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News : Prankster Made 4,000 Hoax 191 Calls
18, 2014 -- A young man has been arrested for bombarding the 191 emergency call centre with over 4,000 hoax calls over the past few months, and making about 400 phone calls a month sexually harassing women.
Kitti Disapong, 22, a native of Prachin Buri’s Ban Sang district, was presented at a police press conference in the eastern province on Thursday. Police earlier seized his mobile phone and a SIM card, Thai media reported.
He stands accused of using his mobile phone number to make 758 hoax calls to Prachin Buri’s emergency call centre and 4,191 more hoax calls to 191 hotline centre across the country between Aug 16 and Dec 6, Pol Lt Gen Thanet Pinmuang-ngam, chief of Provincial Police Region 2 said.
This same phone number was also used to sexually harass hundreds of women. Police had investigated the hoax calls made from this mobile phone number, and found that the phone belonged to Mr Kitti, who was then arrested.
The 22-year-old man confessed to having made the prank calls to emergency hotline centres across the country, explaining that he was impetuous.
He also admitted he made obscene phone calls to women every day. He made at least 400 such phone calls a month, trying to persuade women to have sex with him.
The prank caller is being held in police custody on charges of defamation, causing shame to others and being a public nuisance.
Pol Lt Gen Thanet said the suspect’s actions caused damage to society. His false calls meant people who were in dire need of help were unable to contact police.
National police chief Somyot Pumpunmuang has vowed to tackle obstacles impeding the effectiveness of the 191 emergency call centre by Dec 29, after a survey found communication glitches at emergency call centres in 25 provinces.
Speaking at a seminar with officers from the emergency call centre, Pol Gen Somyot said on Thursday he was determined to boost the efficiency of the 191 centre. There should be more staff on hand to receive phone calls from the public.
The police chief said he had made phone calls to the centre at night to test its services, but found there were still problems.
Earlier, callers had complained that their calls to 191 had either been left unanswered or diverted to officers who were not responsible for the issues that worried them.
Pol Gen Vorapong Chiewpreecha, deputy police chief, on Thursday admitted the operation of the 191 emergency call centre has fallen below acceptable standards over the past 10 years.
He blamed the problem on a shortage of personnel and necessary equipment for the centre. To solve the problem, police authorities have recently approved a proposal to bring in outsiders to jointly work with officers at the centre.
Police have also announced a second emergency call number with extra lines, 1599, if the 191 line is engaged.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Tuesday, December 23, 2014