METROPOLITAN Police Bureau commissioner Lt-General Camronwit Toopgrajank will be transferred to run a regional command in the North in a straight swap with its commissioner.
Camronwit’s posting to Provincial Police Region 5 gives him jurisdiction over eight northern provinces, while Lt-General Suthep Dejraksa will be the new city commissioner.
National police chief General Adul Saengsingkaew said the switch, which is in the same lineage, was not politically motivated.
Speaking yesterday after learning of his transfer, Camronwit said he was thankful for his career reaching this point and being beyond his expectation.
He said he had not talked to Adul and thanked his superiors.
“A transfer for a policeman is a common matter,” he said. “I have to thank my superiors for giving me a rest and transferring me in this reshuffle. I can work anywhere or take any assignments. Besides, I have around 160 days left in my career.”
The switch is part of a small reshuffle stemming from the resignation of police chief Lt-General Ekkarat Meepreecha due to health problems. Adul has filled this vacancy, with Lt-General Dr Jongjate Aojanepong, director of the Police General Hospital in Bangkok, his assistant.
The Camronwit reshuffle order will take effect today, after its expected endorsement by the Police Commission. Suthep was reportedly close to caretaker Deputy PM and Labour Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung, chief of the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order. Chalerm reportedly convinced Camronwit to accept the move.
Camronwit has been heavily involved in controlling the anti-government protests and has assigned crowd-control duties to deputies he trusts.
Camronwit, who will retire in October, has been criticised by Pheu Thai-led government’s critics for his praise of fugitive prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, especially after Thaksin pinned his insignia of rank shortly after his 2012 promotion at an unknown location.
Camronwit had put the photograph of the event on show in his office. Responding to critics who asked why he did not arrest Thaksin, Camronwit said he had no jurisdiction outside Thailand.
Provincial Police Region 1 commander Lt-General Nares Nantha-chote, who has jurisdiction over central provinces and those neighbouring Bangkok, remains in his post – reportedly at the request of ruling-Pheu Thai Party’s executive board this week.