Almost 7 million baht in cash and a list of suspected bribe takers were seized during the police search at the house of a senior Bangkok district official charged with demanding a large bribe from a real estate company.
The list and the money were found by a team of police, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering officials at the home of Pramual Saengkaewsri, 57, head of the Ratchathewi district office revenue section, on Wednesday evening.
The search followed his arrest on Tuesday on a charge of demanding a 3.2 million baht bribe from a real estate developer with a promise to disappear land and building taxes amounting to 40 million baht.
The house is in Bang Bua Thong district of Nonthaburi.
Officials found cash totalling 6.9 million baht in one of his cars and a large number of documents police said were bribe related. All were seized for investigation.
Mr Pramual was caught with an envelope containing 3.2 million baht in cash in the car park of a hotel in the Phaya Thai area of Ratchathewi district on Tuesday. He denied any wrongdoing and told police he thought the envelope contained only documents.
Mr Pramual was charged with demanding or receiving a bribe and malfeasance in office in violation of Section 157 of the Criminal Code. He was later released on bail of 400,000 baht after being questioned.
He allegedly solicited a bribe from a real estate company in exchange for a promise to help it evade paying building and land tax totalling about 40 million baht. The company management reported the matter to the Anti-Corruption Division (ACD).
Pol Maj Gen Jaroonkiat Pankaew, commander of the ACD, said the investigation would be expanded because the seized documents showed there were several others who might have been involved in demanding bribes. Police would examine the suspect's financial transactions and interview anyone who may be linked to illegal activities.
"We've found a notebook that appears to contain details of bribe payments. There are eight people listed there and the minimum payment was six digits. We'll find out where the money went and if any high-ranking officials are involved," he said.
He said the case report would be forwarded to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) when completed.
A source close to the Ratchathewi district office said there are 15 officials in the revenue section, which is in charge of collecting four types of local taxes. The district covers 7.7 square kilometres, with several shopping malls, hotels and condominiums, and collected 300 million baht in local taxes in 2022.