National police chief Pol General Chakthip Chaijinda has ordered three policemen temporarily discharged from the civil service after they were accused of involvement in a massive fraud and embezzlement case in Loei.
Pol Maj-General Suthip Palitkusolthat, former chief of police in the northeastern province, is at the centre of the internal police force case in which 192 officers were allegedly robbed of Bt240 million.
Fifteen other officers, including Provincial Police Region 4 deputy chief Pol Maj General Thanasak Ritthidechpaboon, were transferred to inactive posts at the Royal Thai Police operations centre pending further investigation.
Temporarily discharged were Phang Nga deputy commander Pol Colonel Chayawuth Chansomboon; Loei superintendent of interrogations Pol Colonel Udon Chukan, who once managed the Loei police savings cooperative; and precinct inspector at Chum Phae in Loei Pol Lt Colonel Krissada Nitiphot.
Suthip has been on temporary discharge since August 17.
A police probe found grounds for the allegation that he had misappropriated Bt240 million from the police savings cooperative.
That alleged embezzlement was linked to an alleged investment scam that reportedly cost citizens in the Northeast nearly Bt1 billion.
Another key suspect is Thiyada Wipaworakan, a former court official in Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen who switched to stock investment and invited court and police acquaintances to participate in her ventures.
Both Suthip and Thiyada have met investigators and acknowledged the charges.
Office of the Judiciary secretary-general Sarawut Benjakul has meanwhile dismissed a news report that three judges allegedly implicated in the Loei fraud and embezzlement case had resigned.
“Everyone knows this office will not protect wrongdoers,” he added. “I have done everything within the power of my office to take all due steps against those involved.”
A source in his office said a fact-finding committee and a disciplinary panel had been assigned to probe allegations including complaints filed by police officers and to consider disciplinary action. This had resulted in two court officials being dismissed, the source said.