Koh Lanta Yai vice president nabbed in B20mn bribery sting

KRABI: Koh Lanta Yai Administration Organization (OrBorTor) vice president Anusorn Wangphon was arrested yesterday in an anti-corruption sting operation.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) allege that the 49 year-old official requested 20 million baht from a businessman in exchange for the issuance of land title deeds.

The operation was led by NACC Assistant Secretary-General Colonel Ittiphol Kitsuwan, who said Mr Anusorn was caught with 2,000 bank notes, totaling 2 million baht, packed in a bag along with two mobile phones and cheques totaling 18 million baht.

“Mr Anusorn has been charged with dereliction of duty, receiving bribes and extortion,” Col Ittiphol said.

The sting operation came after Thai Wattana Asset Co Ltd director Suthat Siwapiromrat filed a complaint with the NACC last week. Mr Suthat told authorities that he had agreed to buy two plots of land, totaling more than 40 rai.

According to Mr Suthat’s allegation, Mr Anusorn allegedly asked for 20 million baht, claiming that the two plots are located on public land and that his office would need to survey the land in order to set up new boundaries.

“Mr Anusorn then gave directions for the handover of the money in Ao Nang,” Col Ittiphol said. “Mr Suthat brought 2 million baht in cash, along with cheques made out to Mr Anusorn for 10 million, five million and three million baht. Mr Suthat made copies of the cheques and the routing numbers on several of the bills and handed the copies over to the NACC as evidence.”

Col Ittiphol and officers from Region 8 recorded the exchange between Mr Suthat and Mr Anusorn at a table at Hotel Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra. After about 30 minutes, Mr Suthat handed over the bag and cheques to Mr Anusorn.

Mr Anusorn received the bag and left for the nearby car park, where he was intercepted by officers and taken into custody. Mr Anusorn was taken to Ao Nang Police Station for further questioning, but so far has denied the charges.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

Phuket News

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