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‘Big Joke’ turns himself in, reportedly posts 100,000 baht bail

‘Big Joke’ turns himself in, reportedly posts 100,000 baht bail

National Deputy Police Chief Pol Gen Surachate "Big Joke" Hakparn on Tuesday turned himself in at Tao Poon police station in Bangkok after an arrest warrant on him was issued earlier in the day.

The Criminal Court issued the arrest warrant on Surachate after he evaded three summonses in a gambling-website case.

Surachate is under investigation by a team looking into police officials involved in the online gambling website BNKMaster after financial-transaction data linked him to the network.

The arrest warrant for Surachate covers charges of conspiracy, money-laundering, and being a co-conspirator in money-laundering, under the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Surachate arrived at the police station at 5.30pm on Tuesday, and spent about two hours giving statements to investigators. After posting bail, the deputy police commissioner left the station without revealing the amount of bail or details about the case.

“The case is now in the judicial process, albeit at the allegation stage,” said Surachate. “Until the court hands down a verdict, I’m still innocent.”

A news source said the bail posted by Surachate was 100,000 baht.

Investigators from the Metropolitan Police Division 2 have alleged that Surachate along with three other police officers and a civilian collaborated to launder money for a gambling website, BNKMaster, which was busted last year.

After the Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for the three other cops and civilians implicated in the case, National Police Chief Pol General Torsak "Big Tor" Sukvimol chose to have Surachate summoned for interrogation. Three summons for Surachate were issued on March 17, March 22, and March 27.

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