Extended detention expected for ex-CIB chief, accomplices


BANGKOK, Nov 24 — Police brought Pol Lt Gen Pongpat Chayapan, former commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau, and seven others charged with serious offences including lese majeste, accepting bribes and to the Criminal Court in Bangkok for an extended detention order.

Armies of local and foreign journalists waited to cover their presence at the court on Ratchadaphesek Road.

The eight suspects were charged with lese majeste and collecting bribes and are liable to life imprisonment and the death penalty.

Police also arrested a couple identified as Chob Chinaprapha and his wife Tiyaphan last night.

They were alleged accomplices of Pol Lt Gen Pongpat and were being interrogated.

Another suspect, Sawong Moongthiang, told police she would turn herself in today while Roengsak Saknarongdet remains at large.

National police chief Pol Gen Somyot Poompanmoung ordered serious disciplinary investigation against all police officers involved in the case within 30 days.

Senior police officers in the case would be detained at the Bangkok Remand Prison separately from other inmates who may have become their enemies during their past crime suppression roles.

Justice Minister Paiboon Khoomchaya said the Department of Special Investigation would consider if it should take over the case and the Anti-Money Laundering Office planned to seize the assets of the suspects.

Deputy Prime Minister/Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon refused to elaborate on the case. He only quoted Pol Lt Gen Pongpat as admitting to receiving bribes from oil smugglers in the South.