The Royal Thai Police Office on Tuesday insisted that Pol Capt Chanant Chaijinda had been promoted to inspector on merit, and not because he is the son of national police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda.
The RTPO was responding to news reports questioning the promotion of Pol Capt Chanant from sub-inspector to a full inspector and his rank to police major. The stories questioned his qualifications for the double promotion.
Pol Capt Chanant, the police chief's eldest son, has served as sub-inspector for less than four years in the Border Patrol Police Bureau, the stories said. Regulations required that an officer must have served at least seven years as sub-inspector before being eligible for promotion.
The Police Commission earlier stopped short of approving Pol Capt Chanant's promotions because he did not satisfy the criteria. The issue was referred to the cabinet last year, and it agreed to ignore the minimum service tenure criteria and later gave the green light to Pol Capt Chanant's promotion.
However, it remains unclear if the promotions in question have gone into effect.
On Tuesday, the RTPO maintained that Pol Capt Chanant was qualified for the new rank.
Pol Maj Gen Decha Kallayawuthipong, commander of the Registration Division, said Pol Capt Chanant's promotions complied with the law and Pol Gen Chakthip had nothing to do with them. He did, however, admitted the tenure criteria had not been applied.
Deputy spokesman Pol Col Krissana Pattanacharoen said Pol Capt Chanant is qualified to be a full inspector as he had passed many combat and tactical training programmes and study courses, both in the country and overseas.
"Pol Capt Chanant could have opted for duties in an office environment, but he chose assignments and courses that require tough work in the field," said Pol Col Krissana.