3 cops face probe over 30k bribe

3 cops face probe over 30k bribe

Claim they found cash in seized car

Three policemen have been moved to inactive posts pending an investigation into their alleged extortion of 30,000 baht from a motorist who was behind in his car payments and using fake licence plates.

National police chief Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol said yesterday that the three officers were transferred to the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB). They face possible criminal charges and disciplinary action. Their supervisor was disciplined, the police chief said.

Pol Col Kiattisak Mitprasart, superintendent of Klong Luang police station, said the three policemen, two majors and a sub-lieutenant of the CCIB, arrested the driver of a Toyota car with fake licence plates in front of a department store in the Nawa Nakhon area on Saturday. They took him to Klong Luang police station in Pathum Thani province, where they claimed they were based.

Pol Col Kiattisak said initial investigations found they extorted 30,000 baht from the driver, who was ordered to withdraw the cash from an ATM and place it inside the car. The officers later got in and drove the car away.

The three officers handed the car over to police interrogators at Klong Luang police station on Sunday night. They explained that the car was about to be seized because a finance company complained the owner had defaulted on the hire purchase payments.

However, they said they returned the car late because they had to check and document it at the CCIB.

The officers denied any extortion and said the 30,000 baht in cash was in the car before they impounded it.

The Royal Thai Police on Sunday set up a panel to investigate the matter after the Krue Kai Phuen Tamruad (Police Companion Network) posted on its Facebook page an extortion plan in areas policed by Klong Luang police station.

Pol Col Kiattisak said that his investigative panel questioned the 40-year-old motorist, whose name was withheld, and who said on Saturday that the three police officers claimed to be officers from Klong Luang police station and had demanded the money from him.

He said that the suspects admitted to certain events that transpired while repeating their claims that the cash was already in the car.

The investigation is expected to be wrapped up in the next 30 days and a report submitted to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).

The motorist will be charged with using a fake licence plate, and the car has now been seized, said Pol Col Kiattisak.

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