Prison guard under investigation for blackmail

Lawer, Ronnarong Kaewphet with victim's mother Pornpimol Suansamran | Credit กระทรวงยุติธรรม Ministry Of Justice, Thailand Facebook

After a guard at the Thonburi Women’s Correctional Institute in Bangkok was suspected of corruption and bribery, an investigation is now underway. In return for alleged special treatment, the guard wanted money from the family of a prisoner. The guard, who has not been named, is now suspended during the investigation and will be fired if proven guilty.

Somsak Thepsuthin, the Justice Minister, has directed the Corrections Department to look into the matter. The order came after Pornpimol Suansamran, the daughter of the inmate, and Ronnarong Kaewphet, a lawyer, filed a case against the unknown guard with Wanlop Nakbua, deputy permanent secretary at the Justice Ministry.

Pornpimol says the guard forced her family to pay by promising to look after her imprisoned mother. She added that she was unable to contact her mother and was worried about her safety. She showed proof, including 9 bank transactions receipts valued at 6,200 baht. Her father regularly gave the money to the guard at her house.

Her mother was a motorbike taxi driver before being arrested last year in June after authorities discovered her bank account had been used to receive money from marijuana dealers.

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With department regulations allowing relatives to only communicate with prisoners via video calls due to Covid safeguards, the unnamed guard reportedly said that family visits were ‘banned’.

The family lost contact with the mother after the payments were made. They were told that writing letters wasn’t allowed either because of “pandemic restrictions”. Later, it was revealed that this ‘restriction’ was bogus.

The daughter told investigators that the guard offered to give her mother lighter jobs for her to do, and would take good care of her during her time behind bars.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Pete is a writer for The Thaiger, and he writes various topics from news, travel and property. His main focus is writing about Thai news, and what is happening in Thailand.

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