Pol Maj-Gen Paween bares all why he left the police service
Pol Maj-Gen Paween Pongsirin, former deputy commissioner of 8th provincial police bureau and chief investigator of the Rohingya human trafficking cases, has quit the police service after his request for his boss to reconsider his abrupt transfer to become deputy commissioner of the Southern Border Provinces Police Operations Centre.
“I have tendered my resignation letter to Pol Lt-Gen Chalermphan Arjalaboon, commissioner of SBPPOC on November 5 because my family feels that it will be unsafe for me to work in the three southernmost provinces. I have visited my office there and talked to some of my men there. They said it is safe in the SBPPOC but, once outside the centre, no one knows it is safe or not,” Pol Maj-Gen Paween told Isranews in an exclusive interview on November 7.
He said that it would be pointless for him to be working at the SBPPOC if he cannot work there. “The question of feeling unsafe does not stem from the concern from the unrest situation or from the separatists. For that, I am not afraid. What I am concerned is the feeling of unsafe from my investigation into the Rohingya human trafficking cases because several suspects are influential people and they have many connections in the localities,” he added.
Pol Maj-Gen Paween admitted that he felt indifferent to a recent remark from the national police chief, Pol Gen Chakthip Chaichinda, that he would not reconsider Paween’s transfer.
However, he said he had his own reason for leaving the police service for his own safety and for the relief of his family.
Despite his resignation which will take effect on December 6 in accordance with the rule which requires 30 days of advance notification, the embattled police officer said he would continue working as normal for the time being and coordinating with the public prosecution regarding the human trafficking cases.
As for the men in his investigating team, he admitted he had no idea whether his resignation would have any impacts on them but he didn’t want them to feel demoralized of his removal from the human trafficking investigation.
Pol Col Triwit Sripapa, deputy commander of Songkhla provincial police and a member of the investigation team, said he felt sorry for Paween’s removal from the team praising his dedication to the human trafficking cases.
He admitted that officers working on the cases who number almost a hundred would certainly feel demoralized because they didn’t know what would happen to them next.
On November 3, Pol Maj-Gen Paween held a press conference at the office of the Attorney-General, about the risks posed against police officers involved in the investigating into the Rohingya human trafficking network in the South.
He said that some of the detained suspects are influential, have connections and are ready to harm the investigators and the witnesses if there is a chance. He said he had warned his men to be cautious whenever they were travelling.
He said that several witnesses had been intimidated. He also admitted that asking for arrest warrants from the court was not easy because the court was very cautious and wanted to make sure that the arrest warrants were justified.
So far, 153 arrest warrants have been issued by the court and 91 suspects have been detained. They include several local politicians and businessmen as well as some army officers.
The investigating team has decided to prosecute all the 91 suspects and the cases have been submitted to the Office of the Attorney-General on October 1. On October 9, the Na Thawee provincial court announced an order of the Supreme Court to transfer all the cases to be tried in Bangkok by the Criminal Court’s human trafficking department which was set up in August to fasttrack human trafficking cases.
Caption : Pol Maj-Gen Paween Pongsiri