PHUKET CITY: Pol L/Cpl Panya Dee-On and his superior officer, Pol Lt Col Peerapan Meemak, of Chalong Police Station, have been temporarily transferred to police regional headquarters in Surat Thani pending investigation of allegations that they accepted a bribe from Supa Nilwadee, a female construction foreman in Rawai.
Thai TV station iTV on Wednesday last week broadcast footage showing L/Cpl Panya asking Supa Nilwadee for 6,000 baht, though the footage did not show why L/Cpl Panya asked for the money.
The following day, the Superintendent of Chalong Police Station, Pol Col Chalit Kaewyarat, ordered Col Peerapan and L/Cpl Panya to report to him immediately on what had transpired.
The officers reported that on May 23 a contractor walked into Chalong Police Station and claimed that Supa had illegal Burmese laborers working for her. Supa had hired the contractor and his team of registered Burmese laborers, but she then broke her agreement to pay the contractor while keeping his employees to work on her site, but without registering the migrants as working for her.
In the officers’ report, they explained that when foreign laborers go to work for a new employer, police officers are often called on to act as mediators and negotiate compensation for the previous employer, who no longer has the laborers to use for work.
The report said that Supa told the contractor that the laborers were happy to continue working for her because she was paying them more than they were earning while working for the contractor.
However, the report also said that Supa had agreed to pay 6,000 baht in compensation, so L/Cpl Panya and Col Peerapan didn’t understand why the footage did not present the situation to reflect this.
Col Chalit said, “Now we are waiting for [K. Supa], to give her statement to the police. If she is worried that we will be biased, she can also give her statement to [Phuket Provincial Police Chief] Maj Gen Suwit Othong.”
From June 1-30, the PPLO is offering amnesty for all employers to register their illegal Lao, Burmese and Cambodian laborers. In light of this, Maj Gen Suwit said, “As this is only a complaint, not a matter of breaking the law, I would like the defendant to give her statement to me or the Governor.”
Phuket Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura on Thursday afternoon ordered provincial officials to launch their own investigation of the matter, led by Provincial Chief Administrative Officer (Palad) Vichan Busapavanich.
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