Khon Kaen mayor busted in corruption crackdown

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

The mayor of Chonnabot district municipality, Khon Kaen, finds himself at the epicenter of a corruption scandal.

The once-respected official, Khunanon Hinthao, has been apprehended for allegedly scheming a jaw-dropping 30% kickback, amounting to a staggering 300,000 baht, in two CCTV installation projects valued at nearly 1 million baht.

The charming facade of Khunanon’s house, doubling as a coffee shop, proved to be a cunning cover for clandestine dealings. The mayor of Chonnabot district municipality has been arrested in an operation by the Anti-Corruption Division (ACD), National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), and Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC). Khunanon was allegedly caught red-handed accepting a hefty 300,000 baht bribe.

Police from the ACD, flanked by officials from NACC and PACC, descended upon Khunanon’s residence-cum-coffee shop yesterday, December 15. The arrest followed the mayor’s insidious solicitation and acceptance of a 30% kickback from a contractor involved in two high-value CCTV installation projects, together worth a staggering 970,000 baht.

Police Colonel Thanatchon Kengsakikit, chief of ACD’s sub-division 3, detailed the arrest.

“The arresting team patiently awaited outside the house until the contractor discreetly delivered the cash to the mayor. Swiftly intervening post the bribe exchange, the team apprehended the disgraced official.”

The Chonnabot major, now facing charges under Sections 149 and 157 of the Criminal Code, staunchly denies any wrongdoing, promising to provide a statement at a later date, reported Bangkok Post.

Despite the damning evidence, Khunanon maintains his innocence, vowing to present a comprehensive defence in the upcoming legal battle. The accused mayor purportedly demanded the 30% bribe – a staggering 300,000 baht – for two wireless CCTV projects, each valued at 485,000 baht.

In related news, three police officers are now in hot water for their alleged involvement in the escape of two foreign suspects accused of engaging in illicit activities with underage girls in Pattaya. The suspects, a German and an American who, after arrests, managed to slip away under questionable circumstances involving bribery. Read more about this story HERE.

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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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