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Ex-prosecutors face bribe charge in Phuket case

Ex-prosecutors face bribe charge in Phuket case

BANGKOK: Two former public prosecutors based in Phuket have been indicted in connection with demanding a bribe from a private company accused of encroaching on a national park, according to the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG).

corruptioncrime
By Bangkok Post

Friday 11 June 2021, 10:16AM


Wanchat Chunhathanom is one of two former public prosecutors at the Phuket Public Prosecutor’s Office facing corruption charges. Photo: PR Phuket / file

Wanchat Chunhathanom is one of two former public prosecutors at the Phuket Public Prosecutor’s Office facing corruption charges. Photo: PR Phuket / file

The OAG said in a statement that the attorney-general had decided to indict prosecutors Thamma Sornchai and Wanchat Choonhathanom, reports the Bangkok Post.

The news follows the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) announcing in December that the agency was moving to have two former Phuket Public Prosecutors charged for corruption for allegedly demanding money from a defendant in order to drop charges of encroaching on state land.

Thamma was accused of demanding a bribe from a company run by a foreign national, sought for prosecution for encroaching on and grabbing land in Sirinart National Park in Thalang district of Phuket. The case reached the prosecutor in 2019, noted the Bangkok Post report today.

The prosecutors allegedly sought a bribe worth B10 million between them, with Wanchat acting as Thamma’s accomplice.

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According to the OAG, the attorney-general has assigned the provincial prosecutor’s office to take legal action against the pair. The alleged bribe was demanded with a promise to the company that the case would be dropped and the provincial governor would not seek to reverse the decision.

A complaint was later raised against the prosecutors, prompting the OAG to order a probe which ruled the allegation had grounds. A formal investigation was then set up while at the same time the NACC launched a separate probe into the matter.

According to the OAG, the prosecutor’s investigation confirmed the alleged bribery demand had taken place and ordered one prosecutor to be dismissed and the other transferred from Phuket. It is understood that Thamma had lost his job and Wanchat faced a transfer.

Later, the NACC probe also found grounds for the allegation and recommended the OAG indict the pair.

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Capricornball | 12 June 2021 - 11:00:17

It is dirtbags like these guys that ruin this country, and I would guess that the people going after them are equally dirty and going after them either as a vendetta or to cover their asses.  It is people like these that have robbed the common Thai of all hope at ever prospering in life, causing them to accept their marginal lot in life while the crooks prosper.

Timothy | 11 June 2021 - 12:40:04

"the case would be dropped and the provincial Governor would not seek to reverse the decision"....sure sounds like the Governor was involved too. 

Kurt | 11 June 2021 - 11:19:12

One prosecutor sacked, perhaps didn't share Tea Money with others involved. On prosecutor transferred, probably shared Tea Money, but not enough. And so 'we' find the 'balance' at these Government levels. Always be aware of smiling jealous people here.

Fascinated | 11 June 2021 - 11:06:01

The best legal system money can buy. The 'justice' system in Thailand is one of the most corrupt arms of Gov't. 10m in bribes and all that happened was that one (allegedly) lost his job and the other was transferred.

 

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