Big Joke links gunshots to B2bn airport project | Bangkok Post: learning

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Big Joke links gunshots to B2bn airport project

Former immigration chief Pol Lt Gen Surachat Hakparn, right, at Bang Rak police station on Wednesday for questioning about the shots fired at his car on Monday night. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)

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The former immigration police chief on Wednesday linked the gunshots fired into his car on Monday to his opposition to a 2 billion baht contract for equipment to screen passengers at major airports.

Surachet Hakparn handed over documents relating to the biometric project to interrogators while being questioned at Bang Rak police station.

The former police officer, better known as Big Joke, told reporters that he viewed his attempt to block the project as the only possible motive for the attack on his SUV on Monday night.

Pol Lt Gen Surachat had earlier urged the national police chief, in a written statement,  to consider cancelling the project when he was still the immigration police commissioner last year.

The 2 billion baht project involved the purchase of biometric equipment to scan the faces and fingerprints of visitors and residents going through major airports. He cited the long delay and questioned the equipment's efficiency as among the reasons to end the contract.

After Big Joke was forced out of the police circle into a civilian position as adviser to the Prime Minister's Office last year, his successor, Pol Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang, placed stress on being fair to the contractor.

The new immigration police chief has even praised the biometric system on more than one occasion, pointing out how it had identified suspects passing through airports, and they were then arrested.

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Vocabulary:

biometric (adj): using some unique part of a person's "biology" or body to identify them, such as a scan of the retina of their eye which is unique - สถิติชีวภาพ

cite : to mention something as an example - กล่าวถึง

civilian : someone who does not belong to the armed forces or the police - พลเรือน

commissioner : the head of a particular police force in some countries - ผู้ตรวจการณ์

contractor : a person or company whose job is to do work for another person, organisation, company, etc. - ผู้รับเหมา

efficiency : the ability to work well and produce good results by using the available time, money, supplies etc in the most effective way - ความมีประสิทธิภาพ

immigration police : the police agency dealing with people entering and leaving the country - สำนักงานตรวจคนเข้าเมือง

interrogator : a person who asks someone a lot of questions in order to get information - ผู้สอบถาม, ผู้ซักถาม

motive : a reason for doing something - แรงจูงใจ

scan : to look at something very carefully, because you hope or expect to see a particular person or thing - มองกวาด, ดูผ่าน ๆ ตา

successor : a person or thing that comes after someone or something and takes their/its place  - ผู้สืบทอด, ดำรงตำแหน่งต่อ

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