Big Joke, police and politics

29 01 2020

We guess that our readers will have been following the rapid fire events associated with Big Joke or Surachate Hakparn, a former immigration chief who, back in April 2019, was quickly and surprisingly taken into custody, removed from his posts and then made a civilian before being resurrected as a cop assigned to Government House.

Then, we noted that a Khaosod report about the events then carried a disclaimer: “Note: Some details were omitted from this story due to legal concerns.” We observed then that this kind of self-censorship usually implies that the events have something to do with the monarchy.

We were guessing, and we are again when we see more palace involvement in this story that is never explained and has involved gunshots, leaked phone calls, and allegations involving national police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda and his two deputies.

There’s an incomplete summary of this debacle at the Bangkok Post. But what piqued our interest was a Khaosod report that King Vajiralongkorn had “expelled two former deputy police commanders from the royal police bodyguard corps…”.

In an order dated 25 January, Gen Wirachai Songmetta and Gen Chaiwat Ketworachai “were fired from the royal guards” with no reason stated. The day before, the police had “abruptly removed … on Jan. 24, and transferred … to civilian posts under the Prime Minister’s Office.”

Another announcement announcement ordered that the two were not to wear “medals that bear the emblem of the royal guards.”

That Surachate speedily “departed Thailand with his wife and family for India, where he would take up monkhood for about a week, according to his aides, just days after the government issued him with an unusually harsh warning not to bring disgrace to the bureaucracy” is suggestive of fear. Such fear from big shots usually points to the king being involved.

Something is going on and the king has form on interfering in senior police appointments of senior police.

If any readers have information, please email us.


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2 responses

4 02 2020
Lie of the day: No nepotism | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] The most recent case to emerge involves national police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda. We guess this allegation has emerged because of the ongoing clashes within the police. […]

4 04 2020
Police business | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] to the spice, King Vajiralongkorn expelled both officers from the royal police bodyguard corps and ordered that the two were not to wear medals that bear […]

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