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Big Joke tipped for big promotion

The burning question: Does Big Joke deserve the top job?

Today’s ministerial level meeting to decide some of the top jobs in the police force throws up some interesting candidates, said INN.

Top of the list that will be decided by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan is his new spokesman Maj-Gen Surachate Hakpan – known in the Thai media as Big Joke.

In his role as deputy at the Tourist Police Bureau Surachate has been all over the news busting a variety of criminals from call center gangs to rogue tuk-tuk drivers, illegal guides to Nigerian romance scammers.

Recently he was closely involved in the Koh Tao alleged rape case.

The Thai press follows his every word and speculation is rife that one day he will move into politics.

For now the question is whether he will be elevated to the top job at the tourist police, while some sources in Thailand are even suggesting that Surachate may be in line for the head of immigration.

The reach of the tourist police is far wider than what it says on the tin. Since a reclassification of the police divisions the tourist police enjoy a far greater role in the police hierarchy than in the past, notes Thaivisa.

In other changes to top positions INN speculated that Lt Gen Chaiwat Ketworachai might replace Pol Gen Dechnarong Suthicharnbancha as a deputy of the RTP.

Other commanding roles up for grabs are at Central Investigation and the coveted Metropolitan Police that covers Bangkok.

Maj-Gen Suthin Sapphuang looks sure for the former, said INN, but the chief of Bangkok’s force looks to be a straight fight between Lt Gen Suthipong Wongpin and Lt Gen Apichart Sirisit.

The present incumbent is retiring from the civil service thus making the position vacant.

In total 12 commanders positions are available in the shake-up.

The meeting of Prawit and top police will take place at 2pm today.

Thai Visa / INN

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