Arrest Over Cameras Found in Australian Embassy Toilets

The Royal Thai Police have arrested a former staff member at the Australian Embassy in Bangkok after multiple hidden spy cameras were discovered in the women’s toilets inside the government building.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the former employee, identified as Bank Thamsongsana, was detained on January 6 but released on bail after spending one night in custody. Australia’s ABC later reported that he had dual Australian and Thai citizenship.

The 30-year-old man had worked as an IT systems manager at the embassy. Information from Mr. Bank’s now-deleted LinkedIn profile said he had been employed at DFAT for nearly nine years after holding various other Australian government positions while working and studying in the country.

Official reports say the cameras, which were reportedly directed at female showers and toilets, were discovered after an SD card containing images of female staff was found on a bathroom floor last year. However, it is unknown how or when they were installed.

An Australian government employee spoke to ABC Australia about the incident, saying embassy staff members were shocked by the situation.

“Female staff, Thai and Australian, are very anxious. Some of the women don’t feel safe to stay there. They feel compromised and threatened,” the employee commented.

Australian Embassy representatives have sought further support to deal with the severe psychological impacts or potential security breaches related to the incident, the person added.

ABC Australia also stated that diplomatic staff has collaborated with Thai police during their investigation into the case. A Royal Police officer described the situation as “sensitive,” saying it had involved so many people.

Meanwhile, forensic investigators look through the evidence and female police officers interview the affected women, the officer added.

Authorities earlier confirmed that a man had been charged for violating sections of the Thai penal code that cover sexual offenses and public nuisance. No further information has been released, but he could be punished with up to 10 years in prison or fined 20,000 baht if found guilty.

The Australian Federal Police and DFAT declined to comment on whether the Australian government or local law enforcement would take action in the incident, saying it was an ongoing legal matter and staff “privacy” remains their priority.