was seen bowing apologetically.
The video was posted on YouTube on Monday and by Tuesday it had attracted thousands of angry comments.
"His action has caused serious damage to the reputation of the Customs Department," Somchai said yesterday.
Meanwhile, Sirichai went to see a doctor after the assault and found
that his eardrum was injured. He then lodged a police complaint against
Sirichai works for Asia Security Management, which provides security services at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
"He [Sirichai] has always carried out his duties well and from the clip
we have seen that he did nothing wrong," the security firm's
human-resources manager Passakorn Aksornsuwan. He added that the company
had covered Sirichai's medical expenses and given him days off until he
"He will be assigned the same job once he recovers fully," Passakorn said.
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