Bribery Allegations Surface in Nakhon Sawan
A district chief in Nakhon Sawan, northern Thailand, was arrested on allegations of demanding bribes from a cockfighting operator. Prasit Phattanasitthicheewin, a 59-year-old chief of Mae Wong district office, was arrested by a team of police led by Counter Corruption Division (CCD) commander Pol Maj Gen Jaroonkiat Pankew on charges of bribery and malfeasance in office.
Demands for Operation Permit
The district chief was accused of demanding a bribe from a local cockfighting operator (name withheld) in exchange for an operation permit. Despite the actual fees being 220 baht per cockfighting pen, Mr. Prasit allegedly collected 3,000 baht monthly from the operator. With six pens, the fees should have been 1,320 baht. However, the district chief demanded additional money, claiming it was for care and facilitation, according to Pol Maj Gen Jarookiat.
Threats and Financial Difficulties
The operator initially paid 6,000 baht in advance for two months to the district chief. However, he later faced financial difficulties and could not afford to pay the fees for one month. As a result, Mr. Prasit demanded the outstanding payment and three months’ fees in advance, totaling 12,000 baht. He also threatened to shut down the operator’s cockfighting facilities if the payments were not made.
Filing a Complaint and Arrest
Fearing the closure of his business, the operator decided to file a complaint with CCD police. The arresting team devised a plan to have the complainant give the demanded money to the district chief, who was then caught red-handed receiving the bribe at his office, said the CCD commander.
Denial of Charges and Ongoing Investigation
During questioning, Mr. Prasit denied all charges and was subsequently handed over to CCD investigators. The officers are currently gathering evidence and preparing a probe report, which will be forwarded to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) for legal proceedings.