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Thai Minister assigns DSI to look into oil smuggling bribes

Thai Minister assigns DSI to look into oil smuggling bribes

BANGKOK:  Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya ordered the DSI to check on officials taking bribes from oil smuggling gangs. The move is part of the Justice Ministry’s investigation into links to the cartel headed by sacked Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) chief Pongpat Chayapan.

Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya said on Thursday DSI chief Suwanna Suwanjuta would investigate the agencies that handle oil smuggling cases in the South to find evidence of officials taking bribes.

After the case against Pol Lt Gen Pongpat blew wide open this week, reports emerged of officials from several DSI agencies demanding bribes from oil smuggling gangs in the three southern-most border provinces.

Gen Paiboon said he asked the DSI to coordinate with the Royal Thai Police Office (RTPO) to ensure a systematic flow of information about those involved in bribe-taking.

He warned of harsh action against DSI officials found to have colluded with the former CIB chief’s gang in receiving bribes from oil smugglers. There would also be retroactive punishment.

Gen Paiboon said the RTPO was the key agency handling the case against Pol Lt Gen Pongpat and his accomplices. The ministry stands ready to help the RTPO if asked.

He ordered the DSI and the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) to fully support the work of the RTPO.

The DSI is investigating at least three officials for receiving bribes from a major oil smuggler in the South with links to the former CIB chief’s group.

Ms Suwanna said on Thursday she has signed an order to set up a panel to question at least three DSI officials for receiving bribes from Sahachai Jiarasermchai – or Sia Joe – an influential oil smuggler in the South

“Any DSI official found to be involved in receiving bribes or having links with the former CIB chief’s network will be subject to legal action. A disciplinary investigation will be set up and those found guilty face disciplinary and criminal action,” she said.