Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul hailed police and anti-corruption officials for the arrests, in Uthai Thani province yesterday (Tuesday), of the son-in-law of Deputy Interior Minister Chada Thaised and four other people charged with extortion and bribery.
He said that the arrests of the three local officials and two civilians is a clear indication that no one is above the law,despite their political connections.
One of the suspects was identified as Veerachart Rassamee, mayor of Taluk Do sub-district and the son-in-law of Chada. The two other municipal officials are the vice major and the chief engineer of the municipality.
“He (Veerachai) is just a son-in-law. The father-in-law (Chada) is just the person who received the dowry. He can’t dictate his son-in-law’s actions,” said Anutin, as he commented on the case.
Chada has been assigned by Anutin to crack down on Mafia-style influential figures across the country.
Police and anti-corruption officials from the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) and the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) raided eight locations in Uthai Thani yesterday, in a crackdown on a bribery gang,alleged to have been demanding bribes from a group of contractors.
The contractors had tendered bids for the installation of a tap water system in Hat Thanong and Taluk Do sub-district municipalities, but they were told to withdraw their bids by a mysterious caller, who warned them that they might be “obstructed” if they won the contract.
When the contractors won the bid, they could not do their job because all outlets selling construction materials in the province refused to do business with them. Subsequently, they were approached by some of the suspects, demanding a million baht in bribes if they wanted to be able to fulfil the contract, but the bribe was later bargained down to 600,000 baht.
The contractors eventually filed complaints with the NACC, the PACC and the police’s anti-corruption division, which launched an investigation, resulting in the arrests of the five suspects yesterday.