Connect with us


The big comeback for Big Joke?

Tanutam Thawan



Former police poster boy and Thai immigration Chief, Surachat Hakparn, aka. “Big Joke” says he wants to return to police duties and “come back in from the cold”.. He participated in 2 hours of prayers at the Wat Bueng Kradan in Phitsanulok city in Central Thailand, praying for a return to his roles in the Thai police force.

At the height of his fame he was “Maj. Gen. Surachat Hakparn, Immigration Chief”. Having political leaders like Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan on his side, he seemed to have his rise to the top of Thailand’s police force assured. He appeared at every major drug bust, anytime errant foreigners were rounded up he’d be there too. He was the hot tip to take over the top job of the Thai police force.

Surachat was in the news just about every other day during 2017 and 2018 and then in April 2019 he was abruptly sidelined from police duties to a desk job at Police HQ in Bangkok. Not long after he took an extended overseas trip.

Then, after he’d quietly returned earlier this year, came the bizarre shooting of his car, a white Lexus, parked out the front of a massage shop in Silom. Surachet was allegedly getting a massage in the spa when the two suspects fired at his car in a drive-by. The two were captured on CCTV but were both wearing full-face helmets making ID impossible.

The former Thai immigration denied that the incident, where gunshots were fired into his car, was a staged stunt. He addressed a media scrum, a situation he’d been in before many times, speculating that the shooting incident was linked to the Immigration Bureau’s controversial procurement procedures for its biometrics and smart car projects.

In a written statement, whilst still heading up the immigration police in 2019, Surachat urged national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda to consider cancelling the projects. The projects, together worth 2 billion baht and which have since gone ahead, involved the purchase of biometric equipment to scan faces and fingerprints of passengers at Thailand’s six major airports. At the time Surachat cited long delays and questioned the equipment’s efficacy as reasons for wanting to cancel the project.

Clearly he’d stepped on some very big toes.

Surachat says the incident neither intimidated him nor dissuaded him from talking to the anti-graft agency about his claims of mis-steps in the procurement processes of the Immigration ID equipment. At the time he warned the national police chief Chakthip to take responsibility if police could not find the men who shot at his car.

And that, was that.

Since then Surachat has laid low and been largely silent after the government publicly warned him not to bring “disgrace” to the bureaucracy (apparently they can achieve that perfectly well without him).

Back at the temple yesterday, Surachate prayed to various Buddha images as well as statues of King Naresuan, King Ekathotsarot, and Lady Suphankanlaya. He also released birds, fish, and turtles at the temple to make merit.

There has been no comment from police officials about any return to the police force of the former pin-up boy and gang-buster.

The big comeback for Big Joke? | News by Thaiger


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand10 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Thai PM sued, 4 phase Reopening plan | September 28

Thailand10 hours ago

List of disease restrictions by colour-coded zoning

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 9,489 new cases; provincial totals

Sponsored15 hours ago

St. Andrews International School, joins global event for children’s wellbeing

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand12 hours ago

Alleged drug dealer busted in Chon Buri, police seize drugs and gun

Crime13 hours ago

Nearly 200 police have been found guilty of misconduct this year

Thailand13 hours ago

Legalising prostitution, Beautiful Temples, Thai Taxi’s | Thaiger Bites | Ep. 27

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand13 hours ago

Army ranger suspected of killing his wife and mother-in-law surrenders to authorities in Songkhla

Thailand14 hours ago

6 dead and 30 provinces affected by topical storm ‘Dianmu’

Thailand15 hours ago

Kanchanaburi experiences earthquake so minor hardly anyone notices it

Thailand16 hours ago

Thailand Top Stories | Emergency decree extended, Quarantine waved | September 28

Thailand16 hours ago

Thailand’s reopening divided into 4 phases

Thailand17 hours ago

Thailand Restrictions waived Nov 1, Pornography law amendments | Good Morning Thailand | Ep. 97

Coronavirus World17 hours ago

Restrictions tightened in Singapore amid surge in Covid-19 infections

Thailand17 hours ago

Pattaya mayor confirms Pattaya reopening postponed to November

Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 hours ago

Thai PM hit with 50-million-baht lawsuit from angry restaurant operators

Thailand2 weeks ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11