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Top Thai conservation official arrested on corruption charges

Top Thai conservation official arrested on corruption charges

BANGKOK: A top Thai conservation official was arrested on corruption charges yesterday (Dec 27), with police saying he was caught receiving a bribe and that US$144,000 (B5 million) in cash was found in his office.

wildlifecorruptioncrime
By AFP

Wednesday 28 December 2022, 10:15AM


Thai currency notes are laid out on a desk after being found in the office of Ratchada Suriyakul na Ayutthaya, director-general of Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, in Bangkok yesterday (Dec 27). Photo: NACC Handout / AFP

Thai currency notes are laid out on a desk after being found in the office of Ratchada Suriyakul na Ayutthaya, director-general of Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, in Bangkok yesterday (Dec 27). Photo: NACC Handout / AFP

Rutchada Suriyakul na Ayutya, director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, was appointed in February.

He managed efforts to protect the kingdom’s environment and endangered animals, overseeing more than 150 national parks.

“The officials have arrested him while the money was exchanged, so the evidence was quite clear,” said Jaroonkiat Pankaew, chief of the Anti-Corruption Division.

Police searched Rutchada’s office in the capital, Bangkok, after he was detained and found roughly B5mn in cash, Jaroonkiat said.

Rutchada has denied all the charges.

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Images shared by Thai police showed stacks of money, with brown envelopes underneath.

“Officials have collected B98,000 as evidence,” Jaroonkiat said.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) said in a statement Rutchada had “abused his power by receiving money from his inferiors, in exchange for maintaining their positions”.

The NACC alleged Rutchada’s subordinates had been forced to pay a monthly tithe, in addition to a one-off payment of up to B300,000, or face relocation to “remote places far away from their hometown”.

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Kurt | 29 December 2022 - 09:29:11

Lucky us this Director-General did do it all with brown envelopes. Keeping up/confirm to highest level the Thai image of what 'brown envelopes' in this country stands for.

Capricornball | 29 December 2022 - 09:21:35

Allowing bail to this guy is the Thai version of a "golden parachute". Dirty corrupt police looking out for their their comrade, while also protecting their own corruption by letting Khun Rutchada get out of Dodge before he can spill the beans on the rest of the dirty corrupt officials. Such a shame that generations of criminals have allow such a solid network of corruption to flourish

JohnC | 29 December 2022 - 08:52:43

I see he has been released on B400,000 bail. So he is still well connected. I had a good laugh at their reasons for approving it:  [Police investigators approved his bail request on the grounds he was a senior official with job security, had a permanent residence and posed no flight risk.]  Job security Haha. TIT!!!

JohnC | 29 December 2022 - 08:41:24

Not a day goes by without another  official being caught in corruption. One wonders whether there is such a thing as an honest government employee in this country.

Prab | 28 December 2022 - 17:34:45

his nickname is Mr ATM... just ready Andrew macGregor Marshall twitter.. better coverage on this hehe

Capricornball | 28 December 2022 - 13:52:57

@Prab- Probably Phuket, his services are probably in high demand around the island...or perhaps a few of the stacks of cash were recently received from from Prab and his cronies to allow them to plow their new roads through the forest so they can open their land for development. This official is the worst, selling off national resources to stuff his greedy pockets

Prab | 28 December 2022 - 10:47:00

he denied all charges...hahahha wtf ..wonder where they will transfer him now 

 

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