Shakedown rocks the top levels of the Royal Thai Police

MONTAGE: Warned or side-lined. Top police ordered out from direct order of the Thai PM - Bangkok Post/Thai PBS World

The upper echelons of the Royal Thai Police Force has been rattled by some high-profile shakedowns that have been ordered by executive order from the Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Starting with the former immigration chief, Pol Lt-Gen Surachat Hakparn, the PM has ordered him to “adhere strictly to the ethical code and discipline expected of all civil servants”

Earlier this month the former Immigration police chief, abruptly relegated last year to a civil service job, was embroiled in an assault on his empty car where eight bullets were fired at the vehicle parked outside a Patpong massage establishment.

Surachat claimed that the ‘warning’ was related to the procurement of a 2 billion baht biometrics system that he had opposed and was subsequently over-ruled. Read more about that HERE.

Surachat, who is currently working as a civil servant attached to the Prime Minister’s Office, was instructed by the PM not to do anything which could be deemed to be “gross misconduct, such as performing his duty dishonestly, filing false reports, bypassing his superior, abusing his authority, being careless in the performance of his duties, abandoning his duty or doing anything which could be deemed to be persecution or oppression of others”.

The former poster boy for the Thai police is now embroiled in a publicconflict with his former boss, the national police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaichinda, over the processes of buying the biometric identification system for the Immigration Bureau. The system has since been rolled out at international airports and used to scan people arriving and departing Thailand.

Meanwhile, two deputy national police chiefs were abruptly transferred in a surprise reshuffle that has shaken Thailand’s police service.

Firstly, the sudden transfer of Pol Gen Veerachai Songmetta, the deputy national police chief, to the PM’s Office, effective as of last Wednesday, by a direct order from PM Prayut.

According to the transfer order, Pol Gen Veerachai was accused by the Royal Thai Police of “conduct deemed to negatively affect the public’s confidence in the performance of the duty to uphold justice and the image of the Royal Thai Police, causing damage to the police force”. He’s been transferred pending a full investigation. Pol Gen Veerachai, however, remains employed by the RTP.

Secondly, Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, the national police chief, signed an order on Thursday transferring Pol Gen Chaiwat Kateworachai, the deputy national police chief, to an inactive post in the Royal Thai Police’s Operations Centre, aka. the “graveyard”.

No explanation was given for Pol Gen Chaiwat’s abrupt transfer, which strips him of all his responsibilities related to his post as the deputy police chief.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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