10 immigration officials moved over Pattani raid

10 immigration officials moved over Pattani raid

Immigration Bureau chief Surachate Hakparn has ordered the transfer of 10 immigration officers attached to the Sa Kaeo and Pattani offices following a recent raid on a ponoh school in Mayor district of Pattani, in which 11 Cambodian men who had entered the country illegally were caught. (File photo)
Immigration Bureau chief Surachate Hakparn has ordered the transfer of 10 immigration officers attached to the Sa Kaeo and Pattani offices following a recent raid on a ponoh school in Mayor district of Pattani, in which 11 Cambodian men who had entered the country illegally were caught. (File photo)

Ten immigration policemen in Sa Kaeo and Pattani have been sidelined pending an investigation for allegedly letting Cambodian men enter the country illegally.

Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn, chief of the Immigration Bureau, signed an order on Jan 30 to investigate seven officers attached to the Sa Kaeo immigration office. The decision came after a military-led raid on a ponoh school in Mayor district of Pattani on Jan 28 in which 13 men, 11 of them Cambodians, were arrested.

The bureau chief also ordered an investigation into three senior officers at the Pattani immigration office.  

All 10 officers from the two provinces were transferred to inactive posts at the bureau pending the results. The transfers take effect from Sunday, Thai media reported on Saturday.

The Cambodians, who are Muslims aged between 16 and 26 years, confessed to having entered the country via the Khlong Luek checkpoint in the border province of Sa Kaeo. They later went to Pattani. 

Nine of them had expired passports and one had no passport, Thai media reported.

The raid came after military authorities received a tip-off from local residents that a group of men were training at the school at night. 

Pol Col Kritsana Pattanacharoen, deputy spokesman for the Royal Thai Police Office, on Saturday confirmed the transfers of the 10 officials.

Pol Lt Gen Surachate said the investigation would be expanded to find out how the 11 Cambodians had travelled to Pattani and who helped them. An initial investigation found that they had been hired to do something in the southern province. He did not elaborate.

Officers from Region 4 of the Internal Security Operation Command and Provincial Police Region 9 were interrogating the Cambodian men, who are being detained at an interrogation centre in the deep South, Matichon Online reported.

The seven officers attached to the Sa Kaeo immigration office were Pol Lt Anukul Rattanodom, deputy immigration inspector; four staff inspectors — Pol Sub Lt Sarisa Saritveerada, Pol Capt Chalalak Mor, Pol Lt Kanokrak Tonlor and Pol Sub Lt Somchai Laisomboon — Pol Snr Sgt Maj Nawin Chatsakulpanya and Pol Snr Sgt Maj Yaowaret Sukniran.

The three transferred officers in Pattani were Pol Lt Col Theerachasit Jianghet, an immigration inspector; and two deputy inspectors — Pol Capt Chitisan Khongkham and Pol Lt Sutham Khwanthian.


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