In a shocking revelation, the Thai police force finds itself entangled in yet another scandal, this time involving the acceptance of bribes to turn a blind eye to overloaded vehicles. The ingenious method employed is the use of bribery stickers, granting these vehicles a free pass through checkpoints, bypassing inspections and legal consequences.
Recent reports from the Bangkok Post expose an intricate system involving Pol. Gen. Chakthip Chaijinda, Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police. It is alleged that trucks carrying bribes, identified by special stickers, have been able to traverse highways without facing any consequences for their overloaded status.
The scandal came to light when Worot Rakkanadison, a prominent member of the reformist Move Forward Party (MFP), raised concerns during the recent general elections. Rakkanadison asserted that drivers of designated overloaded trucks, marked with unique stickers, were immune to arrest and inspection at predetermined checkpoints.
These stickers, available in an array of eye-catching designs such as playful rabbits, cheerful suns, and martial arts pandas, have become coveted items for those seeking to bypass regulations. According to sources, obtaining one of these stickers requires a monthly payment of several thousand baht (approximately $100).
Prompted by mounting controversy, the Thai police force has initiated a comprehensive investigation into the bribery scandal. To ensure transparency and restore public trust, high-ranking officials, including the Director-General of the Highway Police, have been temporarily reassigned, and the scope of the investigation has been expanded.
Acknowledging the presence of the “bribery stickers,” Pol. Gen. Chakthip Chaijinda affirmed, “We recognize that these stickers have been in circulation for some time.” In an effort to rectify the situation, stringent disciplinary measures and legal actions will be taken against police officers and public officials implicated in the scandal. Disturbingly, this year alone, 79 individuals have already faced dismissal due to corruption-related offenses.
This scandal is just the latest in a series of controversies plaguing the Thai police force. Previous instances of bribery, involvement in illegal online gambling, and aiding Chinese criminals in unlawful residency have tarnished the reputation of the department.
Revelations surrounding the provision of a “VIP service” for Chinese tourists, fast-tracking their immigration procedures and providing high-speed escorts to hotels, further deepened public concerns about corruption within the force.
Another incident involved the detainment of Taiwanese actresses during their visit to Thailand, under the pretext of possessing illegal e-cigarettes. These actresses were eventually released after paying a bribe, further highlighting the pervasive nature of corruption.
As the investigation unfolds, the Thai public eagerly awaits a thorough examination of the bribery scandal, hoping for accountability and a renewed commitment to integrity within the police force.