The Police Service Commission held a meeting yesterday (Sept 27) to deliberate the reshuffle list involving officers in positions ranging from commanders to deputy commissioners general.
The two-hour meeting was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, linked by the public to Gen Surachate and his rapid career rises.
A source at the meeting said Gen Surachate would be promoted to Immigration Bureau chief, a position which holds the rank of police lieutenant general.
He would replace Lt Gen Sutthiphong Wongpin, who is tipped to be made the Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner.
National police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, speaking after the meeting, said those attending had decided on promoting Gen Surachate due to his achievements. Gen Chakthip, however, refused to disclose the new position of Gen Surachate as it was pending royal endorsement.
He said this year’s reshuffle involves 255 positions. At present, the most senior officers in the Royal Thai Police are members of Classes 35 and 36 of the Royal Police Cadet Academy (RPCA), he noted.
Those who are to be promoted to become bureau commissioners do not need to have worked for that bureau before, the police chief said.
Police lieutenant generals deal with management work and they can use their knowledge and expertise to work in any bureau, Gen Chakthip noted.
Gen Surachate has recently been involved in controversies surrounding rape claims on Koh Tao in his current post as Tourist Police deputy chief.
He was earlier tipped to be made commissioner of Bangkok’s Metropolitan Police Bureau or the Tourist Police Bureau.
The 48-year-old officer from Songkhla is a member of the RPCA's Class 47.
He rose through the ranks to become acting commander of the Office of the Commissioner-General, in charge of policy coordination with the prime minister.
He was later made Deputy Commander of the Patrol and Special Operation Division and then Chief of the Office of the Commissioner-General.
He was subsequently made commander of the Tourist Police Division and the Patrol and Special Operations Division.
Last month, Gen Surachate was named assistant spokesman for Gen Prawit. A source familiar with the matter revealed Gen Surachate retains strong ties with the deputy premier.
In the reshuffle list presented at the meeting, the source said Pol Lt Gen Chaiwat Ketworachai, an assistant national police chief, would be made a Deputy Commissioner-General. He is from the same RPCA Class 36 as Gen Chakthip.
The five new assistants to the police chief are: Pol Lt Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 3; Pol Lt Gen Suwat Chaengyodsuk, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 1; Pol Lt Gen Roy Ingpairoj, commissioner of the Police Education Bureau; Pol Lt Gen Piya Uthayo, chief of the RPCA; as well as Pol Lt Gen Thawitchart Palasak, chief of Provincial Police Region 6.
Meanwhile, Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) Deputy Commissioner Pol Maj Gen Sutin Suppuang is tipped to become the new CIB chief.
Crime Suppression Division Deputy Commander Pol Col Jiraphob Phooridej is in line to be made division chief.
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