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Thailand: Public hoots down bonus for traffic cops who reject bribes

Image courtesy of the Thailand Traffic PoliceNew Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) commissioner Sriwara Rangsipramkul has stopped a week-old campaign in which traffic police could earn rewards of 10,000 baht ($306) for arresting people who offered them a bribe.

His decision came after heavy criticism of the campaign, which was launched last week by MPB deputy chief Maj Gen Adul Narongsak, the officer in charge of traffic affairs, the Bangkok Post said Sunday.

“Many people on the social media demanded to know why policemen should be rewarded for performing their duty and why only bribe-givers are targeted,” the Bangkok Post said.

Last Friday, the Royal Thai Police Office ordered its officers to stop using spy buttons or pen cameras to record potential bribe-givers because it “created division and suspicion between police and the public.”

Maj Gen Narongsak had said the money for the rewards would come not from the public but from the traffic police welfare fund.

Two days after launching the program, Narongsak handed out the first 10,000 baht bonus. It went to a traffic-squad leader at the Wat Phraya Krai police station for refusing a 100 baht ($3) bribe and arresting the motorcyclist who allegedly offered it.

Meanwhile, a civic group said Saturday it will offer a 20,000 baht ($612) reward to anyone producing a video clip of a policeman demanding a bribe, the Bangkok Post said.

Atchariya Ruangrattanapong, chairman of the Club for Justice Under Investigation, called the campaign a pilot project in advance of a national anti-corruption crusade set to launch next year.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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