Connect with us


Police Corruption Scandal: Seized artifacts to be repatriated




– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Police Corruption Scandal: Seized artifacts to be repatriated
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Some of the 50 artifacts worth more than 50 million baht found in the treasure trove seized by officers raiding the homes of disgraced former crime-buster Lt Gen Pongpat Chayaphan will be repatriated to their countries of origin, Fine Arts Department director-general Bowornwej Rungrujee said yesterday.

The 50 items, dating back to Khmer, Lao, Burmese, Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin kingdoms, will be returned to their sites of origin, while an investigation is underway to find out how the former Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) chief Gen Pongpat acquired them.

“These items cannot be possessed or owned without proof of import,” Borwornwej said.

Of the items, 13 come under the department’s Category 1, comprised of deities and Buddha images built in Khmer style; while the remaining 37 come under Category 2, or Buddha images or Hindu deities built in different kingdoms at different times, he said. The artefacts are made from sandstone, wood or metal depending on where and when they were built.

Another 100 items have been inspected and found to be imitations, though there are still more than 10,000 items awaiting identification and authentication, Bowornwej said.

He estimated that the 50 items proved to be authentic, so far, should be worth about 50mn baht in total.

The Fine Arts Department will later coordinate with rightful owners and repatriate them accordingly.

“The items that belong to Thailand will be put on display at the National Museum once the case [surrounding Gen Pongpat and his network] has been completed,” he said.

The haul also included a large number of furniture pieces inlaid with mother-of-pearl and other household items and decorations dating back to the reign of King Rama IV (1851-1868). Bowornwej said these times could be privately owned.

The photographs of all seized items will soon be posted on the department’s website,, for the public to view. People can also see if they own any of the items.

In another development related to the intimidation and corruption case involving Gen Pongpat, police yesterday obtained an arrest warrant for Nopporn Suppipat, president of Wind Energy Holding – the largest wind-generated electricity producer in Southeast Asia.

Nopporn allegedly hired men through Gen Pongpat to force a business associate to reduce his loan from 120mn baht to 20mn baht.

Royal Thai Police spokesman Lt Gen Prawut Thawornsiri, citing tip-offs, said Sahachai “Sia Jo” Jiansermsin, a fugitive Pattani-based businessman accused of running an illicit petrol trade operation, is possibly hiding in a neighboring country. He said the 1mn-baht bounty on offer would be helpful and encouraging to would-be informants.

Thai police were working with their counterparts in neighboring countries and Interpol to seek an international warrant for him, he said.

Gen Prawut said he could not yet say who was protecting Sahachai, but said the police had got reliable information about his whereabouts. He also ruled out links between Sahachai’s illicit business and the insurgency in the Deep South.

Gen Pongpat, the former CIB chief, is undergoing treatment for diabetes and high-blood pressure at a prison hospital near the Bangkok Remand Prison where he is being detained. Former deputy CIB chief Kowit Wongrungroj underwent a medical examination along with Gen Pongpat yesterday.

— Phuket Gazette Editors


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Crime4 hours ago

Fans stage simulation of Tangmo’s death in protest of law activist’s defamation case

Thailand4 hours ago

Thai road sweepers get safer new uniform for work

Thailand4 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Police patrol Pattaya Beach looking for guns, booze, prostitutes

Sponsored13 hours ago

Starting a business and obtaining SMART Visa in Thailand is easy with Startup Booster

Phuket5 hours ago

4 Chinese fishermen lost at sea rescued near Phuket

Pattaya5 hours ago

Two lost children found on Pattaya’s Walking Street

Guides5 hours ago

5 underrated apps you need to use in Thailand this year

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Phuket5 hours ago

Cheeky Taoist procession spices up Phuket’s veggie fest

World6 hours ago

Avalanche strikes mountaineering team in Indian Himalayas, 4 killed

Cannabis6 hours ago

Can foreigners legally grow cannabis in Thailand?

Tourism6 hours ago

1-billion-baht tourism stimulus back on track

Thailand6 hours ago

Ordination ceremony concert goes on despite flood

Hot News6 hours ago

Flooding may impact Thailand’s tourism recovery

Road deaths7 hours ago

Young woman killed in hit-and-run in Chon Buri

Hot News7 hours ago

Myanmar youth artists hold art challenge to raise awareness of country’s plight

Entertainment7 hours ago

“One For the Road” film is Thailand’s 25th Oscar attempt

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11