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Deputy chief of Thailand’s national police surrenders for arrest on money laundering charge

BANGKOK (AP) — A deputy chief of Thailand’s national police force involved in many high-profile cases turned himself in to fellow officers on Tuesday after a court issued a warrant for his arrest on money laundering charges.

Police Gen. Surachate Hakparn had recently been suspended from his duties due to his involvement in infighting among the department’s top ranks.

Thai media reported that the Bangkok Criminal Court approved an arrest warrant for Surachate on money laundering charges earlier Tuesday. Public broadcaster Thai PBS and Thai Rath, the country’s largest circulation newspaper, reported that the court issued the warrant because Surachate failed to report for questioning after three summonses had been issued for him.

Surachate went to Bangkok’s Taopoon neighborhood police station Tuesday evening to hear the charges against him, and after several hours emerged to tell reporters he had come to comply with the warrant and would let due process take its course.

“I’m not worried,” he commented as he jostled his way through a scrum of reporters before getting into a waiting car. He said he had been released on bail but did not specify the amount.

The arrest occurred less than two weeks after Surachate was suspended at the same time as national police chief Torsak Sukvimol. Their suspensions followed a very public feud surrounding accusations that Surachate had involvement in an illegal online gambling operation. Allegations against Surachate and his counter-allegations appeared to be signs of a serious conflict within the highest echelons of the police department.

Surachate’s residence in Bangkok was raided in September last year in an operation police said was related to an illegal online gambling network. Eight police