Ex-national parks chief’s complaint rejected in bribery scandal case

Photo Courtesy of Bangkok Post

A bribery scandal involving a former director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation in Thailand took a new turn as the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases dismissed the complaint filed by the accused against the arresting police officers.

Rutchada Suriyakul Na Ayutya accused members of the police Anti-Corruption Division (ACD) of malfeasance, fabricating evidence, trespass, maltreatment, and illegal assembly.

Rutchada was arrested on December 27 last year at his office for allegedly demanding and accepting bribes from subordinates seeking promotions or preferred transfers. During the police sting operation, approximately 5 million baht in cash was discovered in envelopes within his office safe. The arrest followed a complaint filed against him.

In response to the dismissal of Rutchada’s complaint, the court stated that the ACD police were merely performing their duties. Rutchada’s lawyer, Rachan Chueabankoh, announced that his client intends to appeal the ruling.

In February, Jatuporn Buruspat the Ministry permanent secretary, said…

“What the ministry has done is based on civil service regulations. Rutchada ceased to be a state official when the order was made on February 3. The investigation is to ensure transparency and fairness to all stakeholders. We want the public to be updated and regain trust in our organisation.”

Talerngsak Petchsuwan, the ministry’s deputy permanent secretary headed the committee to discover whether there had been any wrongdoing. He said 50 state officials had been questioned.

When Rutchada was arrested on December 27, cops found 5 million baht in cash in his safe. Names of forestry officials appeared on envelopes stuffed with cash found in his office. It was all, we were led to believe, a matter of donations to monasteries, and other such worthy work.

At that time, Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-Archa moved the Thai park’s boss to an inactive post and appointed the chief of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, Attaporn Charoenchansa, to take his place.

Attaporn set up an inquiry and moved at least two other state officials to inactive posts following allegations of involvement.

Thailand News

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.