AOT Press Release 86/2561

AOT Press Release

Today (29 September 2018) Wing Cmdr. Suthirawat Suwannawat, General Manager of Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) and Pol. Col.Choenron Rimpadee, Deputy Commander and Spokesman of Immigration Division 2, jointly clarified the case which has appeared on the social media regarding a Chinese tourist who was allegedly attacked by DMK security officer.

Wing Cmdr. Suthirawat stated that the said incident as appeared on the video clip happened on 27 September 2018 at around 22:27 hrs. when DMK was contacted by Lion Air’s staff requesting assistance from the airport security officer to pacify the situation at the airport detention facility where the Chinese tourist, Mr. Mei Ji, was being detained. Mr. Mei Ji was a passenger on board Lion Air flight SL117 from Jakarta, Indonesia, to Don Mueang International Airport (DMK). He was rejected entry into Thailand by Royal Thai Immigration officer at DMK as he was unable to present the required documents needed for the granting of Visa on Arrival, and he also engaged in improper behavior toward the Immigration officer and resisted being detained at the detention facility. Upon arrival at the incident site, the airport security officer had treated the passenger appropriately and according to the operation procedures.

However, Mr. Mei Ji resisted and tried to escape through the Bus Gate of the International Passenger Terminal. In trying to subdue the Chinese national, the airport security officer may have unintentionally used excessive force, that if confirmed unequivocally to be true, the incident is considered by AOT to be a serious breach of conduct punishable by immediate termination of employment. Subsequently, Mr. Mei Ji had been sent back to the city of Guangzhou, China, on board Lion Air flight SL038 on 28 September 2018 at 00:45 hrs.

The Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT) deeply regrets any untoward incident that has happened and is sincerely sorry for the physical and mental trauma that may have been caused to the Chinese national involved. The action of the security patrol officer was considered breaking a serious discipline, with a penalty of discharge from employment. The AOT resolves to submit an official letter to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Thailand to express its deep and sincere apology for this unfortunate incident as soon as possible.

Wing Cmdr. Suthirawat concluded that AOT is always pleased to welcome and provide support for Chinese tourists visiting Thailand. At present, AOT is in the process of collaborating with the Immigration Control Office to open special channels for Chinese tourists at Thailand’s five main international airports: 18 channels at Suvarnabhumi Airport, 21 channels at Don Mueang International Airport, eight channels at Chiang Mai International Airport, 18 channels at Phuket International Airport and 10 channels at Hat Yai International Airport.