Big Joke released on bail after surrendering to an arrest warrant at Tao Poon Police Station at 5.30 pm. He appeared calm and maintained his innocence. Amidst intense media interest, the top cop asserted his readiness to face the legal process.

Deputy National Police Chief General Surachate Hakparn was released on Tuesday evening at Tao Poon Police Station after being granted bail. The senior police officer surrendered to investigators at the station after the Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against him on Tuesday afternoon. General Surachate or Big Joke faces money laundering charges linked with illegal gambling website BNK Master. The drama on Tuesday came after the top cop had evaded three police summonses since March 17th last. 

General Surachate Hakparn emerged after being granted bail at Tao Poon Police Station at 8 pm on Tuesday. Previously, he arrived at the Police Station at 5.30 pm. Afterwards, he was escorted by supporters and senior police officers including Police Major General Namkiat Theerarojanapong, a subordinate officer.

After turning himself in at Tao Poon Police Station on Tuesday evening at 5.30 pm, General Surachate Hakparn emerged at 8 pm. Surrounding him were well wishers including key officers who came to support him.

He spoke in brief to waiting reporters. Thailand’s most famous police officer told them that he was still innocent.

Indeed, he would remain so until a court decided on his case.

Arrest warrant confirmed by the Criminal Court on Tuesday afternoon. General Surachate arrived at Tao Poon Police Station on Tuesday evening at 5.30 pm

Police General Surachate Hakparn, popularly known as ‘Big Joke,’ had just been released on bail by investigators. 

Previously, at 4.40 pm a senior police officer, Police Lieutenant Colonel Sarawut Buddee confirmed that an arrest warrant was issued by the Criminal Court.

It came after extended deliberations and the appearance of a senior Metropolitan Police Bureau officer before the bench.

Afterwards, the court said it was satisfied that the evidence before it warranted an arrest warrant. The offence before it was one of money laundering linked to the BNK Master website.

Questioned by investigators on the BNK Master case

General Surachate, on Tuesday, consequently faced questioning. At length, regarding his alleged involvement in the money laundering case linked to the online gambling website. 

Big shock: Arrest warrant issued by court in Bangkok against Big Joke or General Surachate Hakparn

Despite the gravity of the situation, Big Joke appeared confident and poised. He asserted his innocence and readiness to confront the legal process.

The media waited on April 2, 2024, at Tao Poon Police Station after General Surahate arrived in a Toyota Alphard vehicle. He went inside to the 2nd floor. The popular policeman surrendered within minutes of the court’s decision.

Afterwards, Big Joke was subjected to nearly two hours of interrogation by investigators. They were probing the BNK Master gambling website case and related money laundering activities.

In short, the sum involved is reported at ฿300 million.

Big Joke emerged at 8 pm, released on bail. He took time to speak briefly with reporters. He appeared at ease and relaxed as he affirmed his innocence

Emerging from the police station via a side door, Big Joke addressed the media.

Significantly, he refrained from delving into specifics. However, he affirmed his adherence to the legal process. 

The top cop emphasised his innocence. He stressed that until a court verdict is reached, he remains innocent according to Thai legal principles.

Responding to queries about his compliance with fingerprinting procedures, Big Joke clarified that he followed standard protocols. 

He dispelled rumours to the contrary.

When questioned about the potential impact of the arrest warrant on his position, he appeared relaxed and confident. Certainly, he displayed no apprehension about potential disciplinary measures.

Procedure would determine his next steps relating to his assignment to the Prime Minister’s Office since March 20th when Mr Srettha intervened in the affair

Amidst speculation about reporting to the Prime Minister, Mr Srettha Thavisin, Big Joke explained that procedural steps dictated his course of action. 

The deputy police chief is currently assigned to the Prime Minister’s Office. This is since March 20th and a dramatic intervention by the PM. At length, he is known to be working from Government House.

Big Joke survives an alleged effort to discredit him. PM appoints temporary police chief and enquiry panel

Coy on commenting on whether the pursuit of an arrest warrant was bullying, he urged adherence to the justice process.

Significantly, he suggested that his discussions with investigators on the case did not touch on the substance of the allegations. 

Nonetheless, he thought it too premature to discuss the matter with reporters.

Accompanying Big Joke was Police Major General Namkiat Theerarojanapong, a close subordinate. The senior officer reiterated his full support for his superior before departing from the scene.

The developments surrounding Big Joke’s case have captivated public attention in Thailand. This is the third occasion the top cop has had his career placed under a cloud.

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Further reading:

Big shock: Arrest warrant issued by court in Bangkok against Big Joke or General Surachate Hakparn

Unprecedented crisis for the Royal Thai Police as Srettha baulks despite lawyer’s damning claims of corruption

Bangkok police still targeting Big Joke over BNK Master website case. Arrest warrant considered

Big Joke survives an alleged effort to discredit him. PM appoints temporary police chief and enquiry panel

Big Joke’s police career on the brink as police chief threatens to suspend the high profile top cop from job

Top cop Big Joke fights for his name as summons rumours swirl around him over gambling site network

Top cop Big Joke’s career suffers setback as Torsak gets top job after Police Commission meeting