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Prosecutor Nopparat Boonsri Found Guilty in 170 Million Baht Rhino Horn Smuggling Scandal

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In a riveting twist of fate, a senior prosecutor has been officially found guilty by the anti-corruption agency for attempting to grease the palms of customs officials in order to facilitate the smuggling of rhino horns valued at an astounding 170 million baht. This clandestine operation was orchestrated seven years ago with the sole aim of evading any criminal charges.

The drama unfolded yesterday as the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) declared that Nopparat Boonsri, a former deputy Saraburi chief public prosecutor overseeing rights protection, legal assistance, and law enforcement, was responsible for masterminding the bribery scheme in 2017.

NACC Secretary-General Niwatchai Kasemmongkol revealed that the commission’s investigation concluded that Nopparat, who was previously known as Worapas Boonsri and held the rank of a police major, had enticed officials at Suvarnabhumi Airport Passenger Control Customs Office with assets and benefits. This unscrupulous offer was in exchange for turning a blind eye to a group of smugglers who were importing 21 rhino horns, weighing a hefty 49.4 kilograms, without facing any legal repercussions.

The NACC firmly ruled that Nopparat’s actions were in direct violation of Section 144 of the Criminal Code, Section 123/5 of the anti-corruption law, and several disciplinary regulations concerning acts of bribery. Yet, even with such overwhelming evidence, Nopparat remained defiant, consistently maintaining his innocence until proven guilty throughout the indictment process.

The gravity of the case was highlighted by the fact that at the time, authorities seized 21 rhino horns at the bustling Suvarnabhumi Airport, valued at an eye-popping 173 million baht. These illicit goods were skillfully smuggled, and footage from CCTV cameras captured the moment the luggage containing the precious horns was maneuvered through the airport with Nopparat leading the way, flanked by two police officers and accompanied by two women.

In the wake of the scandal, Nopparat was swiftly reassigned to an inactive position at the Department of Southern Bangkok Civil Litigation on April 3, 2017, hinting at the gravity of the allegations against him. Fast forward to November 20, 2018, and the dramatic saga took another turn when Nopparat was brought before the Samut Prakan Provincial Court. The court handed him a four-year prison sentence for the unauthorized import of restricted items without paying customs duty, and for the illicit import of wild animal remains.

This gripping case serves as a stark reminder of the lengths to which some individuals will go in order to flout laws and evade justice. Nopparat’s fall from grace from a senior prosecutorial position to a prison cell underscores the unforgiving hand of justice. As the anti-corruption agency continues to uphold the integrity of the law, every twist and turn in the case of Nopparat Boonsri keeps the public riveted, shedding light on the darker corridors of power and corruption.

The tale of Nopparat Boonsri’s downfall serves as a cautionary narrative that echoes through the corridors of justice: no one, regardless of their rank or position, is above the law. As new chapters unfold in this high-stakes saga, the public remains engaged, their attention glued to every development in the case that has shaken the very foundations of legal and ethical conduct in the nation.


  1. John P. June 25, 2024

    This is a disgrace to the judicial system! Nopparat Boonsri clearly thought he could bribe his way through anything.

    • Carol June 25, 2024

      It’s horrific, isn’t it? Corruption at this level makes you wonder how many other cases go unnoticed.

      • Justice4All June 25, 2024

        Sadly, this is probably just the tip of the iceberg. We need more transparency!

  2. Sophie M. June 25, 2024

    I’m shocked that someone in such a high position would engage in such illegal activities. What happened to integrity?

    • Tom June 25, 2024

      Power corrupts, Sophie. It’s been the same story throughout history.

      • Sophie M. June 25, 2024

        True, Tom. But we need stronger checks and regulations to prevent this from happening!

      • Watcher123 June 26, 2024

        I agree, we can’t let people in power think they’re untouchable.

  3. Larry Davis June 25, 2024

    To those defending Nopparat, remember, the evidence is overwhelming. Bribery, smuggling, it’s all on tape.

    • Nina June 25, 2024

      Why would anyone defend him? Criminals should face the consequences, regardless of their status.

    • Larry Davis June 26, 2024

      Exactly, Nina. Accountability is key.

  4. Frankie June 25, 2024

    He’s been playing the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ card for too long. The footage and evidence are clear.

  5. FriendlyDebater June 26, 2024

    What if he really didn’t mastermind it all? Perhaps he was just a pawn in a bigger scheme?

    • Michelle W. June 26, 2024

      Come on, FriendlyDebater, it’s his face on the CCTV footage.

    • FriendlyDebater June 26, 2024

      Just saying, there could be more to the story than we know.

  6. Ashley K. June 26, 2024

    I’m relieved he was caught and justice is being served. Rhino poaching is devastating for the species.

  7. Mike T. June 26, 2024

    It’s frustrating how those in power think they are invincible. We need harsher punishments for such crimes.

    • EcoWarrior June 26, 2024

      Especially when it involves endangered species! It’s not just about the law, but preserving our planet.

    • Mike T. June 26, 2024

      Couldn’t agree more. The impact goes beyond just legal issues.

  8. EducatedGuess June 26, 2024

    This case is a classic example of systemic corruption. It starts with one person but implicates many.

  9. Trevor L. June 26, 2024

    Will this change anything though? Corruption is deep-rooted in many countries.

    • Sophia R. June 26, 2024

      Change is slow, but awareness and enforcement can make a difference. We’ve seen it work before.

  10. Geoff June 26, 2024

    We shouldn’t be surprised. This is just one caught; there are likely many more Nopparats out there.

  11. Biologist23 June 26, 2024

    Rhino horns! Does anyone realize the sheer importance of protecting those animals? We need stricter wildlife protection laws.

    • ConservationQueen June 26, 2024

      Amen! Poaching should be met with extreme penalties. These animals don’t have a voice!

    • Hunter87 June 26, 2024

      It’s sad, but as long as there’s demand, poaching will continue. It’s a complex issue.

  12. Lisa J. June 26, 2024

    I can’t help but feel there’s more corruption we don’t know about. This case might open the floodgates.

  13. DannyBoy June 26, 2024

    Sadly, the justice system itself is often corrupt. How can we trust it to police itself?

    • Idealist77 June 26, 2024

      We need internal and external audits, DannyBoy. Transparency kills corruption.

    • DannyBoy June 26, 2024

      Easier said than done, but you’re right. It’s a step in the right direction.

    • JaneDC June 26, 2024

      Agreed. We need whistleblowers and protection for those who expose such crimes.

  14. LegalEagle June 26, 2024

    It’s heartbreaking that this happened. I hope this sets a precedent for zero tolerance towards corruption.

  15. Mira June 26, 2024

    Why focus only on Nopparat? Weren’t there other officials involved? They should be held accountable too.

    • Sam June 26, 2024

      Good point, Mira. The entire network of corruption should be uprooted.

  16. Navigator42 June 26, 2024

    Considering Nopparat’s position, this case shows potential gaps in oversight at multiple levels. It’s a systemic flaw.

  17. Faithful_End June 26, 2024

    The worst part is he probably thought he’d get away with it. Shows you how some people view the law.

  18. BenJ. June 26, 2024

    What happens next? Do we just move on or will there be more investigations into similar cases?

    • CuriousKat June 26, 2024

      Let’s hope more cases get investigated. We need a thorough clean-up.

    • BenJ. June 26, 2024

      Exactly, Kat. This shouldn’t end here.

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