Police have shut down 16 illegal garbage dumps in nine districts of Bangkok and arrested seven people for operating them.
Pol Maj Gen Wacharin Pusit, commander of the Natural Resources and Environment Crime Division, said on Thursday that the tips were closed on Wednesday after public complaints about the stench and health hazards.
There were three illegal rubbish tips in both Lat Krabang and Saphan Sung districts; two each in Min Buri, Nong Khaem and Suan Luang; and one each in Prawet, Klong Sam Wa, Bung Kum and Bang Khae.
"People complained that there were illegal dumps in many parts of Bangkok. They gave off foul smells and caused air pollution because of the improper waste disposal practices, which could also spread disease and contaminate local water sources and the general vicinity," Pol Maj Gen Wacharin said.
Police arrested seven people who were operating the dumps and said three were women. They were identified as Pataporn Thaworn, 29, Buathai Nonthesa, 40, Pan Pakkaeo, 61, Apisit Kitkiat, 27, Nonglak Songmuang, 28, Kittisak Sirikittisunthorn, 42, and Chanya Sonphuang, 48.
Under questioning. the suspects said they had sought permission from the land owners to use their ponds for landfill and had promised to beautify the sites, covering them with soil, so the owners could later sell the land at a good price.
The illegal dump operators charged each rubbish truck 40-300 baht a load, depending on the kind of waste - mainly discarded wood and construction material and tree branches.
The suspects were charged with illegally operating the rubbish tips, Pol Maj Gen Wacharin said.