A senior district official in Chiang Mai arrested at his office on Thursday for allegedly demanding bribes in exchange for gun permits claimed that the payments were made out of gratitude, not demanded as bribes.
Police from the Counter Corruption Division (CCD) and officials of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) and the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) arrested Sorapong Telavanit, 40, assistant district chief of Muang district at his office.
They also sized 20,000 baht cash and two gun permits as evidence of bribe taking at his office on Thursday morning, CCD commander Pol Maj Gen Jaroonkiat Pankaew said.
The arrest followed complaints to the NACC alleging that Mr Sorapong demanded money in exchange for issuing gun permits, Pol Maj Gen Jaroonkiat said.
The three agencies investigated and then set up a sting. One of the gun permit applicants was sent to hand over 20,000 baht allegedly demanded by Mr Sorapong, who was then arrested, Pol Maj Gen Jaroonkiat said.
During questioning Mr Sorapong denied taking a bribe. He said the money was given to him out of gratitude. The arresting officers were not swayed by his claim.
He was charged with taking a bribe, dereliction of duty and related offences before being handed over to the CCD police for legal action.
Sorapong Telavanit, 40, assistant district chief of Chiang Mai’s Muang district office, in blue T-shirt, is arrested with 20,000 baht cash and two gun permits on a charge of demanding bribes, at his office on Thursday morning. (Photo supplied) Bangkokpost