CHIANG RAI: Officers in Chiang Saen district yesterday arrested a group of suspects involved in offering a bribe to secure the release of four Chinese nationals nabbed previously for illegally entering the kingdom.
The arrest, led by Chiang Saen Immigration Checkpoint Commissioner Pol Col Chinnakorn Assawapoom, was the result of cooperation between checkpoint officers and police from Chiang Saen station.
Pol Col Chinnakorn said four suspects — identified as Ratthaphong, 50; Sunchai, 34; Peerapol, 34; and Thanthida, 54 (surnames withheld) — were arrested on Friday night at Chiang Saen station after offering a bribe. They sought the release of four Chinese nationals who were arrested on May 18, after they illegally immigrated with their tour guide.
Mr Ratthaphong, who claimed to be the secretary to a deputy of the national police chief, called investigators, offering 800,000 baht in cash in exchange for releasing the Chinese. The officers decided to make the exchange at Chiang Saen station, to secure solid evidence against Mr Rattaphong and his company. The suspects were nabbed as they handed over the money.
The officers looked for Mr Rattaphong’s name in the police database, without success, suggesting he was not involved with any deputy national police chief whatsoever, according to Pol Col Chinnakorn. All suspects were charged with bribery under Section 144 of the Criminal Code. Mr Rattaphong was also charged with falsely claiming to be an officer, as per section 145, and having unauthorised radio equipment.
Meanwhile, the Counter Corruption Division (CCD) commander, Pol Maj Gen Jaroonkiat Pankew, said the division will expand its probe into those involved in the case of Nakhon Sawan’s Mae Wong district chief Prasit Phattanasitthicheewin, charged for allegedly demanding bribes from a cockfighting operator.