Fer­vent Thai fans of South Korean ac­tor over­step air­port se­cu­rity

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Asean Focus -

EX­TREME ef­forts by two Thai fe­male fans to meet their South Korean idol have raised con­cerns about se­cu­rity pro­ce­dures at Thai­land’s main air­port.

The two women’s mis­ad­ven­tures were ex­posed when one posted pho­tos on In­sta­gram de­tail­ing how they got into the se­cure ar­rival zone at Bangkok’s Su­varn­ab­humi Air­port last Fri­day to greet South Korean soap opera star Lee Jong-suk face-to-face.

The posts ex­plained how they changed into cloth­ing to make them look like cus­toms of­fi­cers and thanked two of­fi­cials who ap­par­ently helped them.

The Cus­toms Depart­ment said it is seek­ing tres­pass­ing charges against the two fans, and the air­port’s po­lice chief, Col. Viroj Tudso, said Wed­nes­day that sum­monses had been is­sued for two cus­toms of­fi­cers ac­cused of help­ing them en­ter a re­stricted area. A third is also un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion, as Cus­toms au­thor­i­ties ex­am­ine whether their per­son­nel lent se­cu­rity passes and uni­forms to the women to al­low them to en­ter the bag­gage claim area.

The tres­pass­ing charge car­ries a max­i­mum pun­ish­ment of five years in prison and a 100,000 baht (K4.95 mil­lion/$3100) fine.

The In­sta­gram posts showed the en­thu­si­asm of the two fans for their idol. “Thank you, my dear friend, Pi­ano, for find­ing out Suk’s flight. Sai, for get­ting an of­fi­cial to let me into the de­par­ture gate,” the fan wrote. “I was also the first per­son to touch Suk’s hand!” she said.

Lee, 29, came to Bangkok to at­tend a fan meet­ing ses­sion on Satur­day, where tick­ets to guar­an­tee a brief high­five with the celebrity, an act known as “Hi-touch,” cost as much as 5500 baht. South Korean pop cul­ture has a large fol­low­ing in Thai­land.

The mat­ter drew wider pub­lic at­ten­tion when a Twit­ter user, who is also a fol­lower of the South Korean star, re­posted the fan’s ac­counts and alerted the Twit­ter ac­count of Air­ports of Thai­land, the par­ent com­pany of Su­varn­ab­humi Air­port.

“Thank you very much,” Air­ports of Thai­land said in a Twit­ter post re­ply­ing to the re­posted im­ages. “We will co­or­di­nate (with au­thor­i­ties) to con­tinue the process.”

The English-lan­guage Khao Sod news web­site re­ported Wed­nes­day that air­port Vice Pres­i­dent Kit­tipong Kit­tika­chorn had ac­knowl­edged that “the se­cu­rity team did not strictly fol­low pro­ce­dures that day, al­low­ing out­siders to slip in.” – AP

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