Deputy National Police Chief Pol Gen Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn lodged a complaint with the Criminal Court on Tuesday, September 26th, seeking justice regarding the police search of his residences.
Pol General Surachate told Thai media that the search warrant of his residences in Bangkok were improper because it concealed the fact from the court that he occupied the five houses. He also complained over the allegedly over-the-top use of a commando unit with night vision goggles during daytime and high-powered rifles during the search operation, saying it tarnished his reputation.
Cyber crime police raided houses of Pol Gen Surachate, the deputy national police chief, on Monday, September 25th, after a search warrant was issued stating that some of the occupants were allegedly involved in online gambling operations.
The occupants were Pol Gen Surachate’s subordinates, eight of whom were arrested and subsequently released on bail with a surety of 100,000 baht each. They and Pol Gen Surachate have denied all allegations so far, with the latter saying the the accusation was an attempt to discredit him because he solved many major cases that involved influential figures.
“If the court had known that they are my houses it would have acted fairly, because I do not face prosecution,” Pol Gen Surachate told reporters at the court.
He also raised suspicion that if the court had known that the arrest warrants targeted police officers, it would have issued summonses instead of arrest warrants. This is because police officers are government officials whose whereabouts are clear, and they would not typically try to escape, he said.
Pol Gen Surachate revealed that the houses that were searched were not even owned by him but his father and his close relative who is a businessman in Udon Thani province.
He reiterated his innocence by stating that he was not involved in any gambling operations. He pointed out that even though his subordinates had connections with such operations, it was their personal matter and had nothing to do with him.
As for a video of him singing with “Minnie,” the alleged owner of a major gambling website, which is circulating on the internet, Pol Gen Surachate said he did not know the woman. He explained that she had been invited to a party for his subordinates by them last year, and she approached him just for a song.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin recently ordered to set up a fact-finding committee to investigate the case.
Meanwhile, the meeting to appoint Thailand’s new national police chief has been deferred today, September 27th. Pol Gen Roy Ingkhapairoj is appointed as an acting chief possibly until the investigation into the gambling operations is complete.
Pol Gen Surachate is among the four candidates for the role, although he denied it.