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Gunshots pepper Big Joke’s car

Big Joke's car

A gunman fired at least seven shots at former immigration police chief Surachet Hakparn’s parked car while he was in a nearby restaurant in Bangkok’s Bang Rak district on Monday night.

The shooting was reported to Bang Rak about 9.30 pm.

The white Lexus SUV belonging to the once-popular police officer was parked outside the Surawong Sarika Co parking lot. Seven bullet holes were found in the doors on the left side of the vehicle.

Pol Lt Gen Surachet, known as Big Joke, was not in the car at the time. He was at a business meeting in a nearby restaurant.

The adviser to the Prime Minister’s Office said after seeing the bullet holes in his car that he was certain the shots had been intended to take his life. However, he had no conflict with anyone, he said. (more below)

Pol Lt Gen Surachet rose rapidly through the police ranks during the five-year rule of the military after the 2014 coup, due to his close ties with Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon.

A close up of the bullet holes in the former immigration police chief’s car. (Police photo)

He was chief of the Police Immigration Bureau until last year, when he was suddenly shunted out of law enforcement circles to the civilian position of adviser at the Prime Minister’s Office. The reason for his sudden fall from grace was never explained and remains obscure.

Gen Prawit said on Tuesday he would not jump to conclusions about Monday’s night’s attack, whether it was a set-up or a personal conflict. He was awaiting the police investigation report.

Deputy national police chief Wirachai Songmetta said on Tuesday forensic experts would examine the bullets extracted from the car doors, to determine what type of firearm was used.

Witnesses said a person on a motorcycle had fired the shots, he said. Pol Lt Gen Surachet would be called in to give information to police on Tuesday.



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