Senior cop seen with Thaksin, Yingluck suspended

Senior cop seen with Thaksin, Yingluck suspended

Pol Col Watanyu Witthaypalothai (right) is seen with former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra at a shopping centre in London in June. (Photo from Pui Vijitphan Facebook account)
Pol Col Watanyu Witthaypalothai (right) is seen with former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra at a shopping centre in London in June. (Photo from Pui Vijitphan Facebook account)

A police colonel seen with the two fugitive former Shinawatra prime ministers at the World Cup last week and earlier with one of them in London has been suspended from duty pending an inquiry.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, who supervises the police force, said on Monday that Watanyu Witthaypalothai had been relieved from duty and a panel set up to look into his conduct.

Pol Col Watanyu was seen with former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra in London in late June.

He was also seen with Yingluck and her brother Thaksin at the World Cup match when Croatia eliminated England in Moscow last Wednesday.

Both former prime ministers are wanted on arrest warrants  - Thaksin for  fleeing the country before he was sentenced to jail for abuse of authority in his then wife's purchase of state land, and Yingluck for alleged failure to stop corruption in her government's rice scheme.

Pol Col Watanyu works at the research and development department of the Special Branch Bureau. He was assigned to Yingluck as a bodyguard when she was prime minister. He is said to have the Shinawatra family's trust.

Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said on June 27 that Pol Col Wattanyu had requested a leave from June 25-July 13 to go to London to arrange a study programme for his son.

Pol Col Watanyu has returned to Thailand, according to the deputy prime minister.


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