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General news >> Thursday February 22, 2007

Officers close to govt promoted


The Police Commission yesterday approved a police reshuffle in which Metropolitan Police commissioner Viroj Chantarangsi is shifted to the provinces in the Lower North of the country as commissioner of Region 6 police. At the same time, high-ranking police officers with close connections to acting national police chief Seripisuth Temiyavej and the interim government have been promoted to significant posts, a Police Commission source said.

Those in the circles of former police chief Kowit Wattana and deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra have been transferred to inactive posts, said the source.

Replacing Pol Lt-Gen Viroj as the new Metropolitan Police chief is outgoing Region 6 police commissioner Pol Lt-Gen Adisorn Nonsi.

Pol Lt-Gen Viroj was a classmate of Pol Gen Kowit, who was recently transferred to the secretariat of the Council for National Security (CNS) after he came under criticism for failing to make any progress in investigations into the New Year bombings in the capital.

Pol Lt-Gen Adisorn, the new city police chief, previously served as a close aide of Pol Gen Seripisuth. He headed the Crime Suppression Division when Pol Gen Seripisuth was commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau, the source said.

Pol Gen Seripisuth yesterday chaired the Police Commission meeting on behalf of Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont.

The police chief said he would send the reshuffle list approved by the Police Commission to the prime minister today. He could then make any changes to the list before giving his stamp of approval.

On the reshuffle list, Pol Gen Achirawit Suphanphesat, who earlier tendered his resignation from the post of deputy national police chief, has been replaced by assistant national police chief Pol Lt-Gen Charnwut Watchrapuk.

Pol Lt-Gen Thawornsak Thepchatree, an elder brother of Pol Gen Seripisuth's wife, was appointed adviser to the national police office. Previously, it was widely anticipated that Pol Lt-Gen Thawornsak would succeed Pol Lt-Gen Viroj, who has been criticised by Pol Gen Seripisuth since he took office as acting police chief.

Pol Lt-Gen Jettanakorn Napeetaphat, who is married to a sister of the prime minister's wife, was entrusted to tackle southern violence as the Region 9 commissioner. He replaces Pol Lt-Gen Adul Saengsingkaew who was earlier Region 9 commissioner and assistant police chief concurrently.

Meanwhile, Pol Gen Seripisuth yesterday opened 77 complaint centres nationwide to deal with public grievances against police conduct.

Senior police equivalent to at least police major-generals will supervise the complaint centres, located in every province.

Complaints can be lodged by calling the hotline number 1194, 02-251-2981, writing to PO Box 1234 Rong Muang, Bangkok 10000, or by posting them on the website

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