NAKHON SI THAMMARAT: The police chief of Nakhon Si Thammarat province has ordered Bang Khan police station to investigate four of its officers accused of extorting 300,000 baht from a drug dealer in exchange for letting him go last Thursday.
Provincial police chief Pol Maj Gen Somchai Suetortrakul on Tuesday said a fact-finding committee would gather evidence, question witnesses and review footage from nearby surveillance cameras, and decide if there was a case for legal proceedings against the four officers.
An investigation unit had learned that four officers at Bang Khan in Nakhon Si Thammarat had arrested a drug dealer named Chaiya iatan oil-palm plantation in tambon Ban Lam Nao of Bang Khan district last Thursday.
The four police confiscated 16,583 methamphetamine pills, a pair of sunglasses, a pair of sandals, drug paraphernalia, a pair of canvas shoes, a copy of an ID card and residence documents and a car. Two local residents were reportedly involved in the arrest process.
Subsequently, the four officers allegedly extorted 300,000 baht from Mt Chaiya in exchange for his freedom. Mr Chaiya was then released.
Pol Maj Gen Somchai said Bang Khan police chief Pol Col Chakkrit Taewattana received a complaint about the misconduct of the four police officers and had already transferred them to other duties, from June 16-30, pending the investigation.
The four were a police captain who was a deputy chief of investigation and his crime suppression team - a police lieutenant, a police sub-lieutenant and a police sergeant major.
The fact-finding probe was launched right after receiving the complaint last Friday, Pol Maj Gen Somchai said.
In addition, police already had obtained an arrest warrant for Mr Chaiya, the drug dealer, he said.