Unprosecutable 'influencers' to sign good-behaviour pacts

Unprosecutable 'influencers' to sign good-behaviour pacts

Commandos are raiding the home of an
Commandos are raiding the home of an "influential" figure in the South. (Photo by Wassayos Ngamkham)

Authorities who cannot muster enough evidence to prosecute “influential” police, military and local officials will require they sign pledges to end their dubious activities, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said on Friday.

The "memorandums of understanding" would be also signed with criminal figures who had halted their illicit businesses for a long time, he added.

Gen Prawit, who also is defence minister, said he had the heads of the army and Royal Thai Police compile lists of "dark influences" in the military and the police force, while that the interior minister did the same at the provincial and local administrative levels.

About 6,000 people have been accused of being influential criminal figures. They include incumbent and retired police and military officers who will face disciplinary and criminal prosecution if enough evidence can be collected, Gen Prawit said.

The Justice Ministry recently stated that it had gathered the names of forest encroachers, loan sharks, drug traffickers, tax evaders and tourist-scamming gangs. People suspected of loan sharking alone number about 3,000.

National police chief Chakthip Chaijinda said on Friday that about 200 police officers were suspected of being dark influences.

He also said that he convened some police generals for talks and investigations were underway. If officers are found to have done wrong they would be transferred and subjected to disciplinary and criminal hearings, Pol Gen Chakthip said.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha earlier said that the crackdown on influential criminal figures was not politically motivated and those who broke the law must be punished.

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