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Major police bribery complaint

major police bribery complaint

Crusading lawyer Sittra Biabungkerd on Thursday presented the police with evidence of what he says is large-scale bribery from online gambling business that involves many officers.

The secretary of the People’s Lawyers Foundation turned over the documents to Pol Maj Gen Charoonkiat Pankaew, the deputy chief of the police Central Investigation Bureau (CIB).

The lawyer said the information included chat records, money transfer slips and bank statements. The recipients of the money included many police officers and a high-ranking commander, he added.

Mr Sittra said he had not yet filed a complaint against any individual officers but would wait for 30 days for the bureau to conduct an investigation. He said he would follow up progress and decide later on his next move.

Mr Sittra said none of his findings indicated any possible wrongdoing by Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, a deputy national police chief.

Pol Gen Surachate and officers loyal to him have been involved in a long-running feud with a faction loyal to Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol, who was named the national police chief last year and is scheduled to retire at the end of September.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin last week became so fed up with the public sniping that he transferred both men to inactive posts pending an investigation into what is really behind the conflict.

Mr Sittra said he had received his evidence from police officers who could no longer tolerate corruption on the force.

On Tuesday he alleged that a gang with police links collected about 100 million baht in kickbacks each month. It was subsequently reported that Pol Gen Torsak was looking to file a lawsuit against Mr Sittra.

Pol Maj Gen Charoonkiat said he would send the information from the lawyer to the Anti-Corruption Division Police for verification within 30 days. He said he would not send it to the National Anti-Corruption Commission because Mr Sittra had not yet filed a specific complaint about malfeasance or bribery.

Pol Gen Surachate, meanwhile, on Wednesday failed to acknowledge money-laundering charges for a second time. The case concerns an online gambling network called BNK Master.

Investigators resolved on Wednesday to issue a third notice to appear on April 1. If Pol Gen Surachate fails to show, he will face an arrest warrant, a police source said.

Pol Gen Surachate is said to be visiting the United Kingdom and is due to return to Thailand on April 1.

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