11 July 2024

Officials from the Department of Special Investigations (DSI), police and army officers are among 16 suspects arrested by police for allegedly extorting 9.5 million baht in cash from Chinese nationals linked to illegal businesses in Thailand.

The 16 people wanted by the police include five DSI officials, nine 191 police officers, one army security officer and a Chinese interpreter.

According to the DSI, 15 of the officials raided a house in Bangkok’s Thung Mahamek area on December 22nd. The property is reported to have been rented by the former consul-general of the Republic of Nauru. There were 11 people in the house at the time of the raid, including six Myanmar nationals and a Thai. The rest were Chinese.

According to Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, the deputy national police chief, 8 million baht in cash was found in the house, but the police report, submitted by the raid team, claimed that there was only 2.5 million baht and only one suspect was arrested.

One of the Chinese men in the house had an active Interpol Red Notice issued against him.

Surachate said the Chinese interpreter in the house told police investigators that he was forced by the raid team to demand 4 million baht from the Chinese in the house, in return releasing them without charges.

All the Chinese men have already left Thailand, said the deputy police chief, adding that police investigators will question the former consul-general of the Republic of Nauru about why there were so many Chinese people in his rented house.

Surachate further noted that it was quite suspicious that the raid team did not seize the CCTV server in the house as evidence, but allowed an army officer among them to take it away, reportedly to be disposed of.

He said that police investigators had, however, managed to confiscate the server and recover the footage.

The deputy permanent secretary of justice, Wallop Nakbua, said that the Justice Ministry had received several complaints about DSI officials extorting money from criminal suspects in the past few months.