Big Joke not summonsed in 'Minnie' gambling case

Big Joke not summonsed in 'Minnie' gambling case

Deputy police chief denies 'leaked report'

Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Surachate on Tuesday denied a
Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Surachate on Tuesday denied a "leaked report" he had been summonsed to give a statement over his alleged links to online gambling websites run by “Minnie". (File photo)

Deputy national police chief Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn confirmed on Tuesday he had yet to be summonsed over his alleged links to online gambling websites allegedly run by young woman known as "Minnie".

Pol Gen Surachate was responding to an unconfirmed "leaked report" that the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) had summonsed him to give his side of the story.

Suchanun Suchitninsri, 25, alias “Minnie’’, is suspected of running online gambling websites, allegedly fronting for eight senior police officers.

“So far, I have not received a summons. Nobody has contacted me to give a statement. I assure you that I am not involved in any online gambling case,’’ Pol Gen Surachate told reporters.

According to the deputy national police chief, a police investigation report naming a number of his subordinates with alleged links to the "Minnie" case had been submitted to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), which later returned it to investigators, saying it needed more investigation. 

He said the extended investigation pointing to five senior police officers, including himself and Pol Maj Gen Pairote Kujiraphan, chairman of the police investigators association, being allegedly involved in the gambling case was still with the NACC, which would investigate further.

If a summons was issued, he might be asked to explain the sources of his money, to see whether it was linked to those gambling websites, Pol Gen Surachate said.

He questioned the reported leak about the police investigation into the case, which he said was confidential. He asked whether the head of the investigation should be held responsible. 

CCIB commissioner Pol Lt Gen Worawat Watnakhonbancha confirmed on Tuesday that no summons was issued for Pol Gen Surachate.

He said he did not know where the report came from. He confirmed the investigation report into the gambling case had been submitted to the NACC.

 Pol Maj Gen Pairote, one of the senior officers allegedly linked to Minnie’s gambling sites, on Tuesday submitted documents to the NACC.

Pol Maj Gen Pairote, who was investigation commander of Provincial Police Region 4 before serving as chairman of the police investigators association, asked the NACC to look into whether the investigation team had breached Section 157 of the Criminal Code and was derelict in its duty over the leak of the probe report.

“I have to come out to protect my dignity and that of the police investigators association, which I serve as  chairman,’’ Pol Maj Gen Pairote said. 

On Monday, Prayut Phetcharakhun, spokesman for the attorney-general, asked the national police chief to stop the eight police officers suspected in the online gambling case threatening two high-level prosecutors.

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