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Phuket Police deny drug suspect bribe, make “honor arrest’

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PHUKET: A senior Phuket City Police officer arrested a woman for tarnishing the name of the Royal Thai Police after she allegedly claimed to have paid him 400,000 baht in bribe money.

The news follows Duangporn Luesub, 36, arriving at Phuket City Police Station yesterday to discuss the issue with Phuket City Police Deputy Superintendent Prawit Engchuan, the sole case officer who is also the officer who allegedly received the bribe money.

Mrs Duangporn said she gave 400,000 baht to a woman who claimed she would use the money to bribe Lt Col Prawit to free Mrs Duangporn’s husband from Phuket Prison, where he is being held for drug possession.

Col Prawit and fellow Phuket City Police officers arrested Mrs Duangporn’s husband, Suwit Buaprom, on February 15.

He was allegedly found in possession of 500mg of ya ice (crystal methamphetamine) at the couple’s rented room on the bypass road.

Mrs Duangporn hired a lawyer to fight the charge.

“Later, a woman claiming to be a friend of the lawyer said she could help my husband, but she said I had to pay her 400,000 baht,” Mrs Duangporn said.

“I did not have that much money at that time, so I agreed to pay 20,000 baht that day. Later, I paid 80,000 baht more and recently I paid the remaining 300,000 baht,” she said.

However, time went by and Mrs Duangporn heard no news about her husband’s release.

“Later, the lady called me again, asking for another 300,000 baht. I visited my husband in Phuket Prison and explained the story to him. He told me to stop paying the woman and to ask for our 400,000 baht back,” she explained.

Mrs Duangporn called the woman and asked for her money back, but the woman allegedly said she had already paid all of it to Col Prawit and his fellow officers.

In response, Col Prawit yesterday defended the honor of the Royal Thai Police, saying they were corruption-free.

“We work with clean hands. We never accept or take bribes from anyone. What the woman who received the money claimed has created a bad image for Thai police,” he said.

“We have arrested her and charged her with insulting an officer. We are still continuing our investigation,” he stated.

Col Prawit revealed the name of the woman arrested, but asked the media not to publicly reveal her identity while his investigation was ongoing.

— Orawin Narabal

 

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