Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin expressed a desire for the police force to focus on serving the general public instead of influential individuals, according to deputy national police chief Surachate Hakparn, as conveyed during their Sunday meeting.
Chief Surachate encountered the prime minister at the distinguished Phitsanulok Mansion, the official home of the head of government.
There, they reviewed the incident where a highway police officer was fatally shot by an associate of a regional official amidst a gathering at the official’s residence in Nakhon Pathom province on the previous Wednesday evening.
Following the discussion, Pol Gen Surachate relayed that the prime minister instructed him to curb the influence of powerful individuals.
“The prime minister emphasised the suppression of mafias and influential people in localities so that [ordinary] people have confidence in their own safety. Police must not support those influential figures… The prime minister said police must be on the people’s side,” Pol Gen Surachate conveyed.
He further noted that the officers present at the Nakhon Pathom dinner party had been dishonest during the preliminary investigation subsequent to Wednesday’s tragic incident.
“OK you can lie but we have interrogation, investigation and clear information,” Chief Surachate said.
He verified that the culprits would encounter legal action, provided there was substantial proof of their wrongdoing.
The collected evidence encompasses a CCTV server situated at the local administrator’s residence. A corrections officer reportedly attempted to obscure the crime by discarding it into a body of water, mentioned Pol Gen Surachate.
He was referencing the surveillance footage found at the dwelling of Praween Chankhlai, the 35-year-old subdistrict chief (kamnan) located in Nakhon Pathom.
The device was presently dry, with expectations to fully restore its data in a span of three to four days, Chief Surachate informed.
“Some police officers will definitely be held responsible in the case,” he asserted.
Per his statement, the police officers who participated in the meeting at Mr. Praween’s residence were categorized into three groups.
The first constituted the members who evacuated the premises immediately post the gunfire incident.
The subsequent faction encompassed those who tampered with evidence and escorted Mr. Praween away from the site of the incident. The remaining faction hastily transported the injured officer to the hospital.
In relation to the interrogation of witnesses and suspects, Pol Gen Surachate indicated that each one implicated Mr. Praween as the one who ordered the shooting.
“There was a request for a police transfer. When it was rejected, he ordered the shooting… He was so close to local police for so long that he was excessively confident. Today this must be eliminated,” Chief Surachate expressed.
Despite his persistent denials of all accusations, Mr. Praween couldn’t escape justice, stated the deputy national police chief.