Sudden Transfer of Police Official
Pol Maj Gen Ekkaraj Limsangkat, the commander of the Highway Police Division, faced an unexpected transfer to an inactive post at the Operations Centre of the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) on Tuesday. The reassignment comes after allegations surfaced of receiving kickbacks from overloaded lorries. The transfer order, effective immediately, was signed by CIB chief Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej. In the meantime, Pol Maj Gen Jaroonkiat Pankaew, the commander of the Anti-Corruption Division (ACD), has taken over Pol Maj Gen Ekkaraj’s position until further notice.
Awaiting Internal Investigation
The transfer order also mentioned that an internal investigation will be conducted into the bribery allegations. The Office of the Inspector-General of the Royal Thai Police (RTP) is also looking for additional information from Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn, a Move Forward Party list MP-elect, about his claims of overloaded lorry drivers paying bribes.
National Police Chief Orders Evidence Collection
National police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas has ordered all police inspector-generals to gather evidence in response to allegations made in a social media post by Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn. According to the post, drivers of overloaded trucks with special stickers were exempt from arrests or even being forced to stop at weighbridges. Wiroj claimed that these stickers, featuring images of rabbits, a smiling sun, or Kung Fu Panda, could be purchased for thousands of baht per month.
Inspector-General Seeks More Details
Police inspector-general Pol Gen Visanu Prasarttong-Osoth has stated that he will ask Wiroj for more details regarding the allegations. He also plans to speak with the chairman of the Truck Association of Thailand and the highway police officers accused of ignoring the overloaded vehicles. Pol Gen Visanu revealed that this is the first time the newly established police complaint review board will be tasked with reviewing a complaint.
Investigating Corruption in Highway Policing
The ongoing investigation, involving multiple parties and officials, seeks to uncover the truth behind the allegations and reveal any potential corruption within the highway policing system. The outcome of this investigation could have significant implications for the credibility of the Royal Thai Police, and authorities are committed to resolving this matter in a transparent and fair manner.