A German national charged with sexually abusing children in Pattaya was reportedly arrested in his home country, said a Pattaya business operator.
First our previous story:
Now for our update:
Mrs. Lamphueng “Lisa” Hamilton, the chairwoman of the Jomtien-Pattaya Entertainment Association, took to Thai media to provide the latest update about Mr. Jens Kirch, a German expatriate who fled child sexual abuse charges in Thailand to Germany, and claimed to have paid a bribe of one million baht to Thai officials to help with his departure, which has been disputed as seen above by a lawyer connected to the case.
According to her, she was informed by a member of her association that Mr. Jens has already been arrested in Germany and is in custody with plans in place for Thai authorities to attempt to request to conduct an interview, according to Thai Police.
She further highlighted the challenges faced by Thailand in the extradition of foreign nationals who commit offenses in the country and then return to their home countries.
All in all, Ms. Lamphueng noted that the establishment linked to the case has been ordered closed for five years and has not operated since the closure order was issued. The owners of the venue are in Thailand and are going through the Thai legal system properly, added Ms. Lamphueng.
She added that late-night entertainment places in Pattaya have also been actively participating in a campaign to strictly prevent both child labor and sexual exploitation issues after the allegations emerged.
Meanwhile, investigations into the alleged bribes and officials possibly involved have been ordered by Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and are being overseen by prominent Thai police officer Pol. Gen. Surachate Hakparn, deputy commissioner-general of the Royal Thai Police.
Pol. Gen Hakparn stated today, December 6th, 2023, that three police officers, including the prior Pattaya Police Chief, would face disciplinary action for not following all regulations as is policy regarding the case. The case took place in September of 2022 and the former police chief changed position in a regular rotation since, notes TPN Media.
The regulations not being followed, according to Hakparn, were informing the foreign embassies of the suspects involved properly and revoking the visas of the suspects, which involves properly informing Royal Thai Immigration.
Hakparn also stated an additional American suspect involved in the case, who he did not name, fled over the Thai border in the case and that investigation was in process regarding this individual, with Hakparn reportedly set to meet with the US Ambassador to discuss this portion of the case. Interpol Red Alerts for the suspects were also expected to be filed for both suspects although Hakparn was not overly optimistic it would lead to their extradition, especially in Germany’s case.
Hakparn also brought up concerns that the police officer in charge of the investigation of the case, who wasn’t named, did not object to bail despite the case being so serious. This has led to this undisclosed officer being one of several under a disciplinary probe.
Finally, Hakparn continues to investigate the bribe allegations which is a major reason he wants to interview the German suspect, as well as to ensure the suspect goes through the proper criminal justice system for his accused crimes.
The case has had significant global attention since the documentary went viral and shone a light on the underbelly of Pattaya, notes TPN. The documentary itself has received polarizing and differing responses online with some conservatives calling for a shutdown of the entire bar industry in Pattaya but other more liberal voices saying the case should expedite laws meant to regulate Thailand’s sex industry, which although currently is illegal, is widespread according to many activists. A draft bill for the decriminalization of prostitution is currently working its way through the Thai government, with support from the majority and members of the opposition, the Move Forward Party, who originally drafted the bill.
Whether this documentary and case changes anything on that front remains to be seen.