Former Thai police chief admits $9M loan from brothel owner

Thailand's former national police chief has acknowledged he borrowed $9.5 million from a brothel owner who is wanted on human trafficking charges.

Former Police Commissioner Somyot Pumpanmuang told reporters the brothel owner, Kampol Wirathepsuporn, has been his friend for more than 20 years, but he was unaware of where the money came from. Somyot's remarks Monday were widely reported in the Thai media on Tuesday.

Police since January have cracked down on several Bangkok brothels linked to Kampol, who is wanted on at least 12 separate charges including human trafficking and prostitution of underage children.

Somyot was appointed police commissioner when Thailand's military seized power from an elected government in 2014. In recent months, allegations of corruption have tainted the ruling junta's reputation.