Somchai, better known as Kamnan Poh or the “Godfather of Chon Buri”, used to rank as one of the most influential figures on the eastern seaboard. He was a Tambon (subdistrict) chief, a position which bestows the title Kamnan.
“Probation authorities are duty-bound to visit him to see for themselves if he really is ill… this is by no means a privilege,” said Prasarn Mahaleetrakul, director-general of the department.
His comment came after the Cabinet on Tuesday (April 17) appointed Somchai’s two sons to high-profile political positions.
Both men ran under the banner of the Pheu Thai Party in 2010 and won.
Sonthaya, a former tourism and sports minister, was named an adviser on political affairs to the prime minister while Somchai's other son Itthiphol, a former Pattaya mayor, was made assistant to the new tourism and sports minister.
Previously, Somchai’s daughter saw probation officers on his behalf and said her father required an oxygen mask, which made it difficult for him to travel, Mr Prasarn said.
If that was true he must submit a medical certificate as proof, the Corrections Department said.
Somchai’s two sons Itthiphol and Sonthaya were recruited earlier this week as political operatives as part of the government campaign to ensure that Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha remains in office after an election.
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