Don Muang market adviser arrested for extortion, released on bail

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Bangkok – A court has allowed Talad Mai Don Muang market adviser Pol Lt Col Santana Prayunrat to be released on bail after he was arrested on charges of extortion of vendors at the market but barred him from leaving the country and has scheduled another hearing for July 2.

Investigators recently acted on eight warrants accusing Prayunrat of extortion and presented him to a court for detainment. The court has since allowed him to be temporarily released on a 300,000 baht bond.

The market adviser has promised to take legal action against three or more police officials he believes are responsible for his arrest and has accused them of intimidating the public and acting immorally. He voiced confidence in the judicial process and has denied all eight accusations of extortion against him, noting he does not know his accusers.

Deputy Commander of the Royal Thai Police, Pol Gen Weerachai Songmettha explained the eight warrants were from nine charges lodged against Prayunrat. Others have also been named in the charges and evidence is being collected against them. Several being monitored by police have apparently attempted to evade arrest and are expected to be apprehended when they attempt to cross the border. He assured the public the operation is justified and not an act of intimidation by police.