UPON being questioned twice by reporters about news spreading that Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan would now be either helping oversee or fully taking charge of the Royal Thai Police Force, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha clearly said there are no changes, Naewna newspaper reported this afternoon (July 31, 2020).
Gen. Prayut was first asked whether it would be necessary for Gen. Prawit to step in and help oversee the police force.
He was asked again that news is spreading Gen. Prawit will soon be taking charge of the police force.
To this Gen. Prayut replied that this is not the case as Gen. Prawit is already handling a lot of his own work and he had to help reduce his burden.
Read analysis: Prawit’s end goal – premiership
Upon being questioned in his capacity as chairman of the Police Commission whether a problem had arisen again between National Police Chief Pol. Gen. Chakthip Chaijinda and Pol.Lt Gen. Surachate Hakparn, who is a special advisor to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Prime Minister said he listens to Pol. Gen. Chakthip because he is responsible for everything.
On April 9, 2019 Gen. Prayut transferred Pol. Lt. Gen. Surachate, whose nickname is Big Joke, from the police force to the civil service as as a special adviser to the Prime Minister’s Office, Bangkok Post reported.
As a result of the order, Pol. Lt. Gen. Surachate was completely detached from his former position of immigration police commissioner under the Royal Thai Police Office.
A few days earlier Pol. Lt. Gen. Surachate was transferred to the Royal Thai Police Operations Centre under an order signed by National Police Chief Pol. Gen. Chakthip. No reasons were given.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Surachate, who is known to be close to Deputy Prime Minister Prawit, had been a rising star on the force in recent years. He was rarely out of the headlines, placing himself front and centre at the scene of high-profile cases involving everything from immigration violators to illegal motorcycle racers, as well as computer crime cases involving another unit that he headed, Bangkok Post reported.
Top: Prime Minister Prayut said clearly there are no changes. Photo: Naewna