Former Immigration chief Surachate Hakparn, aka Big Joke, could be about to make a sensational return to the Royal Thai Police Force. Surachate is the most high-profile police officer in Thailand’s history starting off from the bottom before he rose to the top as the top dog of the Tourist Police Bureau.
Day in day out, week in week out, his name was always in the news with criminals in cuffs. As well as arresting illegal foreigners in Thailand, he also tried to crackdown on corruption within the Immigration Bureau by introducing the “no tip” policy, which saw stickers and banners bearing the same words placed at immigration border checkpoints and offices throughout Thailand.
He became synonymous with frequent and high-profile arrests of foreign criminals and visa overstayers, under the crime fighting campaign of “Good Guys in Bad Guys Out”.
Backed by a savvy media team, he featured in news stories almost daily and built up a large following on various social media platforms.
On October 2018, Surachate moved to the Immigration Bureau hot sea where he became the rising star and golden boy of the Royal Thai Police.
However, just when it seemed like Big Joke’s stock couldn’t get any higher, in April this year he was suddenly and dramatically removed from his position as immigration chief and transferred and demoted to a civilian role as a special adviser within the Prime Minister’s Office.
This appointment would be a remarkable turnaround for Big Joke, whose career seemed all but over after he was unexpectedly and unceremoniously removed from his position as head of Thailand’s Immigration Bureau in April this year.
Reasons for his removal from Immigration are still not known.
The news comes after Big Joke was spotted earlier this week making what is now a rare public appearance.
On Thursday, he was photographed visiting a temple in Nakhon Sri Thammarat.