Protest Supporters on Twitter Called for Looting in the Streets

Twitter Supporters Call For Looting

A police spokesman said on Tuesday that several anonymous Twitter users have encouraged anti-government demonstrators to loot in order to increase tensions, but there were many responses rejecting the idea.

Pol Col Siriwat Deepor, deputy spokesman for the Royal Thai Police Office, said some anonymous Twitter posters have called for demonstrators to loot and damage government and private property, as protesters did in other countries.

However, there had been many posts in response by protest supporters advising their peers not to allow themselves to be used by people with ill intentions, and the government was thankful for their warnings, he said.

The government’s emergency situation command was concerned about the development, he said. He also warned that demonstrators should not allow themselves to become a tool of any party with ill intentions.

Anybody caught looting would be charged with violating the state of emergency decree, which bans rallies, and also crimes against property, robbery and theft, he said.

The Twitter users who proposed looting were in breach of the Computer Crime Act and the state of emergency decree, which carried maximum penalties of a 100,000 baht fine and/or five years in prison.

Bangkok deputy police chief Pol Maj Gen Piya Tawichai said the Metropolitan Police Bureau had 1,860 police officers on standby to handle future crowds and ensure the safety of demonstrators.