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Thai traffic cops offered cash to refuse bribes

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Thailand’s traffic policemen will get money in return for refusing bribes, police said on Thursday.

It is part of the junta’s efforts to combat what it has called an ingrained culture of corruption within the force.

“This monetary incentive will encourage officers to look out for traffic violators who try to bribe,” said Police Major General Adul Narongsak, deputy chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau.

He added that two policemen were recently awarded 10,000 baht (S$392) for refusing a 100 baht bribe.

The junta has set about restructuring the police force and ridding it of a “bribes for jobs” culture, a main demand of the protesters who helped trigger Ms Yingluck Shinawatra’s ouster.

It wants to depoliticise a force that has been closely associated with Ms Yingluck’s brother, former premier Thaksin Shinawatra who was ousted in a 2006 coup but remains the country’s most influential politician.

Poorly paid

Thai police salaries start at about 6,000 baht ($185) a month, according to last year’s data, well below the national average.

Maj Gen Adul told Reuters: “We want to change perceptions and practices and to reward those who show that they are clean.”

And for those policemen who might still be tempted by a backhander?

He said: “We encourage people to take photographs as evidence.”

Thailand was ranked 102 out of 177 countries in Transparency International’s 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index.

Source: Reuters