Two more men implicated in the Mae Hong Son underage-prostitution scandal appeared in court in the northern province on Thursday and were remanded in police custody for an initial detention period.
Chatchai Poungpae, 54, a member of the Ban Mai Tambon Administrative Organisation (TAO) in Nonthaburi’s Bang Yai district, was arrested in Nonthaburi on Wednesday afternoon on a court-approved warrant, accused of buying sexual services from a girl under 18.
Anuchat Doungchan, the driver for the same TAO’s president, was taken into custody later the same day on a charge of helping procure underage girls for prostitution.
Both men had earlier been questioned at Muang Mae Hong Son Police Station by a team led by Provincial Police Region 5 deputy chief Pol Maj General Churat Panngao.
Police said both men participated in a Ban Mai TAO “field trip” to Mae Hong Son last September 21-24 and stayed at the resort where the alledged sex scandal took place.
Anuchat claimed prior to his arrest on Wednesday that he had been threatened by “powerful people” to assume blame in the case, and insisted he had nothing to do with the sex scandal.
He said he would seek the help of former national police chief Pol General Seri-pisut Temiyavej before surrendering to police.
Anuchat said that, rather than focusing on the Ban Mai TAO group’s alleged crimes on September 23, investigators should be scrutinising the guest list for a party held at the resort on September 22, which he claimed senior officials attended.