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Chief explains transfer of 41 navy personnel to bureau

Forty-one navy personnel transferred to the Immigration Bureau will be stationed on boats, not at land-based checkpoints, the immigration chief said on Friday.

Pol Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang clarified the matter after the documents transferring the 41 non-commissioned officers from the navy to the police force were leaked and shared on social media on Thursday.

The documents sparked criticism from police officers, many of whom would like to move to the Immigration Bureau for the higher allowances they would receive, but must pass knowledge and skills tests first. 

They questioned whether the same criteria were applied to the 41 navy personnel

Pol Lt Gen Sompong said the bureau had received 27 patrol boats in 2018 to improve its  efficiency in crime suppression and assisting in rescue operations.

The boats were also used to facilitate passage of tourists in immigration divisions 3-6, which have marine checkpoints  – such as Trat, Chon Buri, Narathiwat and Prachuap Khiri Khan.

At that time, the bureau had approved positions for officers to be stationed on patrol boats and at marine checkpoints, the immigration chief said.

The bureau had recently sought and received approval from the Royal Thai Police Office for the transfer of navy officers to the police force, to fill a shortage of personnel with boating handling and marine engine maintenance skills, he said.

He said no-one had been favoured in the transfers to the bureau, which were made to  ensure maximum beneft to the bureau and the country.

Only one batch of navy personnel were being transfered to work at the bureau. 

“Those navy personnel will be stationed on boats, not at checkpoints … the officers whose transfers are approved will not perform the same duties as other immigration officers,” Pol Lt Gen Sompong said. “Any questions regarding the transfers are welcome.” 

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