Police Chief’s ‘advisory’ cash from booze company deemed totally legit

Just one day after giving Metropolitan Police Chief Sanit Mahathavorn and ThaiBev a week to explain why the official is accepting monthly payments for “advising” the giant booze company, the Royal Thai Police announced that Sanit isn’t breaking any police policies by taking a monthly handout from the country’s biggest alcohol company.

Hmmm…really?

Sanit has gotten a payment of THB50,000 each month from ThaiBev since sometime in 2015, according to details released from his official assets declaration.

Sanit, who also sits on the National Legislative Assembly, has been accused of breaching ethics due to the conflict of being a lawmaker and enforcer while taking a handout from a big booze company while he may be involved in crafting laws that govern the alcohol business, reported Bangkok Post.

Mana Nimitmongkol, secretary-general of the Anti-Corruption Organization of Thailand, said, “It’s completely unsuitable behavior for a high-ranking state official. Moreover, a police officer is supposed to enforce the law. This is a conflict of interest,” he said.

Though the police have absolved Sanit of wrongdoing, Police spokesman Piyapan Pingmuang said that it’s ultimately up to Sanit to decide whether advising a booze company is an ethics breach. “This is his personal issue and he may have to decide what to do himself,” Piyapan said.

It will be interesting to see what he decides.

Apparently, Section 100 of Thailand’s anti-graft law forbids ministers and administrative officials from taking contracts from private companies but that state officials are not mentioned.

Some might think that they didn’t need to be.

 

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