A senior police officer who was dismissed for helping former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra flee from Thailand has been quietly reinstated. Pol Col Chairit Anurit aided in Yingluck’s departure shortly before she faced a court ruling in the rice-pledging scandal in 2017.
Pol Col Chairit Anurit reinstatement came after the public prosecutor resolved not to indict him despite a recommendation by his seniors to indict him and three other suspects on charges of dereliction of duty. Assisting in a criminal suspect to escape and document falsifying, the source said.
Col Chairit was dismissed in October 2017 after he faced charges and a disciplinary probe in connection with his alleged role in assisting Yingluck to escape between the night of Aug 23 and the night of Aug 24, 2017.
A police team led by then deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul found forensic evidence including a lock of hair to prove that Yingluck was in a police Toyota Camry used in her assisted escape.
The findings from this preliminary investigation prompted a disciplinary probe against Pol Col Chairit and his dismissal, while Police carried out a formal investigation against him and the other three suspects.
An arrest warrant for Pol Col Chairit was later issued by the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases on Nov 24, 2017.
Serving with Tourist Police
However, evidence has only recently emerged that Pol Col Chairit became a deputy commissioner of the Tourist Police’s Division 1 about a year ago, according to an investigative report by PPTV.
The police official must have become the deputy chief of the Tourist Police’s division some time before he appeared at a forest regrowing function in Samut Prakan on Dec 19 last year, it said.
PPTV quoted a source as saying the prosecutor decided not to indict Pol Col Chairit because the DNA samples found in the police car used in assisting Yingluck to escape didn’t match that of Yingluck.
It is unclear where this leaves claims that he assisted her escape.
The prosecutor has informed the Royal Thai Police about its decision in the case, which as a matter of procedure leaves it to the national police to object to the decision or not, the PPTV report said.
Meanwhile, Maj Gen Rachit Arungrangsi, chief of the Army Welfare Department, who on March 27 faced a transfer over the spread of Covid-19 at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, which is under the department, has also been reinstated, according to another source.
He was reinstated by early June although the army has not disclosed results of a probe carried out into the Covid-19 spreading incident, and his role in apparently flouting orders to close the place. Maj Gen Rachit, however, missed out an opportunity to get promoted on two occasions, the source told the Bangkok Post.