A senior official at the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) has filed a defamation complaint against activist lawyer Atchariya Reuangrattanapong, who linked him to a 6-million-baht bribe.
Pol Maj Gen Ekarak Limsangkat, the Amlo deputy secretary-general, lodged the complaint on Tuesday with the Phahon Yothin police station after Mr Atchariya called on police to investigate him and a police lieutenant-general for money laundering.
Mr Atchariya, chairman of the Help Crime Victims Club, alleged that Pol Maj Gen Ekarak was linked to the 6 million baht that whistleblower Chuvit Kamolvisit accepted earlier from an associate of the officer known as “Inspector Sua”.
Inspector Sua, or Pol Lt Col Wasawat Makurasakul, has since been suspended for frequent absenteeism from his post at the Office of Logistics of the Royal Thai Police. He is being investigated in connection with a huge illegal online gambling network.
Pol Maj Gen Ekarak on Tuesday denied any involvement in the case, saying Mr Atchariya gave false information to the public and damaged his reputation. He said he did not personally know Inspector Sua and did not take the bribe money to Mr Chuvit as alleged.
The Amlo deputy secretary-general also denied that his wife was involved in illegal gambling, following Mr Atchariya’s claim that money from gambling websites had been transferred to her accounts.
Pol Maj Gen Ekarak said he would seek 10 million baht in compensation from Mr Atchariaya, who he also accused of violating the Personal Data Protection Act.
The Amlo official said he was also considering filing a defamation lawsuit against another celebrity lawyer, Sittra Biabangkerd, who first brought the alleged bribe to the public’s attention.
Mr Chuvit admitted accepting the money after Mr Sittra posted photos of two bags containing bundles of 1,000-baht notes on his Facebook page with phrases like “expose and extort” attached to them.
The former massage parlour tycoon, whose revelations about Inspector Sua were part of a long-running series of exposes of police corruption, said he donated all the money to Siriraj Hospital and Thammasat University Hospital.
However, the hospitals subsequently returned the funds because they were concerned about their possibly illegal origins.