City officials deny spying on CMPO

national January 30, 2014 00:00

By Tanatpong Kongsai
The Nation

SECURITY cameras have surprisingly appeared in mobile-toilet trucks parked at the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO).

The trucks came from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), and questions have been raised about why they were sent to the centre.

“No. We don’t have any bad intentions. And I don’t want to spy [on CMPO],” Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra said yesterday.

The CMPO was set up to deal with the state of emergency declared in the face of anti-government rallies by the People’s Democratic Reform Committee.

Sukhumbhand said if the CMPO had nothing to hide, it need not worry about the security cameras. “But if any party is uncomfortable with the security cameras, we can remove them,” the Bangkok governor added. The CMPO, which is now located inside the Narcotics Suppression Bureau and the Royal Thai Police Sports Club, had requested the mobile-toilet trucks from the BMA in anticipation that anti-government demonstrators might show up and surround its headquarters.

Six mobile-toilet trucks arrived on Tuesday night and security cameras were discovered on four of the trucks yesterday.

“We planned to install them for safety reasons,” Deputy Bangkok City Clerk Banjong Sookdee said. “But these cameras are new and are not set up to work yet.”

He said the BMA believed security cameras would help boost the safety of mobile-toilet users. There have been reports that thefts, vandalism, physical attacks and drug abuse have taken place inside such vehicles before.

Sanya Mingma, a BMA official in charge of the mobile-toilet trucks, said the security cameras were only installed in stairways leading into and out of the trucks, and in the wash-basin zones.

Online pictures show cameras are hidden in tissue boxes, which are near urinals.

Sukhumbhand said if the CMPO queried his city administration about the discovery of the security cameras, he would be ready to provide an explanation.


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