Fourteen police and officials of the Department of Special Investigation have been charged with demanding millions of baht in exchange for freeing a Chinese suspect from a former consul-general's home in Bangkok.
Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn said on Monday that five DSI officials, nine policemen including two officers from the Patrol and Special Operation Division, a soldier and a Chinese-born translator were involved in the alleged extortion of money from a Chinese suspect who was at the residence of a former consul-general of the Republic of Nauru in Sathon district.
The 16 suspects surrendered and denied all charges. They were released on bail.
According to Pol Gen Surachate, the policemen and DSI officials were asked to check the rented house of the former consul-general on Dec 22 last year. The place allegedly accommodated Chinese people involved in illicit business. The residence is within the jurisdiction of Thungmahamek police station.
When the officials found Chinese people there, they demanded a bribe in exchange for the release of one of them.
Only a Chinese maid and 2.5 million baht in cash were officially sent to Thungmahamek station. The woman was prosecuted for not having a passport.
It was reported that the officials saw two Chinese people at the house and that Interpol wanted one of them for the alleged forgery of Nauruan and Marshallese passports.
The Chinese-speaking translator was assigned to receive a bribe of 4 million baht in cash at a local petrol station.
Pol Gen Surachate also said that about 80 immigration police, including three police major generals, would be interrogated for allegedly facilitating the illegal stay of many Chinese people in the country in the guise of foreigners holding student and foundation staff visas.
There were about 1,000 cases of such illegal stays in the North and about 3,000 similar cases in the Northeast, he said.