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Thailand's Human Trafficking Trails: Corrupt CIB Chief May Have the Answers

Thailand's Human Trafficking Trails: Corrupt CIB Chief May Have the Answers

Tuesday, November 25, 2014
News Analysis

PHUKET: Former Central Investigation Bureau Chief Pongpat Chayapan amassed billions of baht from corruption and may be the person who can now most easily explain how Thailand's human trafficking networks function without being exposed and crushed.

All trails lead to the major general, his deputy and 10 others arrested in the past few days in what has to be the most extraordinary example of police corruption in modern Thai history.

Given the extent of Major General Pongpat's control over 11 major police bureaus, it seems inconceivable that he and his cohorts would extract large fortunes from illicit fuel sales, the purchase of high positions in government and gambling yet ignore the vast sums to be made from the trade in people through Thailand.

Speculative it must be at this early stage, but it's worth noting that among the squads under Major General Pongpat's command were the Anti-Human Trafficking Bureau, Marine Police, the Highway Police and the Counter Corruption Division.

If ever a man had the means to oversee the movement of hundreds of people from the Andaman Sea to secret camps in the jungles of southern Thailand, the former CIB chief did.

Only some information about the fortune amassed illegally by the network was revealed today in a televised briefing about the case by National Police Chief Somyot Pumpunmuang and top officers.

Art treasures hidden behind walls, large safes covered over by concrete, a mysterious suicide by an officer after two days giving evidence . . . much more is bound to be revealed about the police powerbroker they nicknamed ''the Gik.''

More details will come as the investigation broadens. The police chief said much more has yet to be exposed, and that more arrests are predicted.

Yet it's difficult to imagine a confessed corrupt CIB chief with his finger in so many pies not having both thumbs in the massive human trafficking system that covertly processes thousands of Rohingya and Bangladeshis through Thailand to Malaysia.

Even if he left that particular role to others, it's likely he knows who they are.

Will Thailand's human trafficking trail now be exposed by the police? Chances seem to be quite strong.

It was plain, National Police Chief Somyot said today, that the CIB powerbroker had been ''breaking the law for a long time already.''

''It doesn't matter how big they are,'' General Somyot said, ''if they are acting against the law, we have to arrest them.

''We have to set moral standards for Thai society.''


Comments have been disabled for this article.


'Former Central Investigation Bureau Chief Pongpat Chayapan amassed billions of baht from corruption'.

He has been charged with offences NOT convicted so how can you make the assumption that he is guilty before proven in court?

You reject the charges against yourselves and want the benefit of the doubt- why not him? At present these are alleged offences- seems you could be leaving yourself open to another defamation case.

If he is guilty hopefully he will pay the price.

Posted by Mister Ree on November 25, 2014 13:11

Editor Comment:

He has confessed. The National Police Chief accepts that he's a corrupt criminal. Given the weight of evidence, we dispense with ''alleged'' in cases where guilt is not in doubt. Thank you for your legal advice, MR, but we'll make our own judgements.

Incidentally, we are in good company. The Bangkok Post reports: ''Hidden safes in houses masked as still under construction contained a fortune in gold, cash, rare artefacts and amulets accumulated by disgraced CIB chief Pongpat Chayapan and his corrupt police cartel.''


This gives some hope for changes for the better.

Posted by phuketgreed on November 25, 2014 13:19


Mister Ree,
Well he has plenty of cash ( or had plenty) to pay the price, whatever that price was and to whom it was paid.
It's all just an innocent misunderstanding, he was just minding the billion Baht for a few friends, as we all often do in our basements.

Posted by Manowar on November 25, 2014 14:54


@Mister Ree,
Long time ago I read the "duck story": "If something looks like a duck, walks like a duck, smells like a duck, flies like a duck, sounds talks like a duck: yes it is MOST likely a Duck. If this same Duck has BILLIONs of bahts/gold/art & foreign currency hidden in his spare room (Pictures in Many Media), in his safe, villa and office it is most likely NOT a Duck. SO You are right 'Mr.' Ree it is most likely not a Duck. I would intend to call him at least: Mr. DagoBert Duck. OR expect him MINIMUM to be the one who can "Finger Point" the Bigge(r/st) master mind behind many/evil and wrong doings. CONFESSIONS ARE ALREADY MADE so stop blaming PhuketWans Editor. Best to protect this Dagobert Duck guy and his close circle. More accidents and suicides can be expected. TODAY WE HAD ALREADY ONE.

At @Ree. To consider. The lowest tittle you can achive in live is Mr. OR Ms. This free "Tittle" are decided by nature and so not earned but given (worthless) some additional or missing body-parts grant you for either one; Ms or Mr.. If this is not visible or if it can not be heard in your case I suggest you to visit a surgeon. If you are proud on the "Tittle" however it says a lot about your personality. You did nothing to "achieve" them. If you use Mr. you use something you received for free and clearly not visible. You received for peeping standing or sitting. THis is nothing what you earned.

I might try to respect your written opinion more if you would start writing less negatively, better argumented and less against what phuketwan is daily producing under pressure and with limited staf and resources. For me you are not a doomsayers. For me you are Ree.

Posted by phuketgreed on November 25, 2014 15:10

Editor Comment:

No confession. No evidence. But yes, Mister Ree found us guilty.



Posted by paul smith on November 25, 2014 15:16

Editor Comment:

your view as usual adds no value, ps.


We went many offices including then Prime Minister ,Foreign Ministry ,Chularata Montry Parliament House ,National Human Rights Commission of Thailand, The Lawyer Council of Thailand etc to take action against the gang stars of Human traffickers but in vain .In the main times we met several officials from Foreign Embassies,IOM ,IRC ,Red Cross including UNHCR for their good office but the trafficking in the south increase day by day .The selling Rohingyas to the traffickers and keeping them in concentration camps have been going openly. The Rohingyas traffickers and their links make billions of money within two years .It's tragedy and all the times we mourn for new new death news.I do hope that the Rohingya tragedy will be stop soon in the south if the Thai government is serious about it. We do hope the Human Trafficking Free Thailand under this government .We also applaud present crackdown.

Posted by Maung Kyaw Nu,President of Burmese Rohingya Association in Thailand (BRAT) on November 27, 2014 15:51

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