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

The superintendent of Kantharalak police in Si Sa Ket yesterday denied media reports that he was behind an order to procure durians for senior police who are due to inspect the station next week.

Pol Col Narin Bhupta spoke out in response to comments 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 had already ordered a ban on such actions, whether receiving items or donations from people, or coercing subordinates into graft.

Mr Thanchanon 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 is not a part of junior police 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 chat is just one of many similar cases which have yet to be exposed, he said, adding the matter must be dealt 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 practices, and leading by example, said the MFP deputy secretary general.

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

More channels were needed for the public to report incidences of graft, he said, urging the government to improve the living conditions of junior officers in the 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, said Mr Thanchanon.

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

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