Police probing 'durian tribute' for senior officers in Si Sa Ket
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Police probing 'durian tribute' for senior officers in Si Sa Ket

A vendor prepares durian for customers in Bang Phli district of Samut Prakan last month. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
A vendor prepares durian for customers in Bang Phli district of Samut Prakan last month. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

The superintendent of Kantharalak Police in Si Sa Ket on Sunday denied reports which claimed he was behind the order to procure durians for senior police officers who are due to inspect the station next week, saying an official is currently underway.

Pol Col Narin Bhupta made the announcement in response to comments made by Thanchanon Sriusadawutkul, deputy secretary general of the Move Forward Party (MFP), about a leaked Line chat which ordered junior officers at the station to procure the sought-after fruits for visiting senior officers.  

He said he has already ordered a ban on such actions whether receiving things or donations from people or coercing subordinates to a graft situation.

Mr Thanchanon had earlier said such orders should not be tolerated, even if it is considered a "tradition" within the police force and other government agencies.

"[The practice] reflects the worst aspects of the patronage system," he said, adding procuring durians isn't a part of junior officers' responsibility.

"Even though it is informal in nature, junior officers will find it hard to refuse such an order, despite the fact that it would increase their workload and eat up their salaries," he added, noting the practice paves the way for extortionate behaviour.  

The durian tribute is just one of many similar cases which have yet to be exposed, he said, adding the matter must be dealth with seriously.

Senior officers must demonstrate their commitment and political will to combat corruption in the force, by rolling out policies to stamp out such practice, and leading by example, he said.

The MFP member said a reform is needed to ensure transparency and accountability in an effort to prevent and stamp out corruption.

He called on more channels to be set up for the public to report incidences of graft, before urging the government to improve the living conditions of junior officers in the police force.

Mr Thanchanon also urged the agencies to promote honesty and a sense of duty as a good civil servant among their subordinates.

"Regular training on ethics, morality and relevant laws should also be conducted," he said.

Positive reinforcement, such as awards to recognise those who demonstrate integrity in their service, should also be considered, along with stricter punishment against offenders, he said.

Pol Col Narin said has already informed his superiors about the matter and an investigation is underway.

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