Pol Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang, commissioner of the Border Patrol Police Bureau, was transferred to lead the Immigration Bureau at a meeting of the Police Board, presided over by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon today (Apr 19).
Gen Prawit declined to elaborate on the sudden removal of Pol Lt Gen Surachate, who is believed to have close ties with him. “No panel will be set up to investigate Pol Lt Gen Surachate. The case is closed,” he said, urging reporters to look for the cause of the transfer by themselves.
Police chief Gen Chakthip Chaijinda revealed Pol Lt Gen Sompong would replace Pol Lt Gen Surachate and Pol Lt Gen Wichit Paksa, commander of the Commissioner-General’s Office and police officer attached to the National Security Council, would substitute Pol Lt Gen Sompong as the border patrol police commissioner.
The reshuffle, which involves 55 positions of ranks ranging from major general to general, will take effect after it is published in the Royal Gazette.
Pol Gen Chakthip on April 5 transferred Pol Lt Gen Surachate from the Immigration Bureau to the central operation centre at the National Police Office and removed him from all task forces.
Four days later, the cabinet approved his transfer to the Prime Minister’s Office as a civilian, indicating he was removed from the police force. On the same day, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha used his special powers under Section 44 of the interim charter to add him to the list of civil servants suspended pending an investigation for irregularities.
Pol Lt Gen Surachate shot to fame over the past few years after he was assigned several high-profile cases. He regularly held briefings on arrests involving at least 2-3 cases a day, ranging from street racing to illegal entry of some high-profile foreigners. He was deputy chief of tourist police before leading immigration police.
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