Officers face arrest over release of Chinese suspects in capital

Officers face arrest over release of Chinese suspects in capital

Warrants have been issued against police officers who allegedly took a bribe in exchange for the release of Chinese suspects following a crackdown on the home of a former Republic of Nauru consul-general last month in Bangkok.

Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, deputy national police chief, yesterday gave an update on the progress of a bribery and malfeasance case involving five police officers from the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) and nine others from the 191 Patrol and Special Operation division.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, former politician and massage parlour tycoon Chuvit Kamolvisit said the home was allegedly used to shelter Chinese nationals and served as a place to forge passports and visas.

Following the allegation, police arrested 11 Chinese nationals at the site, one of whom was wanted on Interpol's Red Notice list, and discovered 8 million baht in cash.

The wanted Chinese national had allegedly escaped a raid at the Jinling Pub on Charoen Rat Road on Oct 26.

According to news reports, the police teams who made the arrest later released all suspects in exchange for 5.5 million baht of the seized funds.

Meanwhile, Mr Chuvit also alleged that police had demanded an additional 4 million baht to be picked up from a petrol station.

Pol Gen Surachate said the 14 officers denied the charges, while a Chinese interpreter who was caught trying to illegally cross the Malaysia-Thai border confessed to being involved in the alleged 4-million-baht bribery.

In this case, 14 DSI and police officers are facing charges of malfeasance in office, accepting a bribe and destroying evidence under the Criminal Code, which could amount to life in prison or capital punishment if found guilty.

A soldier and the Chinese interpreter face charges of encouraging officers to take a bribe and committing misconduct to help offenders escape legal proceedings.

In addition, Pol Gen Surachate said more than 80 officers suspected of shady dealings with Chinese criminals would be summoned next week to acknowledge malfeasance and bribery charges.

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