More detention for top police, civilians

More detention for top police, civilians

The Criminal Court Monday approved 12 days of detention for a former Central Investigation Bureau chief, six other senior police officers and a civilian on charges ranging from lese majeste to violating protected-species laws.

Former Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) chief Pol Lt Gen Pongpat Chayapan is taken to court for further detention on Monday. (Photo by Thanarak Khunton)

Ordered to remain in custody were former CIB head Pol Lt Gen Pongpat Chayapan, former CIB deputy chief Pol Maj Gen Kowit Wongrungruang; Pol Maj Gen Boonsueb Phraithuean, former chief of the Marine Police Division; Pol Col Wuthichat Liansukhon, former chief of Consumer Protection Police Division's Sub-division 4; Pol Snr Sgt Maj Surasak Chan-ngao, the driver of Pol Lt Gen Pongpat; Pol Snr Sgt Maj Chattrin Laothong, the driver of Pol Maj Gen Kowit; Pol Col Kowit Muangnual, chief of Samut Sakhon's immigration police office. The civilian was Sawong Mungthiang.

Pol Lt Gen Pongpat was charged with violating Section 112 of the Criminal Code, also known as the lese majeste law; Section 148, which deals with misconduct committed by state officials; Section 149, dealing with state officials demanding benefits; and Section 157, dealing with malfeasance.

Pol Maj Gen Kowit, Pol Maj Gen Boonsueb, and Pol Col Wuthichat also face these charges, while Pol Snr Sgt Maj Surasak and Pol Snr Sgt Maj Chattrin Laothong were charged with malfeasance and unlawfully demanding bribes.

Pol Col Kowit faced deforestation and land-encroachment charges for allegedly constructing buildings over natural water resources. Ms Sahuang was charged with possessing the carcasses of protected species.

Police asked the court to detain the suspects until Dec 5, as they have to question more than 50 witnesses, and reject their bail requests. The court granted the plea to extend their detention.

The officers were taken to Bangkok Remand Prison while Mrs Sawong was being detained at the Women's Central Prison. 

Pol Col Eakkarat Limsangkart, deputy chief of Protection and Crowd Control Division said Pol Lt Gen Pongpat was taken to a police station in Bangkok for further questioning. He declined to specify which station. The ex-CIB chief would be accompanied to the Bangkok Remand Prison later after the questioning, he added.

Police will on Tuesday ask court to renew detentions for Chorb Shinprapha and his wife Tiyaphan - who are alleged to be part of the same ring as the seven officers and charged with facilitating demands for bribes. The couple was arrested on Sunday night along with the officers.

Another civilian involved in the case, Rerngsak Saknarongdech, is still at large, police said.

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