Thailand’s Deputy National Police Chief Surachate Hakparn has called the search of his home in Bangkok on Monday morning dishonest and blamed it on political maneuvering inside the Office of the Royal Thai Police.
Pol Gen Surachate told Bangkok Post about 12.40pm at the Police Club on Vibhavadi Rangsit road that the search of his residence, on Soi Vibhavadi 60, was dishonest since cyber crime police merely gave the court the house number while getting the warrant. They did not disclose to the court who owned the property.
In fact, he claimed that several of the officers who arrived for the search were aware that it was his home.
Pol Gen Surachate said he initially refused to let them in, but changed his mind after speaking with the commissioner of the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB). There was nothing illegal discovered in the house.
Pol Gen Surachate confirmed that the CCIB had acquired arrest warrants for eight additional police officials who were his subordinates.
He stated that their financial transactions must be investigated to determine whether they were involved in the operations of online gambling websites as claimed. He stated that if arrested, they must be able to explain whether the claim was accurate or false.
Politics within the Royal Thai Police Office
The embattled deputy police chief claimed that what occurred to him was due to politics within the Royal Thai Police Office. He believed in his guys, and they deserved justice. If an inquiry reveals that they did indeed commit the alleged crime, they must face criminal charges, and he will not protect them, he says.
Pol Gen Surachate stated he had no idea who ordered the search, which was meant to defame him and harm his name.
He acknowledged to handling numerous criminal cases in which many police personnel were named as suspects and served with arrest or search warrants. It was natural for him to be the source of resentment.
According to Pol Lt Gen Trairong Phiewphan, chief of the Royal Thai Police’s Office of Legal Affairs and Litigation, the search of 30 properties in six provinces around the country originated from the July arrests of three people in connection with 12 gambling websites.
As a result, CCIB police sought court orders to arrest 23 additional people, including eight police officers.
No proof accusing Pol Gen Surachate
According to the information gathered during the inquiry, some of the eight police officers appeared to be administrators of gambling websites, while the others appeared to be coordinators. He claimed they had been in the unlawful business for more than two months.
According to Pol Lt Gen Trairong, among the eight police officers were a police major general and a police colonel.
He claimed that when cybercrime officers arrived to search the residence on Soi Vibhavadi 60, they had no idea it belonged to Pol Gen Surachate because the official domicile registry showed the house belonged to a civilian. As a result, he claimed, the search was not an act of persecution.
According to Pol Gen Trairong, 15 of the 23 people wanted on arrest warrants have been apprehended, with at least one being a police officer. He stated that there was no proof accusing Pol Gen Surachate at this time.
In a later interview, Pol Lt Gen Trairong stated that 17 of the 23 suspects had been apprehended, with eight of them being police officers. During the search of four or five houses on Soi Vibhavadi 60, one of them was apprehended.
The hunt for the six unidentified citizens would continue.
According to legal process, police would seek court permission to continue detaining people apprehended. The decision to release them on bail was up to police investigators and the court.
Pol Lt Gen Trairong stated that he had not received a report on the suspects’ remarks. He claimed the arrests were made based on proper supporting evidence gathered over a two-month investigation.