Updated: Big Oud replaces Big Joke

20 04 2019

In yet another Khaosod report carrying the disclaimer: “Note: Some details were omitted from this story due to legal concerns,” it reports on the outcome of the still unexplained removal of Big Joke, Surachate Hakparn, a former immigration chief who was quickly and surprisingly taken into custody, removed from his posts and then made a civilian.

That self-censorship line usually implies something to do with the monarchy.

This new censored report states that Maj Gen Sompong Chingduang, known by the nickname “Big Oud,” has been appointed by Deputy Dictator Gen Prawit Wongsuwan as the new chief of the immigration bureau.

The naming of someone in the military and police as “Big” seems to us to carry a similar meaning to “Sia” that is often applied to “jao phor” and underworld gang bosses.

Big Oud is reportedly in charge of the Border Patrol Police and a usually reliable source states that, like Big Joke, Big Oud is close to Gen Prawit. If true, then those who felt that Big Joke’s removal was a slap for Gen Prawit were probably wrong. That said, the BPP has long been close to the monarchy.

But the mystery continues. Big Joke is reported to have fled overseas gone on holiday overseas. Gen Prawit states a disciplinary inquiry is not going to happen: “There won’t be any…. It’s over.”

When asked for reasons for Big Joke’s fall, Gen Prawit refused to comment, except to say: “I don’t know. If you want to know so much, go ask him yourself…”. Big Joke cannot be contacted.

This is Thailand today. A senior and a policeman who rapidly became the public face of the police is simply removed from all positions and his previous life erased, without any explanation.

Update: The Bangkok Post has an an editorial that calls for transparency over Big Joke’s dismissal. It states that Big Joke is now in the USA but that many questions remain about his sudden and unexplained downfall.

Ominously, it adds:

The officer was last seen at Government House, following the April 9 order, where he reported briefly to Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, who supervises the Office of the Permanent Secretary under the PM’s Office.

Once an active netizen, Pol Lt Gen Surachate has been absent from social media, and unreachable by telephone.

The implication is that Thailand is no better than a banana republic – well, a banana monarchy.


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2 05 2019
Coronation arrests | Political Prisoners in Thailand

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