Itthiphol Kunplome, until recently the minister for culture, was arrested on his arrival at Suvarnabhumi airport from Phnom Penh on Monday morning for alleged graft in a controversial condominium project he approved 15 years ago when Pattaya mayor.
He was later relased on court bail.
Immigration police arrested him at Bangkok's main airport when he arrived at 10am. He was wanted under a court arrest warrant issued early last month.
Police took him immediately to the public prosecutors' Region 2 office for corruption cases in the eastern province of Rayong.
The Criminal Court for Misconduct and Corruption Cases in Rayong approved the arrest warrant on Sept 5 because Mr Itthiphol did not report as ordered to public prosecutors. He went to Cambodia.
Prayut Pecharakhun, spokesman of the Office of the Attorney-General, said prosecutors took Mr Itthiphol to the court in Rayong on Monday afternoon.
Mr Itthiphol denied the charges and told the court he would find a lawyer to defend him.The court adjourned the hearing to Oct 31, allowing him time to engage a lawyer, and released him on bail of 120,000 baht.
The former cabinet minister is accused of illegally approving the construction of the huge Waterfront Suites & Residences condominium building, overlooking Bali Hai marina, on Sept 10, 2008, when he was Pattaya mayor.
Bali Hai Co was the project owner. The construction remains incomplete. There is an order for its demolition.
The Waterfront project was designed to have 57 floors on two-rai of land at the foot of Khao Phra Tamnak hill, adjacent to Pattaya Bay and Bali Hai Pier.
The project was challenged over its design and the land it was built on.
Mr Itthiphol, 50, was until recently the minister for culture, appointed a member of the second cabinet of former prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in July 2019. He is a younger brother of former Pattaya mayor Sonthaya Kunplome.