The president of the Bangkok Metropolitan Council and the head of a foundation for the poor have been detained for allegedly extorting money from vendors.
The move came after complaints to police filed by several vendors with stalls outside Wat Hua Lamphong in Bang Rak district in Bangkok about council president Pipat Larpprathana and Uppatham Bang Rak Foundation secretary-general Prasert Prommi.
An informed source said yesterday that the suspects were now detained under martial law.
“This means they will not be able to intimidate witnesses or tamper with evidence,” the source said.
Pol Lt-Colonel Natteerit Harnsanehlak, a senior expert-level inquiry official at the Crime Suppression Division, said police were gathering evidence against the pair.
“We have already uncovered some evidence such as receipts from vendors, and will also check CCTV recordings and speak to the vendors,” he said.
The source said vendors were now daring to speak up after hearing that Pipat and Prasert had been arrested.
Meanwhile, Democrat Party spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut said his party had dismissed Pipat in mid-2013 for violating a resolution of the party’s executive committee. Pipat is also a Bangkok councillor for Bang Rak district.