Former head of Immigration and one time poster boy of the Royal Thai Police Lt-Gen Surachate Hakparn has been removed from a rules and procedures committee.
A high level meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan and attended by police top brass decided to replace the man known as Big Joke with a lower ranked police colonel.
Earlier Thai media had found out that Surachate had been named on the committee despite being removed as head of Immigration and given a clerical job at the PM’s office. This created clamor in the Thai press and on social media.
Gen Prawit had said earlier in the week that there was no way back into the police for Big Joke but speculation in the Thai print media and on television suggested that Surachate may be making a surprise comeback.
That now looks to be dead in the water after a hastily convened meeting in which Prawit and RTP chief Gen Chakthip Chaijinda and deputy Pol Gen Wirachai Songmetta, the head of the rules sub-committee, also attended.
Surachate was “not available” to attend, said Daily News.
After a 40 minute meeting Wirachai spoke to the assembled press at RTP HQ saying somewhat cryptically that Surachate was removed not because of “public friction” but because it was “appropriate”.
The friction he referred to was a massive media and social media frenzy created by news that Big Joke was now on a police committee which might mean the comeback of the popular and high profile officer was underway.
Reporters asked Wirachai if Big Joke could be a cop again. This question was sidestepped with Wirachai saying the decision today had nothing to do with that; this was all about the make up of the committee.
Wirachai said that Pol Col Mana Pohchuay had accepted a request to join the committee instead and will bring with him plenty of legal knowledge, added Gen Wirachai.
Thaivisa notes that today’s news will do nothing to dampen rumors circling about Big Joke ever since his fall from grace.
If anything the speculation will only increase.
No reason has ever been given for Big Joke’s spectacular fall from prominence in the RTP.
(Source: – Daily News)