Police seized the passport and blocked the departure of a Chinese journalist arrested for allegedly demanding a multi-million-baht bribe from a suspected Chinese gangster to arrange for charges against her to be dropped.
Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn said on Sunday police had turned down Guo Rui aka Gegee's request to leave the country "to attend a meeting" in Hong Kong.
Police prohibited the woman from leaving Thailand because she was a suspect and her passport had to be seized, Pol Gen Surachate said.
Ms Gegee, who is also a businesswoman, was detained on Friday for allegedly demanding 33 million baht in exchange for arranging the dropping of charges against another Chinese woman whose Thai name was Navaporn Phakiatsakul. Ms Navaporn is an alleged leader of a criminal syndicate involved in fraud, surrogacy and human trafficking. She reportedly paid 14 million baht to Gegee.
Ms Gegee, 44, has reportedly lived in Thailand for decades. She used to be a reporter and work as an interpreter facilitating communications for police and Chinese businesspeople in the country.
Pol Gen Surachate said interrogators had temporarily released Ms Gegee on bail of 3.5 million baht because she had not been arrested, but only called to acknowledge charges.
The deputy national police chief said Ms Gegee had worked for police as an interpreter since he was the tourist police commander. Her service included working on Ms Navaporn's case.
He said police had evidence to prove that Ms Gegee received 14 million baht in cash from Ms Navaporn in March when Ms Navaporn had not been in jail.
Pol Gen Surachate said he learned that Ms Gegee had used her close connection with him to demand bribes on mulitiple occasions, but police had strong evidence only in Ms Navaporn's case. He said Ms Gegee's husband was also involved.
He said Ms Gegee met him at 10am on Sunday to discuss her case and he had police interrogators record her account.