PHUKET: The planned transfers of a large number of police-station chiefs in Bangkok, accused of benefiting from the unlawful display of electronic advertising signboards, went closer to final approval when the Police Commission yesterday agreed in principle to the official reshuffle list.
The meeting, presided over by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, discussed the list proposed by Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) commissioner Pol Lt Gen Sriwara Rangsiprammanakul and initially approved it.
The list names 59 station chiefs and 14 division sub-commanders to be transferred. They will all be replaced by officers from the Provincial Police Regions 2, 3 and 4, reportedly close aides of Sriwara.
Gen Prawit, speaking after the 20-minute meeting, said those disagreeing with their transfers were entitled to lodge petitions with the Central Administrative Court. He said the list would be approved officially on tomorrow and take effect on January 15.
Gen Sriwara said he was holding himself responsible for the MPB reshuffle. “Actions are taken over mistakes made. Officers who perform well, they are not being moved,” he said.
The meeting, chaired by Gen Prawit, also initially approved a reshuffle at the Central Investigation Bureau, transferring 130 officers, said Royal Thai Police spokesman Pol Lt Gen Prawut Thawornsiri.
The 130 officers were close aides of former CIB commissioner Lt Gen Pongpat Chayaphan and were allegedly involved in four crimes during his tenure: racketeering – contraband petrol trade, sale of positions, operations of gambling dens and football gambling, he added.
The annual police meeting will see changes within the Central Investigation Bureau and the Metropolitan Police Bureau, and is held each year to consider promoting and transferring police officers. According to Royal Thai Police chief Police Gen Somyos Pumpanmuang, a list of police has been presented to the committee for approval.
The officers on the lists are from the MPB and CIB. According to the police chief, only one petition has been lodged with the police commissioner seeking justice so far.
The allegation against most officers on the transfer list stems from the advertisement boards installed at a number of police kiosks. Every law enforcement officer will receive fair treatment, Gen Somyos assured.
— Phuket Gazette Editors
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