City police chief urged to quit over ThaiBev link

City police chief urged to quit over ThaiBev link

There has been nothing but a brusque 'no comment' from Bangkok police chief Sanit Mahathavorn since revelations of his hefty, monthly payment from Thai Beverage. (File photo by Tawatchai Kemgumnerd)
There has been nothing but a brusque 'no comment' from Bangkok police chief Sanit Mahathavorn since revelations of his hefty, monthly payment from Thai Beverage. (File photo by Tawatchai Kemgumnerd)

Pressure is mounting on city police chief Pol Lt Gen Sanit Mahathavorn to step down after he was found to be receiving monthly payments for advisory work from a major alcoholic beverage maker.

Srisuwan Janya, secretary-general of the Association for the Protection of the Constitution, has lodged a petition with the Office of the Ombudsman calling for a probe into his conduct.

Pol Lt Gen Sanit, also a member of the coup-appointed National Legislative Assembly (NLA), is accused of breaching police ethics by taking on the advisory post with the alcohol empire.

The criticism came after the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) recently revealed asset declarations of a group of new NLA members, including Pol Lt Gen Sanit.

According to his asset declaration, Pol Lt Gen Sanit has been receiving a monthly payment of 50,000 baht from Thai Beverage Plc as an adviser to the firm since last year.

Mr Srisuwan said the city police chief's link to the firm represents a conflict of interest, is against the police code of conduct and ethics of political office-holders, and violates the anti-corruption law.

He said Pol Lt Gen Sanit also serves as a member of the city's alcohol control committee, which means his role as an adviser to the alcohol company obviously presents problems.

"He should resign as the city police chief and step down as an NLA member," he said.

Worawit Sukboon, NACC deputy secretary-general, said Tuesday Section 100 of the anti-graft law prohibits any prime minister, minister, and local administration executive from being a contractual partner with private operators, but it does not mention anything about "state officials".

Mr Worawil added the rules could be different when it comes to conflicts of interest and codes of conduct for officials. Pol Lt Gen Sanit has declined to comment on the matter.


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