The director of the Excise Department's Prevention and Suppression Bureau was involved in a case of illegally transported oil detected by the Highway Police on June 7, according to the results of an internal probe.
The director, whose name was not given, was caught after he reportedly called people at the Highway Police Department (HPD), asking them to let a driver go and release his tanker that had been stopped for an inspection on Phetkasem Road in Prachuap Khiri Khan after reports surfaced claiming that thousands of litres of oil were being illegally transported.
HPD staff refused to comply, according to Pol Maj Gen Jaroonkiat Pankaew, commander of the Anti-Corruption Division (ACD), who is also the acting HPD commander.
The director reportedly asked to contact Pol Maj Gen Jaroonkiat directly, but Pol Maj Gen Jaroonkiat declined.
Eaknithi Nithithanprapas, the director-general, ordered the investigation to be wrapped up in seven days from June 7.
The results showed the director was suspended on Tuesday and will be punished for a serious disciplinary violation, said deputy director-general Kriengkrai Pattanaporn.
The Excise Department also required the HPD to provide additional information that might help with the prosecution of any of the department's employees involved in the case.
Evidence required from the HPD also included a voice file recorded by anti-crime activist Atchariya Ruangratanapong that linked the issue to a higher-ranking department officer nicknamed "Yoot".
Both the department and the Finance Ministry will decide on the punishment, added Mr Kriengkrai.