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Assets worth billions of baht found at suspended police officers home
Assets worth billions of baht have been round by police in the home of Central Investigation Bureau commander Lt-General Pongpat Chayaphan, who has been suspended from service after being charged with crimes that include lese majeste according to a report in the Bangkok post.
According to reports the police search turned up sums of cash in both US and Thai bank notes that amounted to billions of baht as well as gold bars, a number of land title deeds, numerous amulets and rare Buddha images.
Along with six other policemen, Pongpat were detained at seven metropolitan police stations as of last night, they were taken to Bangkok –based military barracks at around 1am yesterday morning for questioning.
According to Lt-General Prawut Thawornsiri, the Royal Thai Police spokesman, Pongpat and the six others had confessed to their crimes. Three civilians were also accused of similar crimes, but were on the run being pursued by the police.
Prawut, who is also an assistant national police chief, said that further clarification on the case and further details would later be revealed at a press conference. Charges of lese majeste against senior police officers is very rare.
Meanwhile the death of Pol Colonel Akkharawut Limrat has been put down to a broken spine at chest level that was caused by falling according to the coroner. Akkharawut had been transferred from his top position along with Pongpat, since his transfer he had attempted suicide on three occasions, it was reported that he had cooperated with the police and given investigating officers useful information.
Lt-General Prawut Thawornsiri said “After giving his statements, he jumped off a building to kill himself out of distress and fear for prosecution, he said, adding that the colonel left a suicide note. Pongpat, his deputy Maj-General Kowit Wongrungroj and Akkharawut were transferred to inactive posts in an urgent transfer order late on November 11.
A police notice on Friday details their alleged crimes and lists eight more people – five police and the three civilians. Akkharawut had not been charged with any offence. His death was made known via social media posts yesterday.
Crime Suppression Division commander Chaithat Bunkham was transferred on November 13 but he was not on the notice, which comprises 10 people in total. Another transfer order issued on November 14 resulted in a police commander being assigned to replace Colonel Watcharaphol Thongluan, commander of the CSD’s Subdivision 5. Watcharaphol is also not on the notice.
Others on the list were Marine Police commander Maj-General Bunsueb Phrai-thuen, Samut Sakhon immigration chief Colonel Kowit Muangnual, Snr Sgt Major Surasak Jan-ngoa and Snr Sgt Major Chattrin Laothong.