Col Thotsaporn Pathumya, Chief of the Kanchanaburi Muang Police, signed the order for their removal from the case yesterday (Feb 23).
The two officers are Pol Lt Col Chuwit Charoennak, deputy superintendent of investigation, and Pol Capt Jirayut Chatcharinkul, deputy investigation chief.
The order transfers the two police investigators to the CSD in Bangkok.
Col Chuwit was the head of the investigation in the B30-million lottery case involving a retired police officer and a school teacher, and Capt Jirayut was the case officer in charge.
The lottery tickets dispute and investigation has dragged on for more than three months, with both claimants – retired police lieutenant Jaroon Wimol and school teacher Preecha Kraikruan – continuing to insist they are the rightful owner of the set of five lottery tickets, No. 533726, that won a first prize in the Nov 1 draw last year.
Capt Jirayut has told CSD investigators who took over the case from Kanchanaburi investigators that he had been ordered verbally by his superior to alter the investigation report several times to give more weight to the teacher’s claim that he bought the winning tickets and lost them.
Capt Jirayut and Col Chuwit were among four investigators in the case who gave testimony to the CSD.
The lottery saga has also put Kanchanaburi Provincial Police Chief Maj Gen Sutthi Puangpikul in the hot seat. He was removed and transferred to an inactive post at police headquarters in Bangkok on Wednesday (Feb 21) for alleged interference in the case.
Gen Sutthi was implicated in testimony given by an unnamed police captain handling the case, who said the provincial commander had instructed him to question all witnesses to Mr Preecha’s claim, and make sure they were all in harmony.
Earlier, Atchariya Ruangrattanapong, chairman of the Crime Victims Assistance Club, submitted a petition to national police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, asking him to temporarily move the Kanchanaburi Police Chief to RTP headquarters in Bangkok.
Mr Atchariya said Kanchanaburi police officers in charge of the lottery tickets dispute case had been put under pressure by the involvement of the provincial police chief.
Lt Gen Thirirat Nongharnpitak, chief of the Central Investigation Bureau, said later yesterday that the CSD investigation was now 90% complete and the national police chief would announce the finding next Wednesday (Feb 28).
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