Chonburi high-ranking police including the Chonburi Provincial Police Commander have denied extorting 140 million baht from operators of illegal online gambling websites.
First our previous story:
Now for our update:
In response to the accusation, National police chief Pol. Gen. Damrongsak Kittiprapas on Saturday ordered the transfer of the eight accused police to the Royal Thai Police (RTP) operations command center, including Pol. Gen. Kampol Leelapraphaporn, chief of Chonburi Police.
Other affected officers are
- Pol. Lt. Col. Narongrit Wasuphan, deputy Chon Buri chief
- Pol. Lt. Col. Sathian Ratchapongthai, deputy superintendent at Nong Kham station in Chon Buri
- Pol. Maj. Pornthep Phetnuan, investigation chief at Wang Chan station in Rayong;
- Pol. Col. Damrong Onta, superintendent at the Cyber Investigation Bureau (CCIB)
- Pol. Maj. Nakhonrat Nonseelad
- Pol. Lt. Col. Pathomphong Meeyu
- Pol. Capt. Somboon Butdalert
These police were accused of allegedly colluding with civilians to extort 140 million baht from online gambling suspects. Six people on Thursday filed a report against them, including the Chonburi police chief, over the controversial shakedown.
The case is now under the responsibility of deputy national police chief Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn.
He said investigators would initially press charges of violating Section 157 of the Criminal Code for malfeasance by public officials, and Section 149 for demanding or receiving bribes.
According to Thai media, the Chonburi police chief and others have denied all allegations so far, with the police chief saying he did not tell the suspects to write down the money amount they were willing to “donate depending on “How much they loved him”. However, some of the accused admitted that they were involved in the arrest operations of the online gambling, but stated they followed procedure and regular policy.
Big Joke said investigators are examining the accused’s financial history.
This isn’t the first major scandal recently with Chonburi police.
In 2022, Chonburi high-ranking police had been charged for swapping the suspects with scapegoats in a violent pool villa shooting incident in Pattaya.