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Former Phuket City Police Chief caught in COVID allowance fraud

Former Phuket City Police Chief caught in COVID allowance fraud

PHUKET: Region 8 Police Deputy Commander Col Sompong Thiparpakul, who previously served as Chief of the Phuket City Police, has been discharged from the Royal Thai Police after being found swindling police allowances for extra work performed in battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

corruptionpoliceCOVID-19economics
By The Phuket News

Friday 20 August 2021, 01:30PM


Former Phuket City Police Chief, and now Former Region 8 Police Deputy Commander, Col Sompong Thiparpakul is now facing corruption charges. Photo: The Phuket News / file

Former Phuket City Police Chief, and now Former Region 8 Police Deputy Commander, Col Sompong Thiparpakul is now facing corruption charges. Photo: The Phuket News / file

Region 8 Police Commander Lt Gen Kitrat Panpetch issued the order discharging Sompong from the Royal Thai Police yesterday (Aug 19).

The National Anti-Corruption Commission will send a formal recommendation to the Office of the Attorney General to proceed with criminal charges, the order noted.

The recommendation follows Sompong being found falsely receiving funds dedicated as allowances for officers performing extra duties in response to the COVID-19 pandemic while he was serving as Chief of the Thung Song Police in Nakhon Sri Thammarat. The order did not mark when Sompong was fulfilling that position.

“The National Anti‑Corruption Commission has resolved to point out that when being in the position of Thung Song Police Chief, Col Sompong wrongfully exercised his duties under the Section 157 of the Criminal Code by deducting allowances from the COVID-19 budget of the Thung Song Police Station,” the order said.

“Thung Song Police Station received B6,046,299 from the Thai Royal Police to be spent on working and providing police officers allowances. The amount of money was divided into three parts ‒ B5,478,300 for officers’ allowances, B225,999 for COVID-19 protective equipment and B342,000 for petrol costs,” the order explained. 

“According to the Royal Thai Police, officers received an allowance of B60 per hour when they were assigned to work outside their station or police box. The allowance was provided depending on the length of time worked, but not more than seven hours per day ‒ for both on official working days and on holidays,” Lt Gen Kitrat explained in his dismissal.

“However, Col Sompong ordered all officers at Thung Song Police Station who received allowances in excess of B15,000 baht to donate the extra money back to the Thung Song Police Station so it could be allocated to officers who received less funds ‘for equality and unity’ [sic],” he said.

MGID

“The leftover money from the allocations was to be kept as a central fund,” he added.

“At that time, many police officers disagreed, but no one argued or opposed the order, and if any police officer did not agree with the order they were to be transferred or assigned duties to be made an example of,” Lt Gen Kitrat continued.

Sompong has 30 days to appeal his dismissal, and the Appeals Tribunal has 90 days from receiving the appeal to reply whether or not the appeal had been accepted, he added.

Of note, Lt Gen Kitrat in the order said that the provision for government officers found guilty of corruption charges to face double the penalty would not apply for Sompong, despite that provision being specifically coded in law.

Sompong served as Phuket City Police Chief from 2018-19. He had previously served as Thalang Police Chief from 2016 into 2017, a position he gained after replacing Lt Col Chanucharn Cholsuwat following the Thalang riots in Oct 2015.

Of note, Sompong was already very familiar with police in Nakhon Sri Thammarat province, as he served as Chief of the Nakhon Sri Thammarat City Police in 2013.

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Christy Sweet | 22 August 2021 - 12:23:38

Kurt, yes  I wish I knew then what I know now. There was also an incident on my scooter I got knocked over from behind by a speeding Thai on his brand new cafe racer, police actually tried to get me to give him money. We're just ATMs to these people. 

Christy Sweet | 22 August 2021 - 12:19:25

Maybe- if like so many sexpats, I had a personal body servant to handle my dealings with authorities, things would go smoother. Unfortunately, I cannot afford one.

ematt | 22 August 2021 - 10:36:13

Poor Christy and Kurt. They have the worst luck of any two foreigners in Thailand. It’s just one bad experience after another. Unbelievable! They must be jinxed.

Kurt | 21 August 2021 - 15:06:43

@ Christy Sweet, never accept blackmailing/threats of RTP. Ask them to write their 'mediation proposal' on paper, Say you will think about it, and pay the Ombudsman in Provincial Hall a visit, and go public with evidence. Don't take RTP serious.

Christy Sweet | 21 August 2021 - 14:09:24

Oh yes this station..  My car  rear ended by 3 13 yo boys on a scooter. I brought my own interpreter but it was insisted I use the police's, a concierge for a large international  hotel nearby , and he told me " I fear for your safety  If you do not accept 5000 baht.." (on 25,000 worth of damage.)  I  swallowed that BS- now I know better. This culture will scam, lie and cheat at ever...

Fascinated | 21 August 2021 - 09:36:18

Mr Ed: any chance the comments below could be translated into English? The Sangsom bottle seems to have been evaporating again.

Kurt | 21 August 2021 - 00:51:38

Seems Gen Kitrat excused brother Col Sompong for a great deal on forehand by saying that the provision of double charges will not apply if found guilty despite that provision being specifically code in the law.  Well, that is how Thai rubber laws work. Right?  That is why Thai not trust their ROYAL-TP.

Kurt | 20 August 2021 - 16:57:35

So, working at the street were they normally should do their job, they receive 7 x60= thb 420 per day on top of normal salary? For what? This money is exclusive the bribes they take at road check points? Now we know how they live in nice housing estates, have 2 cars, etc. Big mistake General Prayut until now he not overhauled the RTP as promised in 2014/2015. More lost trust.

 

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