Following a police search of the latter’s home earlier this week, the newly appointed national police chief, Police Genera; Torsak Sukvimol, enquired of the deputy national police commander, Police General Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn.
After a picture of Pol. Gen. Torsak shaking hands with Big Joke went viral on social media yesterday, he responded to questions.
According to media reports, Big Joke secretly met with Pol. Gen. Torsak to congratulate him on his recent selection as the replacement for Pol. Gen. Damrongsak Kittiprapas, who was retiring.
The incoming police commander claimed that he got in touch with Big Joke after Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin expressed worry that the events of the previous week would harm the Royal Thai Police’s (RTP) reputation.
There have been rumors that the police raid on Big Joke’s residence was an effort to damage his reputation before the new police chief is appointed on September 27. Big Joke and Pol. Gen. Torsak were also contenders for the position.
Pol. Gen. Torsak vehemently denied being involved in the search of Big Joke’s home, claiming that they are having discussions about the future of the police department and that there is no personal animosity between them.
I had to speak to him to let him know that there had been attempts to pit us against one another during the nomination process because I was absolutely unaware of the house search.
The photo that has been circulating has been taken after their meeting, according to Pol. Gen. Torsak.
In related news, political activist and former senator Ruangkrai Leekitwattana asked the Office of the Ombudsman to ask the Administrative Court to get involved in the nomination of the new police chief.
Pol. Gen. Ake Angsananont, a former deputy national police commander who opposed Pol. Gen. Torsak’s candidacy, raised concerns that served as the foundation for Ruangkrai’s appeal. PM Srettha, who serves as the ex-officio chairman of the Police Commission under the RTP, suggested Pol. Gen. Torsak during the discussion. By a vote of 10 to 1, the audience decided to support Pol. Gen. Torsak.
Police General Ake disagreed, claiming that the appointment was illegal.
PHOTO Bangkok Post