'Skilled' ex-CIB boss hits headlines again
The name of Pongpat Chayapan hit the headlines again yesterday when he was arrested after an intensive investigation into a number of criminal charges including violation of the lese majeste law.
Pol Lt Gen Pongpat, former commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB), has rarely been seen in public since the beginning of last year following the arrest of fugitive Somchai Khunploem, alias Kamnan Poh.
Pol Lt Gen Pongpat shot to fame one night in January 2013 when — as CIB chief — he led armed police from the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) in arresting Somchai on an expressway in Bangkok's Lat Krabang district.
Somchai's arrest lingered in the headlines for weeks, temporarily putting Pol Lt Gen Pongpat in the limelight.
Somchai was one of the most powerful figures in Chon Buri and had been on the run since March 2012, when the Supreme Court sentenced him in absentia to 25 years in prison for hiring a gunman to murder Prayoon Sitthichoke, alias Kamnan Yoon, at a wedding in March 2003.
Kamnan Yoon was the head of tambon Samet in the province's Muang district.
Pol Lt Gen Pongpat, 58, was born in tambon Bang Bo, in Samut Sakhon's Muang district.
He finished his primary education at Wat Yai Ban Bo School and secondary level studies at Samut Sakhon Witthayalai School.
Afterwards, he joined the 15th class of the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School and the 31st class of the Police Cadet Academy in Sampran district of Nakhon Pathom.
His classmates included national police chief Pol Gen Somyot Pumpunmuang, deputy national police chief Pol Gen Pongsapat Pongcharoen, assistant national police chief and police spokesman Pol Lt Gen Prawut Thawornsiri, and chief of Provincial Police Region 1 Pol Lt Gen Amnuay Nimmano.
Pol Lt Gen Pongpat graduated with a master's degree in political science from Chulalongkorn University and attended a wide range of police and detective training schools both at home and abroad.
He is known among police colleagues as a highly skilled and experienced detective who applied the science of behavioural analysis to his work.
Pol Lt Gen Pongpat served as an inspector at Tha Phra and Yannawa police stations before being promoted to deputy superintendent at Bang Khun Non police station. The Metropolitan Police Bureau is in charge of all three stations.
He was later promoted to superintendent of the CSD's Division 1, Division 2, and the Special Operations Division. A few years later he was promoted to deputy commander of the CSD and commander of the CSD respectively.
Pol Lt Gen Pongpat was later promoted to deputy commissioner and then commissioner of the CIB in 2010.
The CIB chief has a mandate to oversee crime suppression across the country.