Pongpat's jail time climbs to 31 years in fresh ruling

Pongpat's jail time climbs to 31 years in fresh ruling

Former Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) chief Pongpat Chayapan was sentenced to  a further 15 years in prison yesterday for demanding money for police promotions and accepting bribes from oil smugglers, bringing his total jail term from several convictions to 31 years and nine months. 

Pol Lt Gen Pongpat, Pol Maj Gen Kowit Wongrungroj, a former deputy CIB chief, and three other officers, Pol Col Wuthichat Liansukhon, Pol Snr Sgt Maj Surasak Channgao and Pol Snr Sgt Maj Chattrin Laothong, were convicted of demanding between three and five million baht from police officers seeking promotions.

Pongpat: Hit with another 15 years

The offences were committed between Oct 1, 2010 and Nov 11, last year, according to the Criminal Court.

The five pleaded guilty to the charges.

The late chief of the Crime Suppression Division's sub-division 1, Pol Col Akarawut Limrat, also colluded with the five.

Pol Maj Chatree Rungdamrong, a highway police inspector, was among those who paid for promotions.

The group also demanded Pol Maj Chatree and his associates pay between 10,000 baht and 2 million baht a month in order to keep their positions, the court said. 

Pol Lt Gen Pongpat and Pol Maj Gen Kowit were found guilty of malfeasance by coercing or inducing others to hand property to them and accepting other benefits.

The other three were convicted of collusion. 

The court initially sentenced Pol Lt Gen Pongpat and Pol Maj Gen Kowit to 20 years in prison and the rest to 12 years in jail. 

Due to their confessions, the jail terms of Pol Lt Gen Pongpat and Pol Maj Gen Kowit were commuted to 10 years each and those of the other three to six years each. 

The court yesterday also gave its ruling on the case in which Pol Lt Gen Pongpat, Pol Maj Gen Kowit and former chief of the Marine Police Division Boonsueb Phraithuean were accused of accepting bribes from oil smugglers between February 2012 and July 2014.

The trio were said to have accepted 147.4 million baht from various oil smugglers.

Pol Maj Gen Boonsueb was also alleged to have claimed he had to collect the money to give to his superiors and members of the royal family, a lese majeste offence.

Pol Lt Gen Pongpat and Pol Maj Gen Kowit were convicted of demanding benefits from the oil smugglers and were given 10 years each in prison.

Pol Maj Gen Boonsueb was convicted of demanding benefits from the illicit network and lese majeste charges and the court sentenced him to 15 years in jail. 

Due to confessions, the prison terms of Pol Lt Gen Pongpat and Pol Maj Gen Kowit were commuted to five years each and that of Pol Maj Gen Boonsueb was reduced to seven years and six months. 

Earlier, Pol Lt Gen Pongpat faced a prison term of 16 years and nine months after convictions in three separate cases.

He had been sentenced to six years in jail for his involvement in gambling businesses, nine months in prison for possessing illegal timber and 10 years in jail for money laundering.

Pol Maj Gen Kowit had earlier been sentenced to 11 years in prison. Yesterday's rulings took his prison term to 26 years. 

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