11 July 2024

A female reporter, who claims to have close ties with Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, the deputy national police chief, is being held in police custody on bribery charges. She allegedly demanded 33 million baht from a key member of a transnational commercial surrogacy gang, who is currently in custody, in return for help in ensuring that the suspect is not prosecuted.

Surachate admits that he knows the reporter, whose name and news agency were not disclosed, and had asked her for help as an interpreter because she could speak Chinese fluently and is well known among Chinese officials adding, however, that she will be treated like any other alleged offender.

The deputy police chief said that they have received a complaint from 53-year-old “Nawaporn”, a key suspect in a commercial surrogacy gang, allegedly operated by Chinese citizens. Her complaint alleges that the reporter demanded 33 million baht from her, claiming that she is close to Surachate and could arrange for her and the other Chinese suspects to be spared from prosecution.

Nawaporn claimed that she paid the reporter 14 million baht.

Surachate said that police have investigated Nawaporn’s complaint and found there were valid grounds. A warrant for the arrest of the reporter was then sought from the court.

The reporter has been charged with demanding and receiving bribes, offences which are subject to five years in prison and/or a fine of 100,000 baht if convicted.