Three police officers in Kalasin have been accused of demanding a bribe of 500,000 baht in exchange for releasing a suspect caught with 2,000 methamphetamine pills.
The Kalasin provincial police will form a fact-finding committee to investigate the allegations, Pol Lt Gen Yanyong Vejosot, the chief of Provincial Police Region 4, said on Saturday. The three officers, whose names were withheld, have been barred from the civil service, he added.
The woman, named only as Maneerat, reported the extortion after claiming that the officers contacted her following the arrest of her older brother, identified only as Taweesak. She said the officers promised to halt all legal action against her brother if she paid them 500,000 baht. She negotiated the amount down to 400,000 baht and was told to deliver the payment on Thursday.
Instead, the woman submitted the cash as evidence and led commanding officers at the Kalasin station to confront the three officers. They were two police sergeants, aged 27 and 30, and a 27-year-old low-level officer.
They had reportedly released the drug suspect upon being discovered and were found with 364,000 baht in cash in a bag. Questioned by senior authorities, the three said they were part of a ring that included eight more officers.
Ms Maneerat filed complaints against all three officers, citing bribery and neglect of duty.
Pol Lt Gen Yanyong has assured that the officers will be punished to the full extent of the law if found guilty, admitting his concern about the potential damage such incidents cause to the image of the Royal Thai Police.