Politician’s son-in-law gets bail in corruption case
Weerachart Rasamee, the mayor of Talukdoo municipality in Uthai Thani province, along with four others were granted bail on Tuesday following their arrest earlier that day for allegedly demanding 1 million baht from a local building contractor.
The arrest made national headlines on Tuesday as Weerachart, 45, is a son-in-law of Deputy Interior Minister Chada Thaiseth, who is responsible for registering the so-called influential figures in Thailand to eliminate the mafia-like operations at the provincial level.
Officers of the Anti-Corruption Division said that bail of 400,000 baht for each of the accused was approved as all the suspects have permanent addresses and showed no intention of absconding.
Three of the five suspects, all government officials, have been charged with demanding property or other benefits from another person for exercising or not exercising any of their functions. The other two civilians have been charged with supporting the taking of bribes by officials.
Police were acting on a complaint submitted by a contractor who has been awarded two contracts for tap water systems in Uthai Thani’s Talukdoo and Hat Thanong subdistricts.
The complaint stated that an influential figure had pressured construction material merchants in the province to stop selling to him, causing his project to stall. Later, Weerachart allegedly demanded 1 million baht from the contractor in exchange for allowing the project to continue, which he negotiated down to 600,000 baht.
The contractor then contacted the police to arrange a sting operation on Tuesday in front of a bank in Muang district. The police arrested Weerachart and two suspects at the drop-off location, which later led to the arrest of another two accomplices. Weerachart is married to the fourth child of Chada, who has 7 children from two wives.