Thai DSI Chief Reassigned Amid Smuggled Pork Investigation

On Tuesday, the cabinet reassigned the head of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to serve as the deputy permanent secretary for justice, referencing a current investigation into pork smuggling within the organization as the reason for this move.

The reassignment was announced a day following an operation led by Pol Maj Suriya Singhakamol, the then-director-general of the DSI, who guided a team in inspecting the main offices of Makro, located in the Suan Luang district of Bangkok.

In response to his reassignment, Pol Maj Suriya expressed on the department’s Facebook page: “I do not regret it because I have done my best. I am honoured to work with everyone.”

The DSI’s ongoing investigation focuses on widespread pork smuggling in Thailand, highlighted by the seizure of a large quantity of smuggled pork in 161 refrigerated containers at Laem Chabang Port, Chon Buri province.

This influx of cheaper smuggled pork has harmed local pork prices, affecting local farmers and the country’s food security.

Prime Minister and Finance Minister Srettha Thavisin has called on the DSI to expedite the pork smuggling investigation and bring those responsible to justice.

Pol Maj Suriya had previously indicated the likely involvement of various government officials in the smuggling operation.

Government spokesperson Chai Wacharonke mentioned that the transfer was suggested by the Justice Ministry to enhance operational efficiency, and no successor was proposed. He added that the deputy directors-general of the DSI would be overseeing the department’s functions.

The DSI recently apprehended two pork importers suspected of smuggling and conducted a search at Makro’s headquarters, suspecting them of supplying smuggled pork and pig organs to the company.

Makro’s chief corporate communication officer, Siriporn Dechasingha, declared on Monday that the company sources pork and pig organs from registered local and international traders.

Siriporn Dechasingha stated that Makro had stopped purchasing pig liver earlier this year and other organs last year from the suspects due to poor quality, and that the company has longstanding relationships with its fish and seafood suppliers.

Makro, the wholesale business, is under the ownership of the Chearavanont family, which manages the agribusiness conglomerate Charoen Pokphand (CP).