A navy petty officer has been jailed for allegedly forcing new recruits to drink his semen as part of a hazing ritual at the naval training base in Chon Buri Thailand.
Vice Adm Pokkrong Monthatphalin, a Royal Thai Navy spokesman, said Petty Officer Second Class Taksin Ngokpilai had been transferred to an inactive post pending further investigation. He was then jailed.
Adm Pokkrong said that because the act was found to have seriously sullied the reputation of the military, the petty officer will also be dishonorably discharged.
Furthermore, the offender’s superiors are expected to be held responsible for his behavior.
The Thai Marine Corps’ Security Department commander will be punished for seven days. Navy officials plan to punish the department’s command and service company head for 15 days.
Adm Somprasong Nilsamai, the Royal Thai navy chief, told Vice Adm Pokkrong that all supervisors must ensure that instructors behave appropriately and care for recruits.
The incident occurred in Chon Buri’s Sattahip district in October last year at a naval training camp.
The case was revealed after a Facebook account named “Khon Khao Muang Pathum” posted a video showing the petty officer instructor forcing a new recruit to drink semen mixed with fish sauce.
Recently, the navy conscripts who appeared in the video were honorably discharged from the military after serving for six months.
Hazing in the Navy and Conscription
In Thailand’s armed forces and even in universities, hazing rituals are still common, and some of the activities can be fatal.
The deputy prime minister and former defense minister Gen. Parfait Wongsuwan previously dismissed these hazing rituals and initiations saying, “it didn’t kill him”.
Conscription evokes fear in almost every young man in Thailand, but some say their training is more brutal than war.
The Thai military hazing was documented by Amnesty International as being physically violent, mentally stressful, and sexual.
In their anonymous interviews, former and current conscripts told Amnesty International about instances of degrading treatment to which they or other soldiers were subjected.
Thai armed forces, which wield enormous political and economic influence in Thailand, are long accused of turning a blind eye to routine abuse of conscripts, who make up about half of Thailand’s 350,000-strong military.
As part of Thailand’s compulsory military service law, every year, young men who turn 21 are entered into a recruitment lottery, with a third needing to serve.
Most conscripts lack the physical and psychological training needed for military service. Hazing is a common practice in army camps aimed at transforming recruits into “real men”.
Some conscripts suffer permanent disabilities or even die from injuries sustained during hazing and other forms of punishment, according to Amnesty International.