PM appoints 3-man panel to investigate raid on houses of high-level police officers
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has appointed a three-member committee to investigate the facts and legal aspects of the case involving the police raid on Monday, targeting the houses of senior police officers over alleged involvement in illegal online gambling.
The committee will be chaired by Chatchai Promlert, former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Interior, and includes Chatpong Jirapanthu, former deputy attorney-general, and Police Lt-General Winai Thongsong, former deputy commissioner-general of the Royal Thai Police, as committee member and secretary.
The committee chairman will appoint up to two assistant secretaries from the Office of the Prime Minister.
The order was issued through the Office of the Prime Minister.
The committee is required to report the progress of the investigation to the PM every 10 days and will have 30 days to complete its work and submit its report directly to the PM.
The three committee members appointed by the PM are considered qualified individuals, recognised for their integrity and capabilities.
Chatchai was selected to serve as the chairman of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Corruption Committee in March of this year. His appointment was made to conduct inspections and oversee the work of the Office of the Attorney-General and the police. Chatchai is a seasoned public administrator with a track record of competence and experience.
Chatpong is well-known and highly regarded within the legal profession due to his expertise in combating corruption. He has a wealth of experience and has held significant positions, including serving as the deputy director-general of the Department of Special Litigation and as the director-general of the Economic Crime Office within the Office of the Attorney-General. He has also been the head of various task forces overseeing important cases for the Office of Special Litigation, handling multiple significant cases.
Police Lt-General Winai previously served as the Metropolitan Police Commissioner. He played a significant role in advocating police reform. He is known to support outstanding police officers based on principles of integrity, competence, and experience. The appointment of Winai to the committee is likely due to his reputation for honesty and willingness to address issues directly for the future betterment of police officers, according to political observers.
On Monday morning, police commandos showed up at the home of deputy National Police chief Pol General Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn, demanding to search it.
Police sources said the sites were searched after obtaining arrest warrants for 11 suspects linked to online gambling websites. Among the suspects were two senior police officers – a major-general and a general – both of whom are Surachate’s subordinates.
Surachate is in the running for the post of National Police commissioner-general.