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The Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) is close to finalising its case against three police officers from Chalong on corruption charges.
The cases against the three officers, accused of running an extortion racket against foreign dive instructors and other foreign employees of dive companies at Chalong Pier face one more procedure before being handed over to the public prosecutor.
Pol Lt Col Wannop Somchintanakul, Head of the Section 4 of the PACC, told The Phuket News today (July 25) that the cases will be passed to the PACC Committee, which will review them, and if it feels they will stand up in court, will hand them to the prosecutor, most likely by next month.
“If the committee, after it reviews the cases, concludes that there is solid evidence of wrongdoing, it will pass the cases to the prosecutor.
“We expect them to be charged with corruption. They have the right to put their version of the story to the judge,” Col Wannop added.
Pol Col Krittapas Dechintharasorn, the Superintendent of Chalong Police Station said that he did not yet have a policy to prevent such a problem between his officers and the dive companies in the future.
But he told The Phuket News that government officials, including police, “know well how to behave”.
“The PACC hasn’t informed me yet about the case, but I think [the investigation] is nothing unusual; if something goes wrong, someone will check up on it.
“I don’t have a specific policy to deal with the problem [of corrupt officers extorting money from the dive industry] because all police officers know The National Police Service Act well and [know the consequences of contravening it].”
He added that the cases did not indicate anything was wrong with the police system as a whole. “This involved individuals. It can happen in any organisation. It doesn’t mean that the whole organisations is wrong. The individual who does the wrong thing is the one who has to take responsibility.
“Especially now that the [National Council for Peace and Order] is governing the country, everyone has to behave well,” he added.
Pol Lt Col Wannop added that the PACC is also working hard on cases connected to the Sirinat Marine National Park.
“Eleven cases are now being checked by PACC. We have set up an investigating team already for three of the cases and the other eight cases are being checked for basic information and facts.”