Suspect Farik Sridanudet points to the 120,000 baht in cash seized from him on Thursday after an investigation into a bribery complaint at the Pattani office of the Department of Lands. (Photo: Abdullah Benjakat)
PATTANI: An official at the provincial land office has been arrested for allegedly demanding a 120,000-baht bribe in exchange for issuing land title deeds.
The arrest followed an investigation into a complaint from a housing estate developer who said he was being asked for money. Officials from the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) subsequently devised a plan to arrest the culprit.
The arresting team told the complainant to bring the money to police to record as evidence before the transaction with the official was to take place.
Subsequently, a plainclothes investigator went to the local Department of Lands office and gave 120,000 baht in cash to the suspect. When he was arrested shortly afterward, the serial numbers of the banknotes found on him matched those recorded by police.
Farik Sridanudet has been charged with taking bribes and malfeasance.
Pol Col Supakorn Thanyakam, of the Anti-Corruption Division, said the complainant was developing a housing estate in Nong Chik district and had contacted the land office to survey his land for the issue of title deeds.
The accused official had asked for 15,000 baht each for eight plots, or 120,000 baht in total.