Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha as chairman of the Police Commission (PC) has reinstated Pol Lt Gen Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn to active duty with the Royal Thai Police. Pol Lt Gen Surachate was removed as Immigration Bureau (IB) commissioner in 2019.
Royal Thai Police spokesman Pol Maj Gen Yingyos Thepjamnong confirmed on Wednesday the transfer order had been signed last Friday by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Pol Lt Gen Surachate is now regarded as being back in the police force, although his precise post has not been been decided.
He headed the Immigration Police until 2019, when he was suddenly transferred to a civilian post as an adviser at the Prime Minister’s Office. No explanation was ever given why he was transferred out of the Immigration Bureau and what had spurred the investigation. The former Immigration Bureau Commissioner cried foul over what he called was an illegal transfer and filed a lawsuit against Prime Minister Gen Prayut.
Pol Maj Gen Yingyos said the Royal Thai Police’s manpower division was still processing Pol Lt Gen Surachate’s transfer and it required final consideration by national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk.
“What’s clear at this point in time is that Pol Lt Gen Surachate is officially back in the police force,” he said.
A Royal Thai Police source said Pol Lt Gen Surachate was entitled to retain his present rank and be reinstated to the last position he held before the transfer, which was Immigration Bureau Commissioner.
Pol Lt Gen Surachate is also qualified for promotion to assistant national police chief.
Gen Prayut said on Tuesday the transfer was linked to the inquiry into Pol Lt Gen Surachate that began at the PM’s Office.
According to the Bangkok Post the Prime Minister did not offer up any further information regarding Pol Lt Gen Surachate’s transfer or investigation.