Three police charged with extortion

Three police charged with extortion

KALASIN: A committee will investigate three police accused of demanding a 500,000-baht bribe in exchange for releasing a suspect caught with 2,000 methamphetamine pills in Muang district.

Provincial police will form a committee to probe the allegations, Pol Lt Gen Yanyong Vejosot, chief of Provincial Police Region 4, said yesterday. The three officers, whose names were withheld, have been suspended, he added.

A woman, identified only as "Maneerat", claimed the officers contacted her following the arrest of her older brother, "Taweesak".

According to her, the officers promised to stop legal action against him for 500,000 baht. She said she negotiated the amount down to 400,000 baht and was told to deliver the money on Thursday at 9am to the officers at Muang district station.

However, the woman instead went to Kalasin provincial station to inform officers that she was being extorted by police and logged the cash as evidence.

Later she went to Muang district station to meet the three and make the payment. She was placed in an investigation room for about 10 minutes before she left.

After, a team of police led by Pol Col Kasem Muthaporn, investigation chief of Kalasin police, entered the room and found three police identified as a 27-year-old senior police sergeant-major, a 30-year-old police sergeant and a 27-year-old police sergeant. They had already released the drug suspect and 364,000 baht in cash was found in a bag.

During questioning, the three said they were part of a ring that also included one police captain, one police lieutenant, two senior police sergeant-majors, three police sergeant-majors and one police sergeant.

The three policemen were charged with extortion and misconduct.

Pol Lt Gen Yanyong said he was concerned about the potential damage to the Royal Thai Police's image.

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