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Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol Reinstated: Inside the Royal Thai Police Feud Investigation

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Wissanu Krea-ngam, an adviser to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, recently arrived at Government House to present the findings of a high-profile probe into the rift between Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol and Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)

In a dramatic turn of events, Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol has been reinstated as the national police chief following the completion of a thorough investigation into an internal feud that has captivated the nation, according to Wissanu Krea-ngam, legal adviser to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin. Mr. Wissanu spilled the beans on Thursday, revealing the investigation results orchestrated by a committee led by Chatchai Promlert to untangle the web of discord between Pol Gen Torsak and his deputy, Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn.

The saga, stretching over four months, uncovered a tangled mess of conflicts and disarray within the Royal Thai Police at multiple levels. However, it remained a mystery whether these issues stemmed from a singular source or multiple origins, as Mr. Wissanu noted. The investigation laid bare that both Pol Gen Torsak and Pol Gen Surachate and their respective teams were knee-deep in the conflicts.

Diving into the nitty-gritty, the probe zeroed in on four major cases: a gripping 140-million-baht extortion case involving a gambling suspect known as “Pae” and a police commander; the shocking shooting of a highway police officer in Nakhon Pathom linked to the notorious Praween Chankhlai, aka Kamnan Nok; the intriguing Minnie online gambling network allegedly run by single mother Suchanun Suchaitchinsri, alias Minnie; and the notorious BNK Master gambling network. Adding to the drama, 10 additional cases were hurled at police stations and the Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases Region 7.

Curiously, some conflicts were fresh as daisies, while others were as old as a decade, said Mr. Wissanu during a press conference on Thursday.

All these hot potatoes have been transferred to state agencies, including the National Anti-Corruption Commission, the Department of Special Investigation, prosecutors, and the courts. Mr. Wissanu disclosed that Pol Gen Surachate was reinstated as deputy national police chief on April 18 after a brief sojourn to the Prime Minister’s Office starting March 20. A disciplinary committee was promptly assembled to probe into the allegations against Pol Gen Surachate, resulting in a temporary suspension from the police force.

“Since there were no further skeletons in the closet to investigate Pol Gen Torsak over, it was decided to reinstate him,” Mr. Wissanu announced.

“The fact-finding committee doesn’t hold the gavel to judge who is Moses and who is Pharaoh. The committee has simply laid the cards on the table for the prime minister, showcasing the labyrinth of difficulties and confusion regarding investigations by various agencies.”

Adding a twist, Mr. Wissanu mentioned, “It’s cloudy skies over which agency has the jurisdiction to investigate which blockbuster case. Henceforth, the Council of State and the Justice Ministry will be summoned to clarify the precise scope of authority for each agency handling these cases.”

Amidst the turmoil, Prime Minister Srettha has thrown down the gauntlet, urging both Pol Gen Torsak and Pol Gen Surachate to kiss and make up for the greater good of the nation. “Conflict within the Royal Thai Police must be nipped in the bud to restore public confidence,” Mr. Wissanu declared, emphasizing the need for unity and collaboration.

Optimism stirred, Mr. Wissanu asserted, “The government firmly believes the strife will dissipate over time. The past four months have been a whirlwind of negotiations, with the committee stepping in to play peacemaker.”

Back on March 20, Mr. Srettha had already taken a grand chess move, shifting both top brass to the Prime Minister’s Office to quell the escalating rift within the police hierarchy. Deputy national police chief Kitrat Phanphet was entrusted as the acting police chief during this stormy period. Rumors have also been swirling that Pol Gen Surachate might face charges linked to money laundering in connection with online gambling networks.

The rivalry peaked last September when Pol Gen Torsak and Pol Gen Surachate locked horns over the coveted national police chief position. Just two days before the Police Commission was set to crown the new chief, allegations surfaced that Pol Gen Surachate could be in cahoots with the infamous BNK Master gambling website and entangled in money laundering. While Pol Gen Surachate was busy playing defense, Pol Gen Torsak, who is set to retire this September, snagged the prestigious post.


  1. John Smith June 20, 2024

    This whole situation reeks of corruption. How can we trust the police when their own top brass are at each other’s throats?

    • Nina S. June 20, 2024

      Totally agree. It’s like a drama series but with real-life consequences. Scary if you think about it.

      • Tom June 20, 2024

        It’s not just in Thailand. Corruption is everywhere. But yeah, it’s especially worrying when it’s the police.

      • John Smith June 20, 2024

        Sadly, you’re right. Trust in law enforcement is global issue.

  2. Luke Anderson92 June 20, 2024

    The reinstatement doesn’t change the fact that these issues are deeply rooted. It’s just a band-aid solution. We need systemic change.

    • Olivia K. June 20, 2024

      Systemic change is easier said than done. Who do you trust to implement these changes when everyone seems compromised?

    • Ben H June 20, 2024

      They should bring in international oversight. Neutral parties might help clean up the mess.

      • Luke Anderson92 June 20, 2024

        That’s actually a good idea, Ben. But getting international bodies involved might be seen as an affront to national pride.

  3. Sophie Lee June 20, 2024

    It’s shocking how long these issues have been festering. What have previous administrations been doing?

    • Paul J. June 20, 2024

      Probably the same thing – nothing. It’s the same everywhere, governing bodies often sweep issues under the rug.

    • Sophie Lee June 20, 2024

      You’re right, unfortunately. It just makes me worry about what’s being hidden from the public.

  4. Maverick21 June 20, 2024

    Why wasn’t Pol Gen Surachate given a harsher punishment if there were allegations of money laundering?

    • Amanda D. June 20, 2024

      Good question. It’s probably due to his connections. High-ranking officials rarely face severe consequences.

    • Ellen R. June 20, 2024

      Connections or maybe lack of solid evidence? Sometimes accusations fly without proof.

    • Maverick21 June 20, 2024

      Amanda, you’re probably right. Ellen, that’s also a possibility. But either way, it leaves a bad impression.

  5. Ashley James June 20, 2024

    The Prime Minister’s move to shift both to the PM Office is strategic but temporary. What about long-term solutions?

    • Lucas P. June 20, 2024

      Long-term solutions need long-term planning, which politicians rarely focus on. They’re all about quick fixes.

    • Jill June 20, 2024

      Exactly, they prefer to deal with the immediate issues and let someone else handle the long-term fallout.

  6. Chan Lee June 20, 2024

    Hopefully, Pol Gen Torsak’s reinstatement means a step towards stability. But can we be sure this isn’t just a media show?

    • Gregory75 June 20, 2024

      Surely, there’s a lot of politicking. Stability will only come if the systemic issues are truly addressed.

    • Chan Lee June 20, 2024

      Absolutely, Gregory. We can only hope they go beyond surface-level solutions this time.

  7. Ethan June 20, 2024

    The fact that some conflicts date back a decade reveals deeper issues. Maybe a complete overhaul of the police system is needed.

    • Alice W. June 20, 2024

      A complete overhaul might be what’s needed but that’s an enormous task. Where will they begin?

    • Henry W. June 20, 2024

      Starting with internal audits and transparent investigations might help, but will they go for it?

  8. Rain11 June 20, 2024

    Why aren’t there more independent watchdogs in place to oversee these kinds of issues?

    • Sophia L. June 20, 2024

      Independent watchdogs can sometimes be toothless without real power. But yes, every bit helps.

    • Rain11 June 20, 2024

      Agreed, Sophia. Real authority and independence are key.

  9. Jordan June 20, 2024

    Transferring cases to other state agencies sounds like passing the buck. Who is really accountable?

  10. Serenity June 20, 2024

    The focus should be on transparency. The more the public knows, the harder it is to hide corruption.

  11. Timothy Ng June 20, 2024

    Some of these cases being newer and some a decade old shows they’ve been ignored for long. Who’s being held accountable?

  12. Mikael89 June 20, 2024

    The police should serve the public trust, not their personal vendettas. This issue tarnishes their reputation.

  13. Emily G. June 21, 2024

    A lot of those involved in top ranks in the police have their hands in other ventures. They need to be transparent about conflicts of interest.

  14. Orlando June 21, 2024

    How can the government ensure future police chiefs aren’t involved in similar scandals?

    • Carlos June 21, 2024

      Strict vetting processes and maintaining oversight might help, but it’s never foolproof.

    • Elena M. June 21, 2024

      Maybe creating a separate body to oversee the police appointments could help. Checks and balances are crucial.

  15. Gary June 21, 2024

    It’s a tangled mess they need to sort out. The public deserves better than this constant infighting among the police leaders.

  16. Phoenix R. June 21, 2024

    The infighting might be a distraction from bigger issues at play. What else aren’t we seeing?

    • Chris June 21, 2024

      Good point. Sometimes these public dramas hide even more significant, deeper problems.

    • Phoenix R. June 21, 2024

      Exactly. We need to question everything to remain vigilant.

  17. Robert June 21, 2024

    Kissing and making up sounds simplistic. Real unity requires real changes in the police culture.

  18. Lulu June 21, 2024

    What assurances do we have that this won’t happen again in the future? History repeats itself.

  19. Fiona June 21, 2024

    The government’s optimism might be misplaced. Resolution takes more than just hopeful thinking. It needs action.

  20. Harvey June 21, 2024

    Pol Gen Surachate might be reinstated, but what about trust? Can he regain it?

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