Former top cop to assist deputy PM

Pol Gen Panupong Singhara na Ayudhya, former deputy national police chief, has been appointed deputy secretary-general to the prime minister, deputy government spokesman Anusorn Iamsa-ard said.

However, Pol Gen Panupong will be assigned by the prime minister to work for her deputy Chalerm Yubamrung, Mr Anusorn said.

Mr Chalerm is responsible for police affairs and drugs suppression, and helming the government's anti-corruption campaign.

Pol Gen Panupong, also known as "the crimebuster", unofficially entered politics to help Mr Chalerm with his work after retiring from the police force last month.

Previously, he had held several important positions in the police force, including the posts of 5th Police Region Bureau commissioner overseeing the upper North and the 7th Police Region Bureau assistant commissioner overseeing the western provinces.

He had also been assigned to lead a police team to track down nine Myanmar inmates who broke out of Samut Sakhon prison in 2000 _ a pursuit which led to the deaths of all the fleeing prisoners _ when he was the assistant commissioner of the 7th Police Region Bureau.

Meanwhile, former Lop Buri MP for Pheu Thai Suchart Lainamngern has been appointed assistant secretary to the interior minister, Mr Anusorn said.

He will be assigned by the interior minister to work for deputy interior minister Thanit Thienthong.

Mr Suchart replaces Mr Yotwaris Chuklom, also known as Jeng Dokchik, a red shirt leader.

Mr Yotwaris had to step down from his position when the Criminal Court in August revoked his bail on terrorism charges after finding that his speeches intimidated Constitution Court judges.

Last month he was released on bail from prison following several applications by his legal team.

Mr Anusorn said 12 more people were also appointed as political officials in different ministries.

The cabinet also approved the reshuffle of seven senior posts at the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, although it is yet to decide who will replace former director-general Damrong Pidech at the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department.

About the author

Writer: Patsara Jikkham & Apinya Wipatayotin