BANGKOK – The Chief of Prawet Metropolitan Police in Bangkok is facing a temporary transfer pending a probe into missing compressed marijuana seized as evidence late last month.
A total of 76 kilograms of compressed marijuana was taken away as evidence during a raid led by Pol Maj Gen Surachet Hakpan, at the end of last month.
The marijuana was found hidden in undergrowth near the workers’ living quarters at a construction site.
The marijuana was brought by a deputy chief investigator of Prawet police for examination at the police forensic centre.
However, only 37kg of the drug was brought back to the police station after the examination, according to Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) commissioner Sanit Mahathavorn.
Pol Lt Gen Sanit admitted the issue worried him as police may be implicated in wrongdoing. He vowed to order swift disciplinary and criminal actions against any officers who were found to have stolen the drug.
The probe was set up with authorisation from MPD 4 chief Nanthachart Suphamongkol.
An order was issued by the Metropolitan Police Division (MPD) 4 shifting Pol Col Thongchai Wilaiprom to an inactive post at the division for 30 days while a probe into the “lost” marijuana is under way.
A police source said the marijuana was among crime items seized which were put on display at a recent press briefing by the MPB.
Pol Lt Gen Sanit noticed more than half of the marijuana which was supposed to have been shown had disappeared. He immediately instructed Pol Maj Gen Nanthachart to launch an inquiry.
Pol Maj Gen Surachet Hakpan, meanwhile, said the Prawet police chief may be investigated over the issue.
The police source said Pol Maj Gen Nanthachart had issued a verbal order to probe Pol Sub Lt Sompong Wongthip, the deputy chief investigator of Prawet police who delivered the marijuana for examination.
The probe may be expanded to include other officers at the station.
Meanwhile, Twelve policemen, including four senior officers, have been transferred to inactive posts pending an investigation into alleged bribe-taking from auto parts vendors in Bangkok.
Pol Maj Gen Surachet Hakpan, the 191 division chief, signed an order on April 3 to set up a panel to investigate alleged bribery involving his subordinates. They face disciplinary action if found involved.
A highly-placed source at the Royal Thai Police Office said it was alleged the accused men had collected bribes from operators of auto part shops in Bangkok.
Media reports suggested the shops had been selling counterfeit auto parts.