Protest prompts snap police transfer
- Published: 31 Oct 2013 at 20.26
- Online news:
Metropolitan Police Bureau chief Kamronwit Thoopkrachang has issued urgent orders to transfer four senior police officers, whose family members and relatives have close links to the Democrat Party, from sensitive posts to Royal Thai Police Headquarters.
The first order covering the transfer of three officers was issued on Wednesday, a day before the Democrats kicked off their anti-amnesty mass rally at Samsen railway station. The transfer was effective immediately and will remain in effect until Nov 30 or until further notice.
It was to “maintain orderly and effective work operations within the MPB and avoid causing damage to services to the public”, according to Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit’s order.
The first three officers are Pol Col Ekachai Boonwisit, deputy chief of Metropolitan Police Division 7; Pol Lt Col Sathit Sangprapai, deputy chief of Sai Mai police station’s investigation unit; and Pol Capt Assadawut Kwanmuang, a deputy inspector of Metropolitan Police Division 6’s investigation unit.
Pol Col Ekachai is a younger brother of Pol Gen Assawin Kwanmuang’s wife. Pol Gen Assawin is Bangkok deputy governor and a former assistant police chief.
Pol Capt Assadawut is Pol Gen Assawin’s son.
Pol Lt Col Sathit is a younger brother of Pol Maj Gen Wichai Sangprapai who is an adviser to the Bangkok governor and a former deputy MPB chief.
On Thursday, the city police chief also issued another urgent transfer order for Pol Maj Itthipon Sangprapai, an inspector with the Metropolitan Police Division 5’s investigation unit, who is Pol Maj Gen Wichai’s son. The officer will be moved to the intelligence unit at the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (Capo). The order is effective from Friday until Nov 30, or until further notice.
“The transferred officers will support intelligence-related works and evaluate the [protest] situation,” Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit told reporters.
It is believed the transfer was ordered to ensure no intelligence reports related to the anti-amnesty rallies are leaked as the four officers have close ties with the Democrats.
Pol Gen Assawin described the snap transfer as apparent “political paranoia” and intended to hold the four officers "hostage" during the protest.
“A wolf should not have bitten a lamb. He should bite the lamb’s father instead. He can do no harm to the father so he targets his son,” the deputy Bangkok governor said.