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Business operators confirm Phuket police taking bribes

PHUKET: Business operators in Phuket have gone public to confirm that several businesses have to pay bribes to local police and officials from other agencies to keep their businesses running smoothly.

By The Phuket News

Monday 20 November 2017, 06:23PM

Business operators publicly confirmed at an anti-corruption seminar that Patong Police have been taking bribes, reports Thai PBS. Photo: Thai PBS

Business operators publicly confirmed at an anti-corruption seminar that Patong Police have been taking bribes, reports Thai PBS. Photo: Thai PBS

The confirmation came at a seminar titled “Police taking bribes: a disaster of the nation and the people” organised by a people’s network for police reforms held yesterday (Nov 19), reports Thai PBS. (See story here.)

The forum was called after more than two dozen Phuket Police officers, including three from Phuket Immigration, have been transferred or are otherwise facing investigations for reasons Royal Thai Police have yet to reveal or are openly under investigation for racketeering in bribes for as much as a B100 million a month.

Most recently Patong Police Chief Col Tassanai Orarigdech was moved to an active post in Bangkok last week. (See story here.)

That transfer followed his predecessor, former Patong Police Chief Col Chaiwat Uikam and his Deputy Chief Lt Col Somsak Thongkleng both being transferred to Surat Thani pending an investigation into receiving bribes from entertainment operators. (See story here.)

The business operators taking part in the seminar confirmed that the practice does exist, noted Thai PBS in its report.

“A business operator said there are three kinds of businesses which must pay bribes to the police. They are entertainment venues, businesses which rely on migrant workers and businesses which involve sales of contraband,” the news website reported.

“Those taking the bribes are local police and officials of other government agencies based in Phuket… The businessman said since bribery is connected to buying of positions, demands for bribes have been more widespread, putting burdens on business operators,” the report added.

The allegations of bribery connected to buying of positions comes months after an investigation into Region 8 Police, based at the northern end of the island, in August found three officers – identified only as “one senior police officer, a police lieutenant colonel and a police major” – implicated in position-buying.

However, despite Royal Thai Police Inspector-General Panya Mamen vowing that anyone found guilty of a criminal offence will also face criminal prosecution, the three were never named adn no charges were ever publicly confirmed. (See story here.)

Pol Col Wirut Sirisawasdibut, an adviser to the subcommittee on police reforms, admitted that bribe-taking exists in various forms. He urged the people who have information about this to come out to expose it, Thai PBS reported.

SEE ALSO  (from only the past 16 months)

Patong Police chief shunted amid suspected seafood restaurant shakedown (Click here.)

Phuket Immigration officers transferred amid corruption probe (Click here.)

 Police release details of alleged Phuket illegal immigrant corruption racket (Click here)

Zest Real Estate

Foreign gangs in government crosshairs (Click here)

Phuket police ‘paid B100mn a month in bribes’ (Click here)

Former Patong Police Chief, Deputy Chief transferred to Surat Thani (Click here)

15 Phuket police investigated for alleged corruption (Click here)

95 ‘illegal aliens’ arrested in Phuket in three days (Click here)

Phuket Tourist Police vague on tourism raid details, silent on graft claims (Click here)

Phuket Police silent on corruption probes (Click here)

Phuket Police inspector in Patong under investigation for corruption (Click here)

Patong Police chief becomes Phuket Police Deputy Commander (Click here)

Phuket top-brass police transferred, face corruption probe (Click here)

Phuket Police inspector in Patong under investigation for corruption (Click here)

Phuket Police to probe claims of migrant worker shakedown by corrupt officials (Click here)

Phuket police probe into extortion, corruption falls silent (Click here)




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Fascinated | 21 November 2017 - 12:11:44

The monthly payment to the police actually appears on the accounts for the apartments where I live. 

Kurt | 21 November 2017 - 09:43:27

It almost looks like there is a queuing list of thai officials for a temporarily ( 6-12 months) position on the tourist island of Phuket, with the chance to make some extra earnings. 
And of course in the hope no one catch them.
Perhaps they bought their temporarily position, like position buying in RTP is also not uncommon?

They forget that Phuket is now a 'Smart City', things start ...

BenPendejo | 21 November 2017 - 09:16:18

The RTP is rotten to the core and is a HUGE factor in keeping Thailand from advancing into the 21st century.  Utterly worthless in terms of law enforcement, leading to Thailand being the #1 country in road fatalities. Day-to-day, Thais don't respect or abide by laws, because they know there is no police to enforce anything.  Even the RTP knows there are no consequences for their own criminal a...

Christy Sweet | 21 November 2017 - 08:35:00

" Come out.."  and leave one's self open to a defamation suit with which a conviction will find one deported.  I have a story about the Or Bor Tor, and how I shuttered my  business instead of paying to "fix" a bogus permit violation. So I laid off 4 workers from a good paying job. I'd love to name names, will I be protected? 

Rorri_2 | 21 November 2017 - 05:54:01

Now, where is that small, irritating gang, who condemned others who made comments regarding widespread, and level, of corruption. 

MartinK | 21 November 2017 - 00:41:10

This is news?  The only news here is the laughable statement that there are only three business models being "tea'd" up.  I had several legitimate businesses in Phuket and Patong.  None involved in "entertainment" or toursim.  All required "donations". I know you have to print with a straight face but ... really?

Discover Thainess | 20 November 2017 - 21:03:55

Everyone knows this, there was a recent report out that showed Thailand's "black economy" was the second largest in the world per GDP, second only to Nigeria. It's an essential part of how the country runs. 

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