Police have found that more than 10 officials were involved in the case of a senior Ratchathewi district official in Bangkok who allegedly took bribes from many business operators.
Pramual Saengkaewsri, 57, head of the Ratchathewi district office revenue section, was jointly arrested by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), Anti-Corruption Division (ACD) and Office of Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) in the car park of a hotel in Ratchathewi district on Tuesday.
Mr Pramual was found in breach of Section 149 of the Criminal Code for acceptance of a bribe and Section 157 for the wrongful exercise of duties.
Officials acted on a tip-off provided by one of the suspect's victims, a real estate business operator.
The victim was quoted as telling police that the suspect informed the company it had to pay building and land taxes totalling 40 million baht. However, he reportedly offered to close the case and let the company avoid paying these if it gave him 3 million baht.
On the following day, police searched Mr Pramual's house in tambon Bang Rak Yai in Nonthaburi's Bang Bua Thong district, where they seized bank books, documents, land title deeds and over 3,000 Buddha amulets suspected to have been used in laundering money.
ACD commander Pol Maj Gen Charoonkiat Pankaew revealed on Friday that authorities believed all of the seized items could be associated with more than 100 cases of bribery involving about 100 companies. Police have questioned a handful of witnesses and will invite more related parties for talks as part of their investigation.
Police also found what remained of a five-million-baht deposit in the bank book of a woman who is a close aide of Mr Pramual after they searched her house recently. The transaction was made while the suspect held the post at Phaya Thai and Ratchathewi district offices.
Police found that when Mr Pramual received the suspected bribes, he deposited them in the accounts of those close to him.
There was also a record of the techniques he taught his subordinates to use when dealing with companies that wished to avoid paying their taxes, police said.
Police said an initial finding showed that about 100 million baht had been circulated in Mr Pramual's bank accounts. Police urged other victims to file complaints to help reduce the scope of corruption in the public sector, said Pol Maj Gen Charoonkiat.