Gen Prayut said the Police Commission meeting yesterday approved the move. The new post, equal in rank to an assistant police chief position, was created at its previous meeting on Friday - but the prime minister denied it was tailor-made for any officer in particular. The position was needed to work out a strategy for the reorganisation and reform of the police force, Gen Prayut said.
He declined to say if the RTP would probe Pol Lt Gen Surachate.
Gen Prayut said last Tuesday the transfer was linked to the inquiry into Pol Lt Gen Surachate that began at the PM’s Office.
Pol Lt Gen Surachate could not be reached for comment.
The meeting yesterday approved the reshuffle of 75 positions for senior officers that will take effect next month. Media interest focused on which position Pol Lt Gen Surachate would take after he was transferred back to the Pathumwan headquarters from an inactive post at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk said the transfer of Pol Lt Gen Surachate back to the RTP was done according to Police Commission rules. He would act as an adviser to the national police chief in drafting strategies. Pol Lt Gen Surachate was the Immigration Bureau chief before he was moved to the Prime Minister’s Office in 2019 for reasons which are unclear.
Having been transferred to the Prime Minister’s Office in 2019, he was seldom seen in public until the night of Jan 6 last year when he filed a police complaint that a gunman on a motorcycle fired multiple shots at his Lexus sedan which was parked in Soi Sarika near Suriwong Road. No one was injured in the shooting.
Pol Lt Gen Surachate was at a business meeting at a nearby restaurant. There were eight bullet holes on the left side of the vehicle, one in the front passenger door and seven in the rear door, according to police. Security camera footage showed two men wearing crash helmets on a motorcycle without a licence plate in the area shortly before.