Prison staff sacked for drugs, 1 jailed for murder plot

Prison staff sacked for drugs, 1 jailed for murder plot

The Department of Corrections has dismissed six officers allegedly involved with various types of transgression, including smuggling drugs into a prison.

Pol Col Naras Sawetanan, the department director-general, said yesterday the decision was made by the agency's civil service committee at its meeting on Friday. The six were the first batch of officers to face dismissal this year.

One was arrested on a charge of collusion to commit murder. The officer has been sentenced to life in prison by the Supreme Court, said Pol Col Naras. Another was found to be connected with drug offences and smuggling narcotics into a prison, he said. One smuggled tattoo ink into a jail and received something in return, he said. The matters are under investigation.

Two were found to have skipped work for over 15 days, one of whom also tested positive for methamphetamine in his urine. All five have been expelled from the agency, Pol Col Naras said.

Meanwhile, the panel also resolved to discharge another officer from government service after he smuggled five Benzhexol pills into a prison and gave them to an inmate, the director-general said. This medicine, which can be used to treat Parkinson's disease but can also be taken for its narcotic effect, is not allowed to be taken into prisons.

The department dismissed 43 officers last year as their actions were disgraceful and detrimental to public confidence, he said. The department has consistently advised staff to perform their duty with integrity, transparency and accountability, he added.

"They were told not to have a hand in any legal violations, but a minority of officers still committed wrongdoings," said Pol Col Naras. "The department cannot afford to stand idly by given the conduct of these officers and it has handed down penalties to the wrongdoers."

The punishments were meted out to serve as a deterrent to other officers who may be tempted to offend. "The punishments will also help boost confidence in corrections officers," Pol Col Naras said.

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