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Four police linked to online gambling gang surrender

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Four police linked to online gambling gang surrender
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Four commissioned policemen yesterday turned themselves in to face charges related to claims they took bribes from an online gambling organisation.

A gambling network allegedly run by Abubakar bin Sulaiman is said to have links with ousted crime-buster Lt Gen Pongpat Chayaphan.

The four police were identified as Lt Col Wattana Phon-ngarn-dee, Maj Apisit Mekprayoon, Capt Nitipat Kangruambut and Capt Sakkarin Kaysorntien.

“They are now charged with taking bribes and corrupt negligence,” Metropolitan Police Division 2’s deputy commander Col Chayut Marayart said yesterday.

He oversees the investigation into alleged bribe taking by police who participated in a 2009 crackdown on the so-called Abubakar gang.

Gen Pongpat reportedly led police to arrest an Indian businessman five years ago on suspicion that the suspect was involved in an online gambling organisation with turnover of billions of baht.

Col Chayut said all the four suspects who turned themselves in yesterday denied any wrongdoing.

Following their surrender, police took them to their homes to conduct searches. Police can detain the four suspects for 48 hours in line with the law, but further detention requires permission from a court.

Relatives of the men are plan to post bail for them.

The four police officers are among 14 suspects for whom arrest warrants were issued last Wednesday over charges related to the bribe-taking scandal related to the Abubakar gang.

Nine of these suspects are police. They were told to report themselves by December 29 or face arrest.

An informed source said the Metropolitan Police Bureau chief had already contacted the supervisors of the other five wanted police suspects to arrange for their surrender.

In related news, Gen Pongpat was transferred out of the Central Chest Institute yesterday back to the Medical Correctional Institution, where he underwent a “balloon” heart surgery on Saturday. A huge police presence was at the institute while Gen Pongpat was there.

The transfer took place, after doctors agreed that gen Pongpat’s health conditions were good enough.

Gen Pongpat has been in detention since last month.

“He has records of high-blood pressure. But his chest pain was likely acute,” said Special Remand Prison chief Ayut Sintopphan.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Protests

MP files complaint against 3 opposition MPs for allegedly joining the protest

Caitlin Ashworth

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MP files complaint against 3 opposition MPs for allegedly joining the protest | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Line Today

A member of parliament filed a complaint against 3 opposition MPs for allegedly joining the weekend’s pro-democracy protest where activists demanded reform of the Thai Monarchy. He’s also putting together a legal team aimed at dissolving the members’ 3 opposition parties.

Palang Pracharat MP Sira Jenjakha says he has a photo of the 3 members raising their hands in a 3 finger salute, a symbol of resistance against the military run government. He says the protest was illegal, and the location, the Royal Field next to the Grand Palace, is off limits to unauthorised people.

He filed the complaint with the Chanasongkhram police against Mongkolkit Suksintharanont, of the Thai Civilized Party, Peerawit Ruangluedolapark, of the Thai Rak Thai Party and Nattha Boonchai-insawat of the Kao Klai Party.

A legal team assigned by Sira will collect evidence and file a petition with the Constitutional Court calling on the dissolution of the 3 opposition parties: Thai Civilized Party, Thai Rak Thai Party and Kao Klai Party.

He says he also plans to ask the House Speaker to investigate the 3 members to determine if they breached the parliament’s ethical conduct.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Road deaths

4 people drown after SUV careers into canal in Chon Buri

Caitlin Ashworth

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4 people drown after SUV careers into canal in Chon Buri | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath

4 people died after a driver allegedly hit a curb and lost control of her Toyota Fortuner SUV, running it off the road and into a Chon Buri canal.

The driver, 38 year old Sukanya from Bangkok, survived and told police she was driving 6 friends from Bangkok to Rai Lak Thong, a subdistrict in Chon Buri. She says the road was dark and she was unfamiliar with the area. She hit a curb, breaking through the road barrier and overturning the car. The SUV then slid into the a Phanat Nikhom district canal.

The water in the canal was high due to the weekend storm. The driver and 2 others were able to get out through the window, but the others – 1 man and 3 women – drowned in the submerged vehicle. By the time rescue workers arrived and pulled the bodies out of the car, they were dead.

SOURCE: Pattaya Mail

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Protests

5 protesters to be charged over a rally in front of the Thai Army’s headquarters

The Thaiger

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5 protesters to be charged over a rally in front of the Thai Army’s headquarters | The Thaiger

With impeccable timing, Nang Loeng police have summoned 5 protest leaders to appear before the Special Prosecutor’s Office at the Dusit District Court in Bangkok. They will be formally charged over their roles in a protest in front of the Army’s headquarters on July 20. At the time it followed an online exchange from an Army official criticising the students who had been protesting at the Democracy Monument days before.

The protest targeted Colonel Nusra Vorapatratorn, deputy spokesperson of the Army. Posting on her Facebook page about the Saturday protest, the Colonel said that rally’s participants should “focus on doing their jobs rather than joining the protest.” The Colonel later deleted the social media post.

Another army spokesman, Colonel Winthai Suvaree, spoke to the media at the time and stated that Nusra “had expressed her personal opinion” and that “she is no longer the deputy spokesperson”.

After protesting outside the Army over the contents of the post, 5 protest leaders face official charges of “violating the Emergency Decree, the Traffic Act and use of loudspeakers in public without permission. The 5 protagonists facing charges are human rights lawyer Anon Nampa, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Piyarath “Toto” Jongthep, Suwanna Tarnlek and Panupong Jardnok (Mike Rayong).

All 5 deny the charges and say they will defend their roles in court.

The charges follow a weekend of protests, with up to some 30,000 people gathering in the Bangkok rain to rally against the government and confirm a 10-point manifesto which includes demands to reform Thai politics and the country’s monarchy. Specially the demands include the dissolution of the Thai parliament, standing down of the current PM and a new constitution to replace the 2017 Thai charter.

Today the Fine Arts Department has also says it will file charges of “trespassing on an archaeological site” after protesters yesterday embedded a symbolic brass plaque to replace another plaque that dates back to the 1932 Siam Revolution (when a bloodless coup overthrew the ‘absolute monarchy’ in Thailand). That plaque mysteriously disappeared in 2017.

The protesters responded this afternoon by saying that Sanam Luang is not an archaeological site, but a “public space for recreation and for vendors and hawkers”.

Following on from the support of the crowd over the weekend, the protesters are planning to stage another protest in front of Parliament this Thursday. A House debate on constitutional amendments is due to start this Wednesday.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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