DSI officials deny graft allegation
published : 30 Jan 2023 at 10:01
newspaper section: News
writer: Wassayos Ngamkham
Three DSI officials suspected in the Nauru consul embezzlement case turned themselves in to police on Saturday, deputy police national chief Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn said.
The officers under the Department of Special Investigation were identified as Tharin Pichitkunchorn, former Special Investigation Intelligence division director, and former officers Anan Seelakhot and Adisorn Sonthiworachai.
They were suspended from duty after being accused of embezzlement and bribery in connection to a raid at the home of the former consul-general of the Republic of Nauru in Sathon district last month. All three denied the charges during police questioning.
Pol Gen Surachate said the trio were granted bail. They also insisted they would only give their statements to a court, he said.
He also said employees at the consul-general's office of the Republic of Nauru would be subject to additional questioning. Agents will collect evidence before determining whether to charge the employees, he said.
Meanwhile, DSI spokeswoman Pichaya Tharakornsanti said the agency has started a disciplinary investigation into the officers.
It is also aiming to determine whether they have committed a similar crime in the past, she said. If so, all cases will be combined, she said.
She said the DSI expects to announce progress in the investigation today.
Two other DSI officers are believed to also have been involved in the embezzlement case.
The raid came after the DSI received a request to act from the Vice Consul-General of Nauru on Dec 9. It led to the seizure of 2.5 million baht and the arrest of a Chinese maid.
The search team, however, is now under investigation over a missing 5.5 million baht it found at the scene and another 4 million in bribes in exchange for the release of 11 Chinese nationals found at the site.