Connect with us


Phuket cop cleared in South African “cash for freedom’ claim



Phuket cop cleared in South African “cash for freedom’ claim | Thaiger

PHUKET: A Phuket policeman has been cleared of allegations made by a South African man that he had to “buy his freedom” following his arrest for passing counterfeit US dollars.

It took Chalong Police duty officer Boonlert Onklang almost a month to prove his innocence after South African tourist Gabriel Sequeira was quoted by the South African media saying he paid almost half-a-million baht “to police and lawyers” to secure his release after he was charged for allegedly passing bogus US banknotes.

After the allegations became international news, Lt Col Boonlert was “transferred” to Phuket Provincial Police headquarters in Phuket Town and given time to prepare a case to clear his name before the Office of the Attorney General in Bangkok.

“I went to Bangkok on October 13 [last Thursday] with all the evidence needed to prove that I was innocent, that I did not do what I was accused of.

“I am happy that the investigation team agreed with the evidence presented and I have finally been declared free of any charge in this case,” he said.

After the ruling, Lt Col Boonlert held a press conference before a parliament subcommittee.

“I explained myself so the public would understand my case. I believe the truth will always come out. I submitted all the evidence required and the truth came out that I was not guilty,” he said.

“Since this issue concerns the reputation of the entire country, I have also informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Senate Standing Committee on Tourism about the ruling,” he added.

At the press conference, Lt Col Boonlert said he was able to prove that the money Mr Sequeira claimed to have paid to “police and lawyers” to “buy his freedom” was in fact all legal fees paid to his lawyer, and in amounts he had agreed to.

“Mr Gabriel was arrested for possessing counterfeit US dollars. We kept him here for one night, on September 2. He was released the following day, but we ‘had to’ hold his passport from the day we released him until completion of the investigation on September 28,” Lt Col Boonlert explained to the Phuket Gazette.

“I had nothing to do with the money in question. Mr Sequeira spent that amount to pay the lawyer he hired,” he added.

During the investigation, Lt Col Boonlert was transferred to Phuket Provincial Police Station for 30 days effective from October 4.

Now that he has been cleared of any wrongdoing he will be transferred back to Chalong Police Station, effective October 22.

“I am happy to return to my duties with a clean record,” he said.

— Chaiyot Yongcharoenchai


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Guides5 hours ago

Foodie Zone: Where to get vegan desserts in Bangkok 2022

Thailand7 hours ago

Thailand News Today | 36 dead in a mass shooting at a nursery in northeast Thailand

Guides7 hours ago

5 best wine bars in Bangkok offering rich and quality wine

Sponsored13 hours ago

Segafredo Zanetti Coffee teamed up with Bangkok Airways and hosted “Bangkok Airways Surf Festival 2022”

North East7 hours ago

Hip businesses in northeast Thai province offer tasty food and fun experiences

Crime7 hours ago

British CEO arrested at Bangkok Airport over 40 million baht fraud accusations

Thailand7 hours ago

Thailand’s 5 national parks raise entry fees for foreigners by 100%

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Bangkok7 hours ago

Ari around invites Ari people to share good deeds through the app.

Press Room7 hours ago

Where to order cannabis/weed in Thailand

Chon Buri8 hours ago

Trouserless Chon Buri man crashes car into power pole

Entertainment8 hours ago

‘The Trapped 13’ lets Wild Boars speak for themselves

Thailand8 hours ago

Reported Bangkok VIP casino vanishes into thin air

World8 hours ago

Australia sets goal of preventing any more species from going extinct

Crime8 hours ago

Mass shooting in Thailand: 36 dead, including 24 children, 12 injured

Thailand8 hours ago

9 Thais arrested in South Korea for smuggling drugs

Drugs8 hours ago

Police snag 2.5 meth pills in checkpoint stings

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11