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30 police officers in ‘ang pao’ scandal put on probation for ‘minor misconduct’

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Thirty Bangkok policemen who queued to collect ang pao, the traditional distribution of money in red envelopes during Chinese New Year, from another officer were reprimanded and placed on probation pending further punishment for “minor misconduct”, a senior police officer said on Sunday.

Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner Lt-General Charnthep Sesawet said a Metropolitan Police Area 7 investigation had found the 30 officers guilty of minor misconduct for taking money from Special Branch Division officer Pol Sub-Lieutenant Manas Termthanasak. 
Manas, who is separately under investigation for dereliction of duty after having travelled abroad 96 times last year, has also been accused of involvement in “grey businesses” over the past decade, including with a gambling den.
Charnthep said the punished officers were 15 from Thammasala precinct, six from Bang Sao Thong, eight from Bang Yee Khan and one from Taling Chan.
The uniformed police queuing to wai Manas and take traditional red ang pao envelopes from him at his Thon Buri home last month was recorded and, when the video was leaked on the Internet, it elicited a public commotion because of the perceived malfeasance. 
A Royal Thai Police regulation prohibits officers from visiting business establishments during annual festivals, especially the Lunar New Year, and collecting money, gifts or other benefits, which is deemed “inappropriate”, although a National Anti-Corruption Commission rule allows civil servants to accept cash or items worth up to Bt3,000 as gifts.

Published : March 04, 2018

By : The Nation