Top police at Huai Khwang station suspended after raid on gambling den
THE METROPOLITAN Police chief yesterday suspended four top cops at the Huai Khwang police station following a raid on a gambling den in their jurisdiction, although the station chief claimed earlier in the day that he had initiated the action.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Pol Lt-General Sanit Mahathaworn issued an urgent order at 5.30pm to transfer acting Huai Khwang police chief Pol Colonel Nakharin Sukhonthawit to an inactive post at the operations centre of the Metropolitan Police for 30 days.
Nakharin and the three other transferred officers were appointed to lead the station after the previous top five officers were removed following a raid of massage parlour, which was found to employ illegal immigrants as sex workers. One position had not been filled.
The three other officers transferred yesterday were Pol Lt-Colonel Prapoj Anusiri, acting deputy chief of the station, Pol Lt-Colonel Jirapol Praphanchan, acting deputy chief in charge of investigation, and Pol Lt-Colonel Surayut Mekmankorn, crime suppression inspector of the station.
Police and 15 soldiers raided the Carnation Complex, an entertainment venue, in Huai Khwang district on Saturday, arresting 21 men and 17 women and seizing more than Bt500,000 in cash.
Before his transfer, Nakharin said the suspects included five operators of an alleged gambling den. One of the five was identified as Kitti Sae-khor, the house’s owner, while the other four are three Cambodians and a Vietnamese man.
‘Too slow to get a warrant’
Nakharin claimed his police station planned the arrest but he did not have enough personnel on hand because many officers had been sent to help with security at Sanam Luang. He added that said it would have taken too long to secure a court warrant for the search of the venue so he sought help from the peace-keeping taskforce, which can invoke Article 44 of the interim charter to bypass the requirement of a court warrant.
The policy has been that a police station chief and four other top officers would be suspended if soldiers or police from another jurisdiction are forced to initiate a raid on a gambling den within their jurisdiction, as a measure to curb police corruption.