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Top Cop in Northeastern Thailand Axed for Allegedly Embezzling B229 Million from 192 Policemen

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KOHN KAEN – A former police chief in Northeastern Thailand has been temporarily discharged from service after he was sued by a regional police office for allegedly embezzling 229 million baht from 192 policemen.

Pol Maj Gen Suthip Palitkusolthat had earlier been reshuffled from Loei to work as a deputy chief of the human resources office at the Royal Thai Police head office in Bangkok.

Office commissioner Pol Lt Gen Thanat Wongsuwon said on Monday that his deputy was dismissed on Friday pending the investigation in an order signed by Deputy National Police Chief Pol Gen Rungroj Saengkram.

The order came after the Provincial Police Region 4, which oversees police affairs in Loei Province, had pressed a fraud charge against him.

Pol Maj Gen Suthip Palitkusolthat (left) pours water on a Buddha statue during a ceremony to celebrate the Songkran festival at the human resources office in April. (Photo from www.human.police.go.th website)

While being Loei police commander and chairman of the Loei police cooperative, Pol Maj Gen Suthip invited 192 local policemen to borrow from the cooperative to clear debts with creditor banks.

He also offered to manage the borrowed money, repaying their old debts and promising them monthly investment returns of about 5,000 baht. The 192 policemen believed him and transferred him cash.

Pol Maj Gen Suthip had failed to pay the promised returns since January and the 192 policemen were sued by their creditor banks.

The case was believed to take place last year.

Another panel has been set up to conduct a disciplinary probe on him, according to Pol Lt Gen Thanat.

The office also dismissed Pol Col Chalerm Yodprathum, who worked as the general staff office chief in Nong Bua Lamphu, for allegedly colluding with Pol Maj Gen Suthip.

Pol Maj Gen Suthip was the Nong Bua Lamphu police chief before he was transferred to Loei in October 2016.

An investigation by the Provincial Police Region 4 office linked the fraud to a Ponzi network which claimed to invest in stocks and properties.

Pol Maj Gen Suthip could not be reached for comment.

Source: Bangkok Post