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TAO chairman nabbed over B2.6m bribe

The chairman of Bang Pla tambon administrative organisation (TAO) in Bang Phli district of Samut Prakan province and his female secretary were arrested on Wednesday for allegedly demanding and taking a 2.3-million-baht bribe from a business operator.

The Anti-Corruption Division (ACD) police acted following a complaint from a business firm in Bang Pla, alleging that high-ranking officials from the Bang Pla TAO had demanded 2.6 million baht in exchange for granting a land excavation and landfill permit.

The standard fee for a landfill permit is only 500 baht.

The firm bargained for the amount to be reduced to 2.3 million baht and the other side agreed.

Later, the firm, armed with a video recording of TAO officials demanding the money, filed a complaint with the ACD police.

Following an investigation and the gathering of substantial evidence, the ACD obtained an arrest warrant from the Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases, Region 1.

At about 11am on Wednesday, Chanin Ruenroeng, 61, the Bang Pla TAO chairman, and his personal secretary identified only as Pornmanee, 44, were arrested by ACD police at their office in Bang Pla.

The two were charged with, as state officials, illegally demanding and taking a bribe.

During a search of their office, the police found 2,271,427 baht in cash and a 9mm Smith & Wesson pistol with 11 rounds of ammunition.

Mr Chanin denied the charges, saying he would fight the case in line with the legal procedures.

Chanin Ruenroeng, chairman of Bang Pla tambon administrative organisation (TAO) in Samut Prakan’s Bang Phli district, is taken in a van to his residence for a search. (Photo: Sutthiwit Chayutworakan)

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