Thai border police under fire over graft accusations

Bangkok, Sep 11 (IANS) A suspect arrested in connection with the deadly Bangkok bomb attack allegedly confessed to having paid border police bribes each time he travelled in and out of Thailand, media reported on Friday.

National police chief Somyot Poompanmuang has blamed the corrupt officials for paving the way for the bloody attack in the heart of Bangkok on August 17 which killed 20 people and injured over 150 others, The Nation online reported.

“It has caused many problems and has even affected national security,” Somyot said.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that he had commissioned an investigation and his deputy General Prawit Wongsuwan as well as the National Police Office would consider taking action in the matter.

“Indeed, we plan to revamp the immigration department, but lack budget. This problem concerns not only human resources, but also technology and equipment,” Prayut said, adding “The bribe and corruption involved a lot of people, not just officials but also the private sector.”

On September 1, main suspect Mieraili Yusufu, 26, was arrested in the border province of Sa Kaew for his alleged role in the two blasts.

The arrest took place on the same day that several immigration police based in the province were given immediate transfer orders.

He said police inspector-general Nares Nanthachoti was investigating the bribery scandal and was expected to report the results on September 23.

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