Nabber Nabbed

Some say that corruption is not a problem in Thailand. It’s simply a way of life and for centuries, Thailand survived pretty well in spite of all the corruption. A friend who travelled to Thailand overland through Malaysia once remarked that Thai policemen were honest as he didn’t see them collecting bribes from bus drivers at the border checkpoints while the Malaysian police did.

Well, I suspect that the system in Thailand is so well-oiled that it’s probably a lot more high tech than passing notes through open windows.

CHIANG RAI — A drug smuggler arrested with more than 800,000 tablets of methamphetamine this afternoon was discovered to be a high-ranking police officer tasked with cracking down on illegal drugs.

Pol.Lt.Col. Chamnarn Phoomphaichit was arrested at a checkpoint near the Thai-Myanmar border in Chiang Rai province after officers searched his vehicle and found large amounts of narcotics hidden in two bags.

According to a statement from police, the search of Pol.Lt.Col. Chamnarn’s car turned up at least 800,000 meth tablets and one kilogram of crystal meth. The confiscated items are said to be worth more than 200 million baht.

Police say Pol.Lt.Col. Chamnarn is the deputy commander of the Chai Prakarn Police Station in Chiang Mai province. He is also known as a tough anti-drug crusader among Region 5 police officers, police say.

Pol.Col. Wirat Soomnapan, an officer with the Chiang Rai police force, said police are interrogating the suspect to find out more about the drug network he allegedly works for.

I find this very strange. As drug enforcement officer himself, he should have known where his men were and what they were doing. He must have offended someone, perhaps by refusing to share the loot. Nothing to celebrate here. This is just a case of one crooked cop being nabbed by other crooked cops for being “uncooperative”.

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