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The former Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) demanded each police officer wanting promotion or posting in significant duty to pay 3-5 million baht, Royal Thai Police commissioner Pol Gen Somyot Phumpanmuang revealed on Tuesday.
At a press conference today, Pol Gen Somyot said the arrest of these senior officers in the bribery team headed by the former CIB commissioner came after several police officers lodged complaints with the Royal Thai Police that they were unfairly treated in their annual reshuffles.
Investigations were conducted with investigators finding that the former commissioner conspired with the former marine police commander Pol Maj-Gen Boonsueb Praituen, Pol Col Wuthichat Luensukan, and Pol Col Akarawut Limrat in demanding 3-5 million baht from each police officer wanting promotion or posting in significant duty.
The finding was reported to the military junta which later ordered soldiers to jointly conduct searches with the police in 15 locations owned by and involved with the former CIB commissioner.
Cash and other assets amounted to over two billion baht were discovered and impounded, he said.
Pol Col Akarawut committed suicide November 20 after being questioned.
The team amassed altogether 50 million baht from those officers, he said.
The same officer Pol Maj-Gen Boonsueb also demanded money from oil smugglers in the South to give to the former CIB commissioner and his deputy Pol Maj-Gen Kowit Wongrungroj. In demanding money from oil smugglers, the gang abused the royal names, he said.
Money from the oil smuggling gangs amounted to 140 million baht, he said.
These officers also jointly ran a huge casino in Huey Kwang area in Bangkok, he said.
He said all these misdeeds have been running for years without actions by their bosses.
But Pol Gen Somyot made clear that throughout his past one year in office, these have been taken seriously.
He said he would never let things to go on unchecked but would deal with them drastically to create a new image for the police.
During the press conference, video footages inside the mansion of the former CIB commissioner was also shown by the police. The footages show where the cash in both Thai US currencies were hidden in security safes, rare Buddha images, ivory, artifacts, and also several luxury cars.
The police said assets displayed on video footages today was merely a small portion of the total assets impounded and seized.
Both Pol. Lt-Gen Pongpat and Pol Maj-Gen Kowit were charged with lese majeste, bribery, malfeasance in offence, accumulating benefits through the abuse of power and money laundering.
Pol Maj Boonsueb, Pol Col Wuthichat, Pol Senior Sgt Maj Surasak Chant-ngao and Pol Senior Sgt. Maj Chatrin Laothong face two charges, while PolCol Kowit Muangnuan and Ms Sudathip Muangnuan are to be charged with violating wildlife conservation and marine navigation laws while Ms Sawong Mungthieng and Rerngsak Saknarongdej are charged with possession of protected animal carcasses.
As for Chorb and Piyaphan Chinprapha, these two will be charged with bribery.