Police board appoints Thaksin in-law as new police chief

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BANGKOK, Oct 19 – The Board of the Royal Thai Police on Wednesday unanimously agreed to appoint Pol Gen Priewpan Damapong, elder brother of fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s former wife, Pojaman na Pombejra, as new police chief.

Police board spokesman Pol Maj-Gen Ake Angsananont said the Wednesday meeting chaired by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra resolved to appoint Gen Priewpan to lead the national police bureau as proposed by the premier.

The spokesman said the appointment will take effect after the royal endorsement.

Gen Ake added the meeting also agreed to open the new position of commander of the national police bureau, who will be a coordinator with the prime minister on the government’s policies.

Regarding concerns over the current flooding, Gen Ake disclosed that the premier also instructed Gen Priewpan in the police board meeting to recruit all police officers, police cadets and nursing students to help flood-hit victims as much as possible, especially to join the operations to reinforce the temporary dykes in at-risk areas.

Gen Priewpan is a brother of Pojaman na Pombejra, ex-wife of fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted in a Sept 2006 coup.

The appointment came after the transfer of former police chief Pol Gen Wichean Potephosree to become secretary-general of the National Security Council.