Prominent Thai officials arrested over alleged 2.3 million baht bribe

Photo courtesy of San Diego Solid Waste Local Enforcement Agency

Samut Prakan‘s Bang Phli district saw the arrest of prominent figures within the Bang Pla subdistrict administrative organisation (TAO), including the chairman, 61 year old Chanin Ruenroeng, and his 44 year old personal secretary, Pornmanee (surname withheld). These arrests were initiated by the Anti-Corruption Division (ACD) who acted on a complaint from a local firm alleging that the officials demanded a bribe of 2.3 million baht for a land excavation and landfill permit.

The TAO officials agreed to the amount of 2.3 million baht, as per the firm’s request. The firm later provided evidence to the ACD police, including a video clip showcasing the TAO officials’ monetary demands.

Once the ACD police completed their investigation, they sought arrest warrants from the Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases, Region 1. The arrest of the TAO chairman and his secretary took place at their office around 11am on November 8, reported Bangkok Post.

The charges laid against the two officials include illegal demand and acceptance of a bribe. A subsequent search of their office led to the discovery of 2,271,427 baht in cash and a 9mm Smith & Wesson pistol, along with 11 rounds of ammunition. Initially, Chanin denied all charges against him.

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“I didn’t do it. The accusations are false.”

The typical fee for this permit is usually 500 baht.

In related news, the Provincial Administration Organisation (PAO) in Maha Sarakham collaborated with the police to arrest the chairman of the Subdistrict Administrative Organisation (SAO) who was accused of contract renewal bribes. The arrest operation today took place in the office of the chairman of the SAO in Nong Muang, Borrabue District, Maha Sarakham. Read more about this story HERE.

In other news, a recent court ruling unfurled in the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases witnessed a former appellate court judge handed a five-year prison sentence. The sentencing comes as a consequence of corruption allegations involving a whopping 20 million baht bribe request dating back to 2018. The judge had famously sought a bribe from an arrested Taiwanese individual, significantly affecting the judicial justice system’s integrity. Read more about this story HERE.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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