Two deputy national police chiefs axed in shock transfer
Two deputy national police chiefs were abruptly transferred on Thursday in a surprise reshuffle that has shaken Thailand’s police service.
Pol Col Krisana Pattanacharoen, deputy spokesman of the Royal Thai Police, today confirmed reports on social media about the sudden transfer of Pol Gen Veerachai Songmetta, the deputy national police chief, to the Prime Minister’s Office, effective as of Wednesday, by an order of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
According to the transfer order, Pol Gen Veerachai was accused by the Royal Thai Police of conduct deemed to negatively affect the public’s confidence in the performance of the duty to uphold justice and the image of the Royal Thai Police, causing damage to the police force.
A fact-finding committee has been set up by the Royal Thai Police to investigate Pol Gen Veerachai and, while the probe is under way, it is deemed appropriate to have him transferred to the PM’s Office, according to the transfer order.
Pol Gen Veerachai, however, remains employed by the RTP and is entitled to remuneration from the force.
Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, the national police chief, also signed an order on Thursday transferring Pol Gen Chaiwat Kateworachai, the deputy national police chief, to an inactive post in the Royal Thai Police’s Operations Centre, otherwise known as the “graveyard” for officers who fall out of favour with their boss.
No reason was given for Pol Gen Chaiwat’s abrupt transfer, which also stripped him of all his responsibilities related to his post as the deputy police chief.
In yet another swift order, Pol Gen Chakthip assigned Pol Gen Chanasit Wattanawarangkoon, the police inspector-general, the job of taking over Pol Gen Veerachai’s responsibilities in overseeing cases related to violations of, and suppression of offences related to intellectual property.
Pol Gen Suwat Jaengyodsook, another deputy national police chief, was also appointed to take over the investigative job of Pol Gen Chaiwat.