Top city cop may be shifted

Metropolitan Police chief Kamronwit Thoopkrachang has acknowledged reports that his job may be in jeopardy because of his public displays of friendship with Thaksin Shinawatra.

Rumours have suggested that Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit might be replaced in Bangkok by the deputy commissioner of the Southern Border Provinces Police Operation, the Daily News reported on Saturday.

The city's top policeman has been under heavy fire for allowing fugitive former premier Thaksin to pin his new rank insignia on his uniform, and for hanging in his office a photograph of himself in Hong Kong with Thaksin.

Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit has admitted on several occasions that he is a great admirer of Thaksin. He has said he saw nothing wrong with his visit to Hong Kong.

It was reported that Pol Maj Gen Saritchai Anakewiang, who was a classmate of Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit at the Royal Police Cadet Academy, would be appointed to the city police chief position.

Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit told the Daily News that he had heard the rumours two days ago and that they could be either true or untrue.

In the meantime, he said, he wanted to move quickly on his anti-flood projects to prevent roads from becoming swamped, and would do his best while still in office.  

The Metropolitan Police Bureau chief is also facing a disciplinary and ethics probe for encouraging his subordinates to rally in front of the Democrat Party's headquarters last Tuesday.

The peititon was filed with the House committee on police affairs by Democrat MP Satit Pitutecha.

Pictures of the police rally were widely posted on the internet next to pictures of soldiers carrying children through flood waters. Many media commentators asked why the officers felt they had nothing better to do.

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