The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) plans to file charges against former national police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda and three other high-level officers in connection with the 2.1-billion-baht purchase of biometrics equipment for the Immigration Police Bureau (IPB) in 2019, a police source said.
The NACC will send a letter notifying Pol Gen Chakthip and the other officers of the charges and summons them to testify in their defence before finalising its investigation report, the source said.
The case emerged when Sittra Biabungkerd, secretary-general of the People's Lawyers Foundation, petitioned the NACC to investigate the biometrics procurement project after it was found the equipment did not meet the specifications in the terms of reference.
The company contracted to supply the equipment was also unable to deliver it to the Royal Thai Police Office (RTPO) in six consignments within 66 days, by May 2, 2019, as stated in the contract.
Despite these shortcomings, the RTPO agreed to accept the equipment and extended the handover deadline to June 30, 2019, so the supplier did not have to pay a fine of 5 million baht a day.
In addition to Pol Gen Chakthip, the other police officers implicated are Pol Lt Gen Tinapat Phumarin, the then commissioner of the Office of Logistics who approved the purchase, Pol Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang, the then commissioner of the IPB, and Pol Maj Gen Surapong Chaichan, the then deputy commissioner of Provincial Police Region 7 who extended the deadline in favour of the supplier.
In 2020, Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn, a former IPB commissioner who was then an RTPO adviser, was called by the NACC to testify as a witness.
Pol Lt Gen Surachate said then that about 40 other people were also summonsed to testify.
Biometrics is the measurement and statistical analysis of people's unique physical and behavioural characteristics. The technology is mainly used for identification and access control and to identify individuals under surveillance.