Panel urges Pongpat's firing

Panel urges Pongpat's firing

A police panel has decided to dismiss from the force ex-Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) chief Pol Lt Gen Pongpat Chayapan and five other officers embroiled in a high-profile bribery and extortion scandal.

The dismissal was recommended after the committee chaired by Pol Inspector Gen Chanin Preechaharn found the six officers committed serious disciplinary breaches in their alleged involvement in extortion and bribery.

The other five are former deputy CIB chief Pol Maj Gen Kowit Wongrungroj; former chief of the Marine Police Division Pol Maj Gen Boonsueb Phraithuean; former chief of the Anti-Human Trafficking Division's Sub-division 4 Pol Col Wuthichat Liansukhon; Pol Snr Sgt Maj Surasak Channgao; and Pol Snr Sgt Maj Chattrin Laothong.

The dismissal recommendation along with the investigation report will be submitted to deputy national police chief Aek Angsananant for consideration.

The six officers have been charged with operating gambling dens, taking bribes from oil smuggling gangs, and lese majeste as authorities continue investigating Pol Lt Gen Pongpat's alleged criminal network.

Meanwhile, the Royal Gazette has published a Prime Minister's Office announcement regarding a royal command revoking the military rank of army captain Natthapol Suwadee, formerly known as Natthapol Akkharaphongpricha.

Based on the announcement, the revocation which took effect retroactively on Nov 24, the day Mr Natthapol was dismissed from the army, was based on his violations of military discipline and laws.

Mr Natthapol and others have been charged with citing the monarchy to obtain benefits and money from others, illegally collecting debts, forced detention, and extortion.

The announcement also said the royal decorations granted to Mr Natthapol were also stripped. The royal command was countersigned by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon.

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