Corruption probe deepens: Mayor’s office searched again after arrest in southern Thailand

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The Anti-Corruption Police conducted a second search of the office of the Mayor of Bang Kaeo in southern Thailand after his arrest for alleged under-the-table solicitation of 1.5 million baht. The Mayor, Nathapong Taengsuwan, had earlier been taken into custody for reportedly demanding bribes in exchange for approving a 13-million-baht LED screen installation project. A shocked Nathapong had attempted to discard 1,560,650 baht in cash to evade culpability, as previously reported.

The arrest and subsequent investigations took place today, September 22. The Anti-Corruption Police, led by Police Major General Sombat Malai, revealed that after detaining Nathapong for questioning and charging him with “being a state official performing or ignoring duties for personal gain.” He pleaded not guilty.

He subsequently used a cash bond of 400,000 baht to temporarily guarantee his release. The investigation team now has 30 days to gather evidence and witnesses before handing over the case to the National Anti-Corruption Commission.

Police Major General Sombat continued that additional witnesses and evidence are being sought promptly. Today, an order was given to search for further evidence at the Municipality office, specifically Nathapong’s workspace, which has been off-limits to unrelated individuals since his arrest.

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It is understood that the investigators have secured several documents and conducted interviews with several associated witnesses.

As for Nathapong, it is known that he submitted a sick leave form, although his whereabouts are currently unknown. Regardless, investigations will extend to examine contracts or budgetary allocations for various projects associated with the suspect.

In related news, Thai citizens suspect that some state officials, including the police, are in collusion with mafia-style influential figures. The National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) conducted a survey that will explore more into the opinions that the Thai citizens have about this case. Read HERE to find out what the survey says

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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