Honest policeman unfairly treated: Pol Maj-Gen Paween Pongsirin

Honest policeman unfairly treated: Pol Maj-Gen Paween Pongsirin

Pol Maj-Gen Paween Pongsirin, former deputy commissioner of Provincial Police Region 8 & chief investigator in the Rohingya human trafficking case, in full dress uniform used for special ceremonial occasions.
Pol Maj-Gen Paween Pongsirin, former deputy commissioner of Provincial Police Region 8 & chief investigator in the Rohingya human trafficking case, in full dress uniform used for special ceremonial occasions.

After law enforcement success, honest & hardworking police officer made unwelcome at all provincial police bureaus except the deep South that most policemen don’t want to be sent to.


An honest policeman unfairly treated: Pol Maj-Gen Paween Pongsirin

Veera Prateepchaikul

Pol Maj-Gen Paween Pongsirin, former deputy commissioner of Provincial Police Region 8 and chief investigator in the Rohingya human trafficking case, reminds one of former interior minister Purachai Piumsombun of the government of Thaksin Shinawatra.

Although Mr Purachai and Pol Maj-Gen Paween were both in government service in different eras --  the first as a politician and the second a career policeman -- the two men share one common trait, that of being straightforward and honest.


When Mr Purachai was interior minister he launched a crackdown on nightspots that opened beyond legal hours or allowed in underage patrons. His crusade earned him the nickname "spaghetti strap enforcer" for his no-nonsense law enforcement. But, at the same time, his uncompromising approach to problem-solving earned him many enemies in the night entertainment industry and among his colleagues in then-Thai Rak Thai party.

Mr Purachai was transferred to the position of justice minister by Thaksin.  Again, he became entangled in conflict, this time with Dr Prakit Watheesathokkit, chairman of the Thai Health Foundation.

Former interior minister Purachai Piumsombun giving a speech during an election campaign in 2011. Dubbed Mr Ruler by the media, Mr Purachai is using a ruler as a motif in his election campaign.


Pol Maj-Gen Paween was put in charge of the Rohingya human trafficking investigation by then-national deputy police chief Pol Gen Aek Angsananant, who at the time was tipped as one of the two candidates for the national police chief’s job. The other candidate was Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, who eventually won the position.

The Paween-led probe resulted in the courts issuing 153 arrest warrants and the actual arrest of about 90 suspects, several of them military officers, including a lieutenant general, and some local politicians. Of these, 88 of the detained suspects have been arraigned by public prosecutors before the Bangkok Military Court.  Many others remain at large.


Pol Maj-Gen Paween’s efforts and successes in the crackdown on the human trafficking syndicate was widely praised by foreign media and human rights groups. Surprisingly, the big boss at the Royal Thai Police Office viewed him in a totally different light, for some inexplicable reason.  His immediate boss at Provincial Police Region 8 accused him of being undisciplined and defying orders.

Out of the blue, Pol Maj-Gen Paween was removed as the chief investigator and kicked out of Region 8  police, transferred to the Southern Border Police Operations Centre in the restive far South, even though the investigation into the human trafficking syndicate was far from over.

Why the abrupt removal? Does it mean the police officer had failed in his assignment? Or did he step on somebody’s toes?

Why was an honest and hardworking police officer made unwelcome at all the provincial police bureaus except the police operations centre in the deep South that most policemen, if they have a choice, don’t want to be sent to?


Given Pol Maj-Gen Paween’s dedication and achievements in the Rohingya trafficking investigation it is very unfair and also insulting for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to question his patriotism simply because he told the truth about his work to the foreign media and reportedly sought asylum in Australia for fear of his life.

He reportedly tendered his resignation from the police force on Nov 5.

The question of patriotism should be directed at the human traffickers, the cheats and the corrupters who steal from the country and its people; not at an honest cop like Pol Maj-Gen Paween, who deserves much better treatment from the government and the Royal Thai Police Office.

The former chief investigator’s candid comments might have hurt the government and the police in questioning their sincerity about tackling human trafficking.

But his achievements so far have helped improve the image of this country.


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  • abrupt: sudden and unexpected, and often unpleasant - อย่างกะทันหัน
  • accuse: to say that someone has done something wrong or committed a crime - กล่าวหา
  • achievement: something very good and difficult that you have succeeded in doing - การบรรลุผลสำเร็จ
  • actual: real; existing in fact - จริง
  • allow: to let somebody/something do something; to let something happen or be done - อนุญาต, ยอมรับ
  • approach: a way of doing or dealing with something; a particular way of doing something or thinking about something - การจัดการกับปัญหา วิธีการทำให้ถึงจุดหมาย
  • arraign (verb): to bring somebody to court in order to formally accuse them of a crime - ฟ้องกล่าวโทษ,นำตัวขึ้นศาล
  • arrest: (of the police or, in this case, soldiers) to take someone under control because they are believed to have committed a crime - จับกุม
  • arrest warrant: a document signed by a judge allowing police to arrest someone - หมายจับ
  • assignment: a task or piece of work that somebody is given to do, usually as part of their job or studies - งานที่ได้รับมอบหมาย
  • asylum: the right to stay in a country, given by a government to protect someone who has escaped from war or political trouble in their own country - การลี้ภัย
  • at large: not having been caught by the police - ลอยนวล, ยังไม่ถูกจับกุม
  • border: the official line separating two areas, regions or countries - เขตแดน อาณาเขต
  • bureau: a government organisation - สำนักงาน
  • campaign (noun): a planned series of activities designed to persuade voters to vote for a particular candidate or political party - การรณรงค์หาเสียง
  • candid: to be honest about something that is maybe controversial, that people do not acgree about - ตรงไปตรงมา, ซื่อสัตย์
  • candidate: one of the people being considered for a job - ตัวแทนที่ส่งเข้ารับตำแหน่ง
  • case: a matter that is being officially investigated, especially by the police - คดี
  • chairman: the person in charge of a committee, a company, etc - ประธาน
  • cheat: a person who cheats (acts in a dishonest way in order to gain an advantage) - คนโกง, คนหลอกลวง
  • chief: a person with a high rank or the highest rank in a company or an organisation - หัวหน้า, ผู้นำ
  • colleague (noun): someone who works in the same organisation or department as you do or someone you know who has the same type of job - เพื่อนร่วมงาน
  • commissioner: the head of a particular police force in some countries - ผู้ตรวจการณ์
  • common: done or shared by two or more people - ที่ร่วมกัน
  • conflict: an angry disagreement between people or groups - ความขัดแย้ง
  • court: the place where legal trials take place and where crimes, etc. are judged - ศาล
  • crackdown: strong action that someone in authority takes to stop a particular activity - การใช้กำลังเข้าปราบปรามของเจ้าหน้าที่
  • crusade: a long and determined effort to achieve something that they believe to be right or to stop something that they believe to be wrong -
  • dedication (noun): the hard work and effort that somebody puts into an activity or purpose because they think it is important - การอุทิศ
  • defy: to refuse to obey or accept someone or something - ฝ่าฝืน,ไม่เชื่อฟัง, เป็นปฏิปักษ์ต่อ
  • deputy: a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation - รอง
  • detained: kept in a place and not allowed to leave - กักตัว ควบคุมตัวหรือฝากขัง
  • election (noun): the process of choosing a person or a group of person for a position, especially by voting - การเลือกตั้ง
  • enemy: a person who hates somebody or who acts or speaks against somebody/something - ศัตรู
  • entangled: to twist someone or something up in something such as a wire or net, so that they are stuck and cannot easily be set free - พัน
  • entertainment: fun; behaviour or activities that are not serious but come from a sense of enjoyment - ความบันเทิง, ความสนุกสนาน
  • eventually: at the end of a period of time or at the end of a process - ในที่สุด
  • fail (verb): to not do something - ผิดพลาด, ล้มเหลว
  • far from over: a long time until it is completed; not finished -
  • former: of or in an earlier time; before the present time or in the past - อดีต, แต่ก่อน
  • honest (adj): always telling the truth, and never stealing or cheating - ซื่อสัตย์, สุจริต
  • human rights: the basic rights which it is generally considered all people should have, such as justice and the freedom to say what you think - สิทธิมนุษยชน
  • human trafficking: the trade of humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others (Source: Wikipedia) - การค้ามนุษย์
  • image: an opinion that people have about someone or something - ภาพลักษณ์
  • immediate: nearest in relationship or rank - โดยตรง,ใกล้ชิด, ,ถัดมา
  • improve: to make better - ทำให้ดีขึ้น
  • in a totally different light: in a completely different way -
  • in charge of: to be in control of an activity and to check that everything is being done correctly - ดูแล ควบคุม
  • inexplicable: that cannot be understood or explained - ซึ่งอธิบายไม่ได้
  • insulting: rude or offensive - อย่างดูถูกดูแคลน
  • interior minister: the minister with responsibility over the Royal Thai Police, local administrations, internal security, citizenship, disaster management, land management, issuing national identity cards and public works - รัฐมนตรีว่าการกระทรวงมหาดไทย
  • investigation: the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about something in order to discover who or what caused it or how it happened - การสอบสวน, การตรวจสอบหาข้อเท็จจริง
  • investigator: someone whose job is to officially find out the facts about something - ผู้สอบสวน, ผู้สำรวจ, ผู้ตรวจสอบ
  • issue: to give or provide something official - แจกจ่าย
  • Justice Minister (noun): The minister who heads the Ministry of Justice - รัฐมนตรีว่าการกระทรวงกระทรวงยุติธรรม
  • kicked out: removed; taken out by force -
  • launch (verb): to start something - เริ่มต้น, เปิดโครงการ, เริ่มทำ
  • law enforcement: the process of making sure that people obey the law - การบังคับใช้กฎหมาย
  • legal: allowed by the law - ถูกต้องตามกฎหมาย
  • local: in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about - ท้องถิ่น
  • media: radio, television, newspaper, the Internet, considered as a group - สื่อ
  • military officer: a person in the military with a high rank - นายทหาร , ผู้มีหน้าที่ในเรื่องการรบประจำกองทัพทหาร
  • motif: a shape or pattern that is repeated in a design or decoration; an idea, subject or pattern that is frequently repeated - แม่ลาย
  • national (adjective): for the whole country - แห่งชาติ, ของชาติ
  • nickname: an informal name for someone or something, especially a name which you are called by your friends or family, usually based on your proper name or your character - ชื่อเล่น
  • nightspot: a place people go to for entertainment at night - สถานบันเทิงกลางคืน
  • no-nonsense (adj): in a very serious way - อย่างจริงจัง
  • order (noun): something that somebody is told to do by somebody in authority - คำสั่ง
  • out of the blue: completely unexpected -
  • patriotism (noun): love of your country and willingness to defend it - ความรักชาติ
  • patron: a customer; someone who uses a particular entertainment place, hotel, restaurant, etc. - ลูกค้า
  • politician: a person whose job is concerned with politics, especially as an elected member of parliament, etc. - นักการเมือง
  • position: a job - ตำแหน่ง
  • praise: an expression of strong approval or admiration - การยกย่อง, การชื่นชม
  • probe: an attempt to find out the truth about an issue, problem or accident, made by an official group (or by the media); an investigation - การตรวจสอบ  การสอบสวน
  • prosecutor: a lawyer whose job is to prove in court that someone accused of a crime is guilty - อัยการ
  • provincial (adj): related to "provinces" , the different parts of a country - ประจำจังหวัด, ส่วนท้องถิ่น
  • public (adj): belonging to the government -
  • reason (noun): why something happened or exists - เหตุผล
  • region: a large area of land or space, usually without exact limits or borders - ภูมิภาค, ขอบเขต, แถบ, บริเวณ
  • remain: to still be present after the other parts have been removed, used, etc; to continue to exist - ยังเหลืออยู่
  • remind: to make someone think of something they have forgotten or might have forgotten - เตือนความจำ
  • removal: taking something away - การเอาออกจาก
  • remove (verb): to take something away - เอาออก
  • resignation: the act of leaving a job, position of power, etc. - การลาออกจากตำแหน่ง
  • restive: dissatisfied and difficult to control - ซึ่งควบคุมยาก
  • result in: cause to happen -
  • share: to have the same feelings, ideas, experiences, etc. as somebody else -
  • sincerity: (of a person, feelings or behaviour) not pretending or lying; honest - ความจริงใจ, ตรงไปตรงมา
  • step on someone's toes: accidentally interfere with what some powerful person is doing -
  • straightforward: clear and honest - ตรงไปตรงมา
  • strap: a strip of leather, cloth or other material that is used to fasten something, keep something in place, carry something or hold onto something - สายหนัง, สายรัด, สายหิ้ว
  • surprisingly (adv): in a way that causes surprise; in a way that you don't expect - อย่างแปลกใจ, อย่างประหลาดใจ
  • suspect: a person who is thought to have committed a crime - ผู้ต้องสงสัย
  • syndicate: a group of people or companies who work together and help each other in order to achieve a particular aim - สมาคม, องค์การ, สหการ , การรวมกลุ่มเป็นสมาคม
  • tackle: to make an organised and determined attempt to deal with a problem - จัดการกับปัญหา
  • tipped as: predicted or forecast to have something or do something in the future -
  • trafficker: someone in the business of buying and selling  things illegally or of illegally transporting people for work in other countries or areas - ผู้ลักลอบค้าสินค้าผิดกฎหมายหรือลักลอบขายแรงงานผิดกฎหมาย
  • trafficking: dealing in illegal goods, like drugs, weapons or in illegally moving humans or animals from one place to another - การค้าสิ่งที่ผิดกฎหมาย
  • trait (noun): a particular quality - คุณสมบัติ, ลักษณะพิเศษ
  • transferred: changed someone’s job or responsibilities - โยกย้ายตำแหน่ง
  • uncompromising: very determined, and not willing to change your opinions, plans, or actions - ไม่ละลด,เด็ดเดี่ยว,แน่วแน่
  • underage: under the legal age for some activity such as drinking, going to a bar or having sex. -
  • undisciplined (adj.): lacking control and organisation; behaving badly - ซึ่งไม่มีระเบียบวินัย
  • unwelcome: not wanted - ไม่เป็นที่ต้องการ
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