Senior police face B176m bribery charge

Senior police face B176m bribery charge

A police station chief and a deputy provincial commander in Phichit will be charged for their alleged involvement in a bribery case involving 176 million baht.

The money was left in a bank account owned by a Myanmar national who died years ago, said deputy national police chief Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn.

The pair were found to have helped a Chinese national gain access to the bank account which had for a long time been frozen. It was connected with a drug smuggling ring, said Pol Gen Surachate.

The matter came to light after a bank officer alerted Thong Lor police about an attempt by the Chinese national to request a new bank passbook for the account. He claimed to be the owner of the account owner and said his old passbook was lost, he said.

That led about seven people arrested, including a well-known gynaecologist, on charges of theft and using a fake stamp, he said.

As investigators dug deeper, they found the Chinese national was assisted by the Phichit police station chief and the deputy provincial police chief in removing the account from a list of assets frozen by the police, said Pol Gen Surachate, citing a statement given by the Chinese suspect.

The Chinese man also told officers the two police officials demanded a bribe in exchange for helping him, said Pol Gen Surachate, adding further details could not be revealed at this point.

"The investigation will be wrapped up next week and charges pressed against the two police," he said.

As for the Samut Prakan police commander found to have ordered a team under his supervision to seize more than 900 bank accounts owned by criminal suspects in various cases, the commander has been transferred to an inactive post at the Royal Thai Police Sports Club while he faces a formal probe, he said.

"The investigators handling this case are gathering evidence to probe the alleged embezzlement and they need a week or two to wrap up the investigation," he said.

The Samut Prakan police commander had a history of red warnings issued by the Provincial Police Region 1 commissioner over his alleged involvement in similar embezzlement cases, said Pol Gen Surachate.

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