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Phuket police chief says “no regrets’, names replacement



PHUKET: The outgoing commander of the Phuket Provincial Police told the Phuket Gazette today that he had no regrets about his time in Phuket and had complete faith in his replacement.

“I did my best,” said Gen Krajang Suwannarat, who left Phuket yesterday to return to his post as one of the seven deputy commanders heading Region 8 Police.

“The future of Phuket under Maj Gen Patchara Boonyasit does not worry me. I know him personally. He is a good policeman and knows his job well.”

Gen Krajang arrived in Phuket on June 3 (story here), one day before the huge military-backed operation to take down Phuket’s taxi mafia (story here).

Gen Krajang explained to the Gazette today that the transfer orders had yet to be promulgated, though they were expected to be upheld as the postings had been submitted by the Royal Thai Police for royal approval.

Phuket’s inbound top cop, Gen Patchara, will arrive from his previous post as Provincial Police Commander in Nakhon Sri Thammarat.

According to the transfer order, he is to present himself at Phuket Provincial Police headquarters in Phuket Town tomorrow.

Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Peerayuth Karajedee is acting commander until Gen Patchara arrives.

Meanwhile, Maj Gen Paween Pongsirin, who has led the historical crackdown on Phuket’s taxi mafia, has been promoted from commander of the Region 8 Police General Staff Division to join Gen Krajang as a deputy commander of the Region 8 Police.

The Region 8 Police will also receive a new chief as their former commander, Lt Gen Panya Mamen, has been promoted to Assistant Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police in Bangkok.

Gen Panya will be replaced by Maj Gen Decha Budnampeth, who previously served as deputy commander of the Royal Thai Police Central Investigation Bureau.

While serving in his new post as regional police chief, Gen Decha’s long affiliation with Phuket is likely to serve him well.

Gen Decha served as Phuket Provincial Police commander in 2008 (story here), a posting he held after serving as a provincial police deputy commander in Phuket more than 10 years earlier, in 2004 (story here).

— Chutharat Plerin


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