Mayor’s murky water deal: Politician’s son-in-law in bribery charge
Mayor’s murky water deal: Politician’s son-in-law in bribery chargeLegacy

Prosecutors formally charged Veerachart Rasamee, son-in-law of Chada Thaiseth and mayor of Talukdu municipality, Uthai Thani, in a 600,000 baht bribery case involving village water supply construction.

Police from the Anti-Corruption Division (ACD) arrested Veerachart at his residence in 2023 after allegations surfaced that he solicited bribes from contractors for two underground water supply projects.

The contractors involved in both projects, which were in the same district, reported that Veerachart demanded bribes to facilitate the approval process. Initially, Veerachart requested 500,000 baht per project, but the amount was negotiated down to 300,000 baht per project, totalling 600,000 baht for both projects.

An official from the ACD reveals that the investigations following the arrest exposed Veerachart for taking advantage of his position and soliciting bribes from the contractors.

The developments in this case reached a significant milestone when the ACD’s investigation team completed their case summary and forwarded it to the prosecutor’s office in May, leading to formal charges being filed against Veerachart.

A spokesperson from the prosecutor’s office highlighted that the case underscores the seriousness of the allegations and the commitment to fighting corruption at all levels.

Veerachart’s arrest last year was a high-profile event, given his family ties to the Deputy Minister of Interior, Chada Thaiseth. The arrest took place at Veerachart’s home, where officers gathered evidence and detained him for further questioning. The operation was part of a broader initiative by the ACD to crack down on corruption among public officials.

The two village water supply projects in question were both awarded to the same contractor through a bidding process. After winning the bids, the contractor reported that Veerachart demanded payments to expedite project approvals and ensure smooth operations.

The contractor’s testimony played a crucial role in the investigation, providing detailed accounts of the bribery demands and subsequent payments.

The formal charges against Veerachart include solicitation of bribes and abuse of power. These charges carry significant penalties, including potential imprisonment and fines. The case will now proceed through the judicial system, where Veerachart will have the opportunity to defend himself against the charges.

This case is part of an ongoing effort by the Thai government to address corruption within its ranks. The ACD has been particularly active in recent years, conducting numerous investigations and arrests aimed at rooting out corrupt practices among officials at various levels of government, reported KhaoSod.

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Author: Ryan Turner