Yesterday, the Police Commission approved a new position at headquarters, amid speculation that it will be filled by Surachate Hakparn, aka “Big Joke” who is poised to return after two years of mysterious exile from law enforcement.
The prime minister, who chaired the meeting, denied the new post has been created exclusively for any one individual, saying the slot was part of a plan for restructuring the organisation and its personnel.
His denial was echoed by national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk, who said the holder of the advisory post would be tasked with mapping out a police strategy more closely aligned with government policy, but would neither confirm nor deny that Pol Lt Gen Surachate would be a candidate.
Pol Lt Gen Hakparn (Big Joke), who used to be the high-profile chief of the Immigration Bureau, was shunted to an inactive post as an adviser in the Prime Minister’s Office in 2019, for reasons that have never been made clear.
Equally shady were the circumstances surrounding shots fired at the high-profile lawman’s Lexus SUV in January last year. He claimed the attack was related to the Immigration Bureau’s controversial procurement of an expensive biometric ID system, a decision he had opposed.
Police spokesman Pol Maj Gen Yingyos Thepjamnong said the proposal must be put to the police chief first.