The video clip shows a municipal police officer walking away with a can from the trolley of an elderly ice-cream vendor in front of the Thai-Japanese Stadium in Bangkok’s Din Daeng district. The official then got on a pickup truck with two other officers and drove away.
The clip was widely shared on social media. Netizens said that a can is usually where street vendors keep their money, and speculated that it was a case of extortion.
The district office responded via its Facebook page that the incident took place on September 17 when municipal police officers were dispatched to the stadium to facilitate traffic flow as there were many people coming to get vaccinated at the nearby Ministry of Labour building.
“Officers were prohibiting hawkers from setting up their trolleys on the road as they would cause traffic congestion. They arrested the ice-cream seller as he was repeatedly selling in prohibited areas,” said the post. “The officer had taken a can, which contained ice-cream equipment, as evidence to charge the vendor. There was no money in the can.”
The office added that selling food on a public road is a violation of the Maintenance of the Cleanliness and Orderliness Act, punishable with a maximum of Bt2,000 fine.
“We, however, have instructed all municipal officials to perform their duties with politeness and refrain from any actions that might upset the public’s feelings,” added the district office.
Published : September 18, 2021