Legal team denies Big Joke’s involvement with BNK Master

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

The legal team of Deputy National Police Chief Surachate Hakparn aka Big Joke divulged that nearly 30 police officers are being implicated in a corruption scandal linked to an illicitly operated online gambling network known as BNK Master. The officers under scrutiny are thought to have been involved in receiving underhand payments from the network, which has also implicated Big Joke.

Big Joke’s legal representative, Natthawit Netijarurote, stated that a comprehensive review of the evidence at hand and a thorough analysis of 34 bank accounts connected with the network has found no ties linking the 53 year old deputy national police chief to the BNK Master operation.

“We only sought a warrant for a specific suspect.”

Last week, the Criminal Court granted warrants for the apprehension of three officers and one civilian on the grounds of suspected money laundering linked to the BNK Master network which was dismantled last year. The individuals identified were Police Colonel Kittichai Sangkhathaworn, Police Sergeant Natthawut Wadwaew, Pol. Sgt. Natthanan Chuchak, and civilian Napansakorn Haekerd.

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There have been some reports suggesting that the court had also summoned a high-ranking officer, later recognised as Big Joke, about the allegations. However, these claims were refuted by his legal team. Natthawit stated that while the police had sought a warrant for Big Joke’s arrest, they failed to present sufficient evidence to warrant this action.

There have been alleged attempts to discredit the deputy national police chief as he is currently the top contender for the position of national police chief, given that the incumbent chief is set to retire at the end of September.

Police Chief Torsak

National Police Chief Torsak Sukvimol disclosed that Big Joke has been requested to present himself at the Tao Poon Police Station tomorrow for questioning related to the BNK Master investigation. A formal notice was delivered to Big Joke’s residence last Sunday.

Torsak added that, should a second notice be issued and the deputy chief fails to comply, an arrest warrant would be issued and Big Joke would be suspended from duty.

Big Joke had previously contended that the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) had taken over the investigation of the Minnie online gambling network case, in which he was a suspect, reported Bangkok Post.

Torsak clarified that the police had summoned Big Joke concerning the BNK Master case, which is a separate matter. Torsak further stated that the deputy police chief is suspected of money laundering in both cases.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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