Business operators confirm Phuket police taking bribes

Business operators in the resort island province of Phuket have confirmed several businesses have to pay bribes to local police and officials from other agencies to keep their businesses running smoothly.

The confirmation was made on Sunday (Nov 19) at a seminar entitled “Police taking bribes: a disaster of the nation and the people” organised by a people’s network for police reforms.

The seminar was held in the wake of the transfers of the superintendent of Patong police and 10 other officers after it was alleged they had been involved in demanding and taking bribes.

The transfers were made following allegations that police from various police units based on Phuket had taken bribes from local business operators, foreign tourists and migrant workers.

The business operators taking part in the seminar confirmed that the practice does exist.

A business operator said there are three kinds of businesses which must pay bribes to the police. They are entertainment venues, businesses which rely on migrant workers and businesses which involve sales of contraband.

Those taking the bribes are local police and officials of other government agencies based in Phuket.

The businessman said since bribery is connected to buying of positions, demands for bribes have been more widespread, putting burdens on business operators.

Pol Col Wirut Sirisawasdibut, an adviser to the subcommittee on police reforms, admitted that bribe-taking exists in various forms. He urged the people who have information about this to come out to expose it.