The president of Bangkok Metropolitan Council Mr Pipat Labpratana was arrested by a combined team of police and soldiers after vendors implicated him being behind the alleged collection of daily and weekly fees from vendors at major busy places in the capital.
He is now being questioned by Crime Suppression Division police under the presence of army officers.
City council chairman Phipat Larbpratthana was held in police custody under the martial law for suspicion of involvement in extortion racket.
Military police booked Mr Phipat after several vendors at Wat Hua Lamphong complained to the military that they were forced to pay under-the-table fees to city officials, including Mr Phipat, in exchange for the right to trade on the pavements in front of the temple without being harassed by municipal police.
The vendors claimed that a Mr Supachai Wongthiranuparb would collect the fees said to be electricity charge from the vendors and gave them to Mr Prasert Prommee, an advisor to the Bangrak district council, who later on sent the money to Mr Phipat.
The vendors claimed that they had to pay 200 baht a day for a one square metre speace on the pavement and 20 baht a day for electricity charge. On public holidays, there is an addition of 100 baht a day for each stall.
Mr Phipat denied all the accusations against him by the vendors but admitted that he knew Prasert who was earlier held in custody and reportedly implicated him for involvement in the extortion racket. Continue reading “#President of #Bangkok #Metropolitan #Council #arrested”