Police chiefs suspended over alleged gambling links

Photo via ThaiRath

The Prime Minister of Thailand suspended two top police chiefs of the Royal Thai Police (RTP) from their positions due to alleged internal conflict and connections to online gambling.

PM Srettha Thavisin, yesterday, March 20, transferred the RTP Commissioner Torsak “Big Tor” Sukvimol and Deputy Commissioner Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn, to temporary roles at the Prime Minister’s Office for 60 days. Police General Kitrat Phanphet has been assigned as acting RTP commissioner.

The transfers followed allegations linking Big Joke to an online gambling operation. The investigation into this matter has been ongoing since last year, with no clear resolution. Big Joke consistently maintained his innocence and attributed the accusations against him to internal conflicts within the RTP.

The PM underscored that both police chiefs are presumed innocent until the investigation concludes. Nevertheless, he deemed it necessary to reassign them from their current roles to guarantee a fair and unbiased investigation.

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PM Srettha urged both Big Tor and Big Joke to abstain from granting media interviews to prevent further complications. Additionally, he instructed their subordinates not to take sides or divulge any information regarding the case to the public.

No internal conflict

Big Tor and Big Joke yesterday jointly held a press conference to proclaim their innocence and affirm that there was no internal conflict within the organisation.

Big Tor reported that the investigation into the internal conflict within the RTP and the online gambling links had been transferred to the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (ONACC). The two high-ranking Thai cops have been transferred out of their current positions to ensure that the investigation is fair and of the highest standard.

Big Tor insisted that there was no internal conflict within the RTP, although the issue ignited a public debate due to misunderstandings and confusion propagated on social media. He further stated his intention to retire within the next six months and expressed his desire for each remaining day in his position to be positive.

Big Tor insisted that he’s had no conflicts with any officers since he served as RTP commissioner. He emphasised his commitment to making the RTP a supportive organisation for all officers.

“We live together like brothers and sisters. We work together to build a home for each officer, not just a house.”

Big Tor expressed to Big Joke his genuine sincerity, asserting himself as an elder brother figure with unwavering sincerity towards him. He maintained that nobody could match his level of sincerity towards Big Joke.

According to ThaiRath, Big Joke appeared visibly stressed and subdued, allowing Big Tor to field the majority of the reporters’ inquiries.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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