11 July 2024

A fourth suspect, allegedly involved with serial petitioner Srisuwan Janya in attempting to extort Bt1.5 million from the director-general of Rice Department, was arrested by anti-corruption police and officials from the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) today.

Armed with a warrant, the officials arrested the suspect, Ekkalak Wareechon, at his house in Nimitmai in Khlong Sam Wa district this morning.

According to the Central Investigation Bureau, Ekkalak was to be a middle man, coordinating between Srisuwan’s gang and an advisor to Agriculture Minister Thammanat Prompao, known only as “Mu”.

Mu was reported to have escorted the Rice Department director-general and his wife to see Srisuwan at his house in Pathum Thani on November 28th last year, to ask him to cease his relentless efforts to expose alleged corruption in the Rice Department.

Srisuwan, Yoswaris Chuklom and Pimnattha, two members of the United Thai Nation party, have been charged with attempted extortion for demanding a 1.5 million baht from the Rice Department chief, Natthakit Khongthip, in exchange for dropping their bid to probe alleged graft in the department.  All are currently free on bail.

Yoswaris claims he knows Ekkalak as a just company representative who approached him for help with some project proposals, adding that he “knows a lot of people”.