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Phuket police probe into extortion, corruption falls silent

PHUKET: Officials and police investigating allegations of corrupt officials extorting of cash payments from employers so that migrant workers can continue working in Phuket have fallen silent on any progress in the case, but have revealed that the case has been quietly handed over to Region 8 Police to handle.

police, corruption,

The Phuket News

Friday 26 August 2016, 10:51AM

Phuket Provincial Police Chief Maj Gen Teeraphol Thipjaroen is no longer leading the investigation into corrupt police and officials in Phuket.
Phuket Provincial Police Chief Maj Gen Teeraphol Thipjaroen is no longer leading the investigation into corrupt police and officials in Phuket.

The allegations were propagated by a list of 20 “names” of corrupt officials – including police – and the government agencies they supposedly worked for going viral on social media earlier this month.

The names listed resembled nicknames, such as “Region 8 Narin”, “Wichai” and “Pi Moo” (“Elder Pig”), and the agencies named included the Patong Police, Phuket City Police, Kathu Police, Wichit Police, Tourist Police, Region 8 Police, as well as the Kathu Civil Defense Office and even the local anti-human trafficking centre, among others.

The list gave specific mobile phone numbers for each person and noted the cash payments collected on the 10th of each month. (See story here.)

Phuket Provincial Police Chief Maj Gen Teeraphol Thipjaroen vowed to investigate when confronted with allegations that his own officers were involved in the systemic extortion.

“We have to investigate whether this list was fabricated. Do the officers on the list exist, are they just made-up names? We also will investigate to find out where this list came from and who posted this list online,” Gen Teeraphol said.

“I have no involvement in this type of operation and I encourage the victims to come forward and file a complaint so we can bring those corrupt officials in to face the law,” he added.

However, asked by The Phuket News, Gen Teeraphol on Wednesday (Aug 24) revealed, “Region 8 Police have taken over this case. This case has been transferred to them. For details or updates, please ask Region 8 Police. I have no idea who is taking of this case now.”

Gen Teeraphol declined to reveal when Region 8 Police took over the case.

Meanwhile, Phuket Provincial Chief Administration Officer (Palad) Pakpoom Intarasuwan has declined to reveal any progress by the “special investigative committee” set up to investigate the alleged extortion racket by police and offiials.

The committee was given 15 days to present its findings, with a deadline for handing over its findings by Thursday last week (Aug 18). (See story here.)

“The investigation is still collecting information,” Mr Pakpoom told The Phuket News this week.

“Other complaints can filed at police stations.” he said.

However, he noted, “Some cases have appeared in the media without evidence, that is not fair to the accused. Please, follow the law.”



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Rich 44 | 27 August 2016 - 15:51:41

Once corruption is finished and no more police are on the take, there will truly be smiles on everyone (except the police who took advantage of their positions).  When will these real smiles return to a happy Thailand? Who will care enough about Thailand to see this happen?

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Kurt | 27 August 2016 - 09:58:11

swerve: It was a question.
One is never to old to learn. Thank you.

And in what is the Region 8 Police different from the normal police?
One nickname ( incl phone number) on 'the list of 20' is: "Region 8 Narin".

Seems the Phuket police top brass is playing this investigation down to lower echelons, while it in fact should be investigated by the highest Phuket police authorities, with reporting the results to NCPO.
Perhaps the 'list of 20' now is hopping/passing by every involved/mentioned department to 'clear' matters?

In the mean time Phuket police top brass has no idea who handles the case, has no involvement (?), declines, etc.

Committee findings to present are already 10 days overdue. But that is just thainess.

Is this a affair they just like to use factor time to play it away from the public?  ( sometimes public forget quick).

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Rorii | 27 August 2016 - 08:01:07

swerv... no "e", you complain about not understanding Kurt, but hey, you're not much better.
However for your info

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Laughing Out Loud | 26 August 2016 - 17:54:33

There is no corruption in Phuket... Mien Fuerer says so!  Only "misunderstandings"... on the part of foreigners, of course! LOL!

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swerv | 26 August 2016 - 16:37:48

Kurt: Your comment....Case transferred to region 8 Police, where is that? Not on Phuket?

Section 8 headquarters are located at Tatatchai and the last time i drove through there it was in Phuket.

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benvenuto | 26 August 2016 - 15:16:59

"Please, follow the law" says Phuket Provincial Chief Administration Officer (Palad) Pakpoom Intarasuwan...and for those of us who have evidence of this `alleged' extensive police corruption he suggests complaints should be filed at ..... wait for it .... A POLICE STATION !! Monty Python couldn't make this up.  

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samantha | 26 August 2016 - 14:32:57

Corrupt police investigating corrupt police! Please, someone start drawing funny cartoons. 

Lost count of how many times i have seen police with their little back street road blocks collecting money from foreign workers.

Everyone knows it exists but the problem is the corruption goes all the way to the top.

Evidence, how do you gather evidence against the police without getting shot or thrown off a building so it looks like suicide?

Put your hand up if you know any police who AREN'T corrupt?

Maybe this is tied in with the recent police killing police incidents in Phuket and other parts of Thailand.

Apologies to the real police out there that aren't corrupt ( if they exist! )

On the other hand, why can't these foreign workers get a real work permit?

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Sir Burr | 26 August 2016 - 12:25:36

Quelle surprise....

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Christy Sweet | 26 August 2016 - 12:15:14

Somebody please investigate the 800 + migrant workers  on Layan Soi 7 living in huge tin warehouses with no windows and absolutely no fire escape. How did such a structure in violation of the most basic of safety codes get a building permit? The sewage and waste  the community is creating every day is being burned or simply running into adjacent wetlands.  Their too numerous to count, half-feral dogs are a menace, attacking my pet cats and the operator is not closing up the camp at night as required by law.  HELP !! 

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Kurt | 26 August 2016 - 12:05:21

The allegations were published on August 4th.
Like to ask thai authorities:
---Did they check the list with 20 names, phone numbers and monthly payments?
---Where bank accounts of the 20 'names' checked?
---Why this corruption investigation falls silent?
---Case transferred to region 8 Police, where is that? Not on Phuket?
---Declined to answer when Region 8 Police took over. Why?
---Still not know or the list was fabricated or not? Why? Should know by now!

it just looks like they shuffle things around a bit to protect the owners of the phone numbers and their monthly ( on 10th) 'collections'.
They manoeuvre to make this affair is dying silently.
When things falls silent than one can expect there is 'hair' on it.
Self defence. Circle the wagons against the outside world.

How can they expect people file complaints at police stations, were they bump perhaps into police officers who not act according the law, or worse, are on the 'list of 20' ?
They should advice people to complain with NCPO officials in Bangkok. That is fair.

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