The pro-democracy Ratsadon group is calling for “honest” police officers to join a rally taking place today to protest police and government corruption. Protesters are expected to gather at the Ratchaprasong intersection in Bangkok from 5pm. During last week’s no confidence debate against the PM, members of the opposition accused Prayut Chan-o-cha and his deputy, Prawit Wongsuwa, of involvement in a corrupt system of “payment for promotion” to allow police officers to move up the ranks.
The Ratsadon group is appealing to officers who have not benefited from such corruption to join them in calling it out.
“Good work, well-recognised work, but without lobbying, you will be stuck at the same place. Police, it’s time to choose whether to side with the civilians or the tyrants!”
Coconuts reports that the rally is called, “police mob to defeat an elephant” in reference to the system known as “elephant tickets”, in which prominent figures at the top of the political system sign tickets that promote officers swiftly through the ranks . It’s understood such tickets can be bought for millions of baht and even give the holder a discount on the bribe needed for promotion.
The crooked system was highlighted during last week’s parliamentary debate, with leaked documents indicating the involvement of the PM and Prawit, as well as Thailand’s highest institution. An MP from the Move Forward Party, Rangsiman Rome, was swiftly threatened with the country’s lèse majesté law after he presented a 2019 palace document which backed the promotion of 20 police officers.
Rangsiman says he’s aware of the risk he’s taking in presenting such evidence, but that the system creates a circle of immorality and corruption. He says officers have to maximise the payments taken from human trafficking and illegal gambling operations in order to afford promotion tickets.
“This is probably the most dangerous action I’ve ever taken in my life. But since people have chosen me for this duty, I will fight for them.”
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