Police chief Sanit says officers face severe penalties.

The police continue to hit the headlines for the wrong reasons following the issue of arrest warrants for six officers regarding the distribution of drugs seized in raids to dealers.

The policemen, from Bovornmongkol Station in Bangkok, are now under investigation, city police chief Pol Lt-General Sanit Mahathaworn said yesterday.

Five of the accused – Pol Captain Supat Prajonghat, Pol Captain Nitithorn Polboon, Pol Sergeant Major Parinya Jithan, Pol Staff Sergeant Phunat Netsawang and Pol Lance Corporal Reungyos Sanboonrua – are already in custody, while Pol Lieutenant Weerapol Khamdee has yet to be detained.

Warrants for their arrest, on charges of having illicit drugs in possession with the intention to sell, were issued on Thursday.

At an initial interrogation yesterday afternoon the five police in custody denied selling drugs.

A police source said the case stemmed from Supat’s arrest at the precinct on Thursday afternoon by a Metropolitan Police Area 7 team.

They found 13,000 ‘yaba’ pills, 100 grams of crystal meth or “ice” and some ketamine in a backpack in his office. Supat was implicated as a drug supplier by two drug suspects, Yochai Saekow and Supakit Cheunchomchit, who were previously arrested in a sting operation at Soi Charan Sawidwong 35 along with 1,400 ‘yaba’ pills and 100 grams of “ice”.

Supat called one of the suspects on his cell-phone after the bust, the source said.

Another police source said the accused police seized a batch of drugs on February 10 from a condominium in Soi Charan Sanidwong 95/1, without arresting anyone, then allegedly kept the drugs in their personal storage cabinets for distribution to sellers in the area.

Sanit said the Narcotics Act said if state officials committed offences they would be subject to heavier punishment than normal people.

He said police were investigating to see if the six had any links with drug-trafficking networks, although the initial probe found that this was the first time they had made a drug bust then allegedly sold the drugs seized.

Sanit also ordered the transfer of the policemen’s two bosses, superintendent Pol Colonel Wiradol Tabtimdee and inspector Pol Lt Colonel Suparap Phetcharat, to the Metropolitan Police Bureau for 30 days to ensure effective inquiries into their subordinates.

Sanit admitted this case made his heart heavy but he said he would make sure there was a proper investigation and the justice process would be followed.

(Source:The Nation,Thailand)

By Juninho