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Six Bangkok police officers accused in bribery scandal maintain their innocence

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Six police officers in Bangkok have been jailed without bail after being accused of accepting a bribe from a Taiwanese actress and her friends during a visit to the city last month. They will remain in prison whilst the investigation continues. The officers, who face life in prison on charges of dereliction of duty and bribery, claim they are innocent.

However, Nation Thailand reports that Teeradej Thumsutee, a commander with the Metropolitan Police Bureau, says that despite their assertions, investigators have compelling evidence to prove their guilt. The court has been requested to deny bail applications as the penalties for these offences are severe and the officers could interfere with evidence and witnesses if released.

The officers were initially charged with dereliction of duty for failing to take legal action against a group of tourists from Taiwan and Singapore who were found to be carrying vaping devices, which are illegal in Thailand.

The group, including actress Charlene An, was intercepted at a checkpoint on Ratchadaphisek Road on January 5, leading to An’s social-media posts accusing the police of planting a device and demanding a bribe. These allegations prompted the Metropolitan Police Bureau to set up a fact-finding committee.

Bribery charges were filed after a Singaporean man in An’s group revealed that he paid 27,000 baht to the officers to secure their release.

The maximum sentence for bribery is life imprisonment and a fine of up to 400,000 baht. One of the accused officers’ lawyers stated that the officer is distressed by the criminal charges.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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