CYBER POLICE searched the house of Deputy National Police Chief Pol. Lt. Gen. Surachate Hakparn, nicknamed Big Joke, after seven officers in his team were rounded up on the charges of involvement in running online gambling websites but did not find incriminating evidence, TV Channel 7 and Naewna newspaper said today (Sep. 25).
This morning’s search followed raids of 30 locations in six provinces – Phetchaburi, Samut Prakan, Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, Saraburi and Bangkok – where 11 online gambling suspects were arrested among them seven police officers.
The Cyber Police team said the arrested policemen ranged in ranks from police major general to police colonel.
Initially Pol. Lt. Gen. Surachate did not allow the raiding police team to search his two connected townhouses at an estate in Vibhavadi Rangsit Soi 60 behind the Police Club.
However he allowed them in at 8. 30 a.m. after Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau Chief Pol. Lt. Gen. Worawat Watnakornbancha showed up to talk to him.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Surachet later said as a warrant had been issued he had to prove his innocence and allow them in according to the procedure but nothing illegal was found.
He had led the police to search both his and his father’s house.
“As for my subordinates for whom arrest warrants have been issued they have to fight the case in court. Regarding online gambling and call centres, I am only involved in suppressing online gambling,” he said.
Top and below: Armed Cyber Police team at Pol. Lt. Gen. Surachate Hakparn’s this morning. Photos: Sanook.com
Front Page: Pol. Lt. Gen. Surachate Hakparn talking to the press after the search. Photo: Thai Rath