The Department of Provincial Administration has ordered the transfer of the chief of Kaeng Krachan district in Phetchaburi to an inactive post for not prosecuting a senior police officer on charges of illegal hunting in a national park.
Department chief Chuan Sirinanporn has signed an order to move Sutthipong Tanboonyasiridet to a post to assist in the work at the Institute of Administration Development, a source said yesterday.
The transfer order becomes effective tomorrow.
The move came after Mr Sutthipong, who headed an investigation into alleged hunting in Kaeng Krachan National Park, decided to drop charges against Pol Lt Col Thirayuth Ketmangmee, an inspector at Pran Buri police station in Prachuap Khiri Khan, who was caught on Nov 11 with eight others on suspicion of hunting in the national park.
Pol Lt Col Thirayuth has been transferred to an inactive post in Provincial Police Region 7.
The suspects were arrested with several weapons, a dead mouse deer and about 100 giant Asian river frogs.
All of the alleged hunters have since been indicted except Pol Lt Thirayuth, with investigators saying there was not enough evidence to charge him in the first place.
A public outcry over the decision not to charge the senior officer prompted Pol Lt Gen Jarumporn to examine the way police handled the case.
Sakda Noppasit, secretary to the natural resources and environment minister, said the case against those involved in the illegal hunting has progressed well.
Assistant national police chief Pol Gen Jarumporn Suramanee recently inspected the site and submitted further evidence to police investigators, Mr Sakda said
He praised Kaeng Krachan Park chief Chaiwat Limlikhit-aksorn for his role in protecting the forests.
The district chief's transfer comes a week after assistant national police chief Pol Lt Gen Jarumporn Suramanee ordered a new investigation into Pol Lt Thirayuth following his field inspection of evidence provided by Mr Chaiwat and the hunting scene on Monday.
Pol Lt Gen Jarumporn said after inspecting evidence in the case, including photos and video footage obtained from the alleged wildlife poachers at the time of their arrest, that a new investigation was needed.
The photos and video footage clearly show the nine suspects together.
One video clip, according to Pol Lt Gen Jarumporn, shows the suspects, including Pol Lt Col Thirayuth, entering the park by boat on Nov 8.
They were also allegedly seen on the video cooking a wild frog.
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