Jail of Innocent Thai Taxi Driver Proves Just How Bad Thailand’s Justice System Is

The Thai justice system is known to be flawed.

That is one reason why you often see people paraded across Thai news for press conferences after they have been accused of a crime and arrested, only to find out a few weeks later they didn’t actually commit the crime.

In Thailand, unfortunately, at least from what Thai police seem to believe, you are guilty until proven innocent, and they wil drag your good name across the mud regardless that you haven’t yet been found guilty of anything.

So, it wasn’t such a surprise to see one of the Bangkok Post’s latest videos, this one about a Thai taxi driver, Charin Chamket, whose face was splashed across the Thai newspapers last month when he was accused of robbing people and of two acts of sexual assault.

At the time of his arrest, Charin kept saying he hadn’t done it and he wasn’t guilty of anything but nobody would listen to him. Even though he was out of Bangkok on a business trip when the crimes occurred and his boss wrote a letter to police that verified that, he was still arrested, shown all over Thai TV and the newspapers as a “thief and a sexual predator”, and promptly thrown in jail.

Of course, nine days later, when Thai police finally found the person who really did perpetrate the crimes, Charin Chamket was immediately released. But, not before neighbor children had been told by their parents not to play with his children because “their father was a thief” or before Charin’s life was badly derailed.

So, do you think Charin will get any compensation for his wrongful arrest, or for his good name being damaged? Well, Thai police gave him 20,000 baht for his troubles. In western terms, that’s around $660, nothing more than an average Thai monthly salary.

No surprise then that Thai justice is often known as a terrible thing.

Crimes are investigated by Thai police who, for the most part, are poorly educated and poorly trained.

Normal forensic practices that are commonplace in developed countries are summarily ignored in Thailand, with police even being known to contaminate crime scenes as they don’t always wear gloves. Then a case goes to court, where many of Thailand’s judges ignore the evidence put in front of them.

Unfortunately, as far as Thai justice is concerned, it often seems to be more important that Thai police find someone to blame for the crime, rather than to arrest the person who actually did it.

Meanwhile, Charin Chamket, recently released from jail is trying to get his life back together. It is likely, as far as he is concerned, Thai justice is a very poor thing indeed.