The return of Lieutenant General Surachate Hakparn aka “Big Joke”, former Immigration Commissioner, to the police is now official: effective March 27, he was transferred from the Prime Minister’s Office to the Royal Thai Police in the position of counselor.
Surachate’s transfer was carried out by Royal Decree published in the Royal Gazette on March 28.
The order was co-signed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. On March 11, the police commission had approved a new position at police headquarters, a level 9 adviser, leading to speculation that the position had been created specifically for the lieutenant general.
Surachate, also known as ‘Big Joke’, used to be the head of the Thai Immigration Service. He was suddenly transferred to an inactive post as an advisor to the Prime Minister’s Office in 2019 for reasons never officially disclosed.
The circumstances were just as unclear as was the attack on his Lexus SUV in January last year. Surachate himself claimed in response that the attack was related to the controversial purchase of an expensive biometric identification system by the immigration authorities, a decision he rejected.