New unit to oversee special ops
The Crime Suppression Division (CSD) has established a new special weapons and tactics (Swat) unit to replace a commando unit that has been reassigned to provide security for His Majesty the King and other members of the royal family.
The commando unit once known as CSD's special operations subdivision, is now known as the royal guard and special operations division, attached to the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB).
CSD commander Pol Maj Gen Jirabhop Bhuridet said the newly-established SWAT unit will be responsible for operations which require specialised personnel and weapons.
"As such, this unit should be considered as a key unit within the CIB," he said.
Pol Maj Gen Jirabhop said that the unit is code-named "Hanuman" for the monkey king in Ramakien, a classical piece of Thai literature which was adapted from the Indian epic, Ramayana.
He added the CIB commissioner who oversees the CSD will receive the call sign "Narai 1" -- an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu, who later gets reborn as Rama in the epic.
Pol Col Wichak Tarom, the head of the CSD's new unit, said the unit now consists of 40 officers who have taken part in specialised training programmes, including anti-terrorism courses and advanced SWAT tactics.
To enhance their skills further, Pol Col Wichak said he will ask his superiors to send members of the new SWAT unit for additional training with the US' Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
To date, the new unit has been involved in several security operations -- including one that led to the arrest of suspects believed to be behind the shooting of a local administrative officer in Trang, said Pol Col Wichak.
"The unit also plays a supporting role for CSD's six other subdivisions," he said.