Suspected extortion saga: Police nab key figure in Bangkok bust

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Eakluck Wareechol, a key figure in a suspected extortion case involving serial petitioner Srisuwan Janya, was apprehended by the police in his home located in Bangkok’s Khlong Sam Wa district yesterday morning. The arrest was carried out by a joint team of officers from the police, the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), and the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC).

This is the latest arrest in a case that already saw the detention of three other suspects, including Srisuwan, on allegations of extorting money from the Director-General of the Rice Department, Natthakit Khongthip.

Three boxes of documents were confiscated from Eakluck’s residence, a source revealed. He is believed to have played a pivotal role in the alleged extortion, operating as a liaison between an individual known only as Mu, who worked alongside Srisuwan and another suspect Yoswaris Chuklom, and an unnamed adviser to a Cabinet minister, stated Police Major General Jaroonkiat Pankaew, Deputy Commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB).

“As more evidence continues to emerge, we cannot yet conclude there are just these five suspects.”

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The authorities are yet to decide whether Mu, who, according to Pol. Maj. Gen. Jaroonkiat, an adviser to the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Thammanat Prompow, will face charges for his alleged involvement in the extortion, reported Bangkok Post.

In a related operation, the police also searched a house in Uttaradit for another suspect. Further details are expected to be revealed in due course.

Last Friday, Srisuwan was taken into custody at his residence for reportedly demanding 3 million baht from Khongthip. His supposed accomplices, Yoswaris, also known as Jeng Dokjik, and Phimnattha Chiraphutthiphak, surrendered later and were granted bail following their questioning.

Yoswaris and Phimnattha organised a press conference to assert their innocence. Yoswaris stated that he and Srisuwan decided to jointly file a petition to the House committee overseeing the state budget to probe irregularities they had discovered in a procurement plan for a US$1.18 billion aircraft by the Department of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation (DoRRAA). He also claimed that Srisuwan had evidence of suspected corruption within the Rice Department, which matched a document he also possessed.

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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.

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