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Thailand’s Deputy Police Chief faces arrest warrant after evading 3 summons

April 4, 2024 Thailand Crime & Legal

In the investigation into the involvement of the Royal Thai Police with the online gaming platform BNKMaster, attempts were made to contact Surachate, also referred to as “Big Joke,” the deputy commissioner of the police. Transactional financial data connected him to the previously described network.

On April 1, 2024, Surachate received a third summons to address the allegations. Conversely, Surachate refrained from appearing before the inquiry panel and did not address the allegations.

Under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, investigators from the Metropolitan Police Bureau filed a petition at the Criminal Court on Ratchadaphisek Road on Tuesday to obtain an arrest warrant for “Big Joke” in relation to claims of conspiracy and money laundering. After giving the petition some thought, the court authorized the issuance of Surachate’s arrest warrant.

The reasoning presented by the court was supported by credible testimony from key witnesses attesting to Surachate’s illegal activity and his evasive behavior in response to the investigative team’s summonses. Moreover, the subject matter was within the purview of the Criminal Court.

Surachate is suspected of working with three other police officers and a civilian to launder money for the gaming website BNKMaster, which was taken down the previous year. Surachate was called in for interrogation by National Police Chief Pol General Torsak “Big Tor” Sukvimol after arrest warrants for the other individuals implicated in the case were filed.

But on March 17, Surachate wasn’t home when the first summons came. Internal conflicts within the police department persisted despite statements of reconciliation for “Big Tor” and “Big Joke” on March 20, as seen by the second summons sent out on March 22.

Not long after the issuance of the second summons, a well-known attorney who was allegedly associated with Surachate disclosed financial links to the internet gaming platforms BNKMaster and VENUS Master, linking them to “Big Tor” and his relatives.

The police sent out a last summons for April 1, 2024, on March 27. However, Surachate’s legal team said that as of that date, he had not received any summonses. Surachate met with the investigation team at approximately 5:30 p.m. after the issuance of an arrest order.

Original story by: Asia News Network

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