The super agent who investigated the Daniel Sancho case turns himself in on corruption charges

A gift from heaven for the defense of Daniel Sancho, when there is exactly one week left before the start of the trial on the Thai island of Samui.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
01 April 2024 Monday 22:22
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The super agent who investigated the Daniel Sancho case turns himself in on corruption charges

A gift from heaven for the defense of Daniel Sancho, when there is exactly one week left before the start of the trial on the Thai island of Samui. This Tuesday, super-agent Surachate Hakparn, who led the police investigation of the case, had to surrender at a Bangkok police station, after three times ignoring court summons for alleged corruption.

Surachate, better known by his alias, Big Joke, concluded at the end of last summer that the Spanish chef had premeditatedly murdered his alleged lover, the Colombian surgeon Edwin Arrieta, before dismembering him, for which "capital punishment" awaited him. .

On the other hand, the Madrid office that has assumed the representation of the son of actor Rodolfo Sancho considers that it was an involuntary homicide, even in self-defense. A very risky bet, whose success will depend largely on being able to discredit the investigation of the case, which according to these lawyers was contaminated by countless irregularities. The fact that the then accuser has become the accused, with his integrity in question, plays in favor of this strategy.

In fact, two weeks ago, Surachate was already suspended from his duties, as number two in the Royal Thai Police, by direct order of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin. A day earlier, Big Joke had been summoned to testify, accused of receiving bribes in exchange for allowing the operations of a Thai betting website, despite the fact that gambling is prohibited in the country. Srettha has also suspended Big Joke's superior, nicknamed Big Tor, in the same way - assignment without duties at the seat of government. It was known that the two got along like cat and dog, even before Big Tor beat Big Joke as police number one, last October.

Despite the zero workload, Surachate ignored a second court summons, last week, and a third and final one, yesterday, Monday. He had even said in public that he had a pending family trip to England. For all these reasons, this Tuesday afternoon, a judge signed an arrest warrant. Upon learning of this, the super agent - who according to some sources had already purchased a plane ticket to the south of Thailand - reportedly showed up at a Bangkok police station in a Toyota Alphard, to testify, thus avoiding his arrest. In fact, he came out after two and a half hours, without revealing the content of his statement, but asking that the presumption of his innocence be respected.

Big Joke has been, for years, the most publicized of the Thai researchers. He earned part of his fame by persecuting, precisely, foreigners who believed themselves unpunished in his vacation paradise, while cultivating the friendship of generals. However, while he was solving media cases - paying per diems to the reporters who agreed to cover them - he was also gaining a reputation for his love of money. Lately, he had opened an office at the Police Club so that any individual could explain his problem to him, without going through the police station.

The court made the decision to execute the arrest warrant against Surachate, as requested by the Bangkok Metropolitan Police, after considering that there was "evidence" to believe that he had committed a crime linked to money laundering on an online betting site.

Last February, Surachate was already identified by the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB), one of the main police departments, as one of the five agents suspected of being part of a bribery scheme that would have distributed the equivalent of 7 .7 million euros. The CIB then indicated that the police officers allegedly involved would be charged with accepting bribes, dereliction of duty and, possibly, money laundering.

Running the illegal betting site was a 25-year-old woman, Thanyanan Sucharitchinsri, known as Minnie. She would have justified the large transfers to some of Surachate's direct subordinates as "loans." "They earn very little," she reportedly said, also declaring herself upset by the leak of private photos with them.

The case is linked to the police search that occurred last September at the home of "Big Joke" in Bangkok, at a time when he was running to be appointed director of the National Police. To the surprise of some, it was not one house, but several. His and, around it, others also belonging to him, in which several of his subordinates in the police force were staying. Esprit de corps

It is not the first time that "Big Joke" - who was recently one of the six deputy directors of the Thai Police - is at the center of controversy, since in 2019 he was removed from the force without explanation and a year later his car was shot

In any case, once again, Big Joke exuded confidence at the end of the afternoon, leaving with bail. Not in vain, his other alias is "the cat with seven lives."

This possible turn in favor of the interests of Daniel Sancho occurs on the same day that the Senate of Thailand has approved the legalization, with a single vote against and seven abstentions, of weddings between homosexuals. If the law passes the following procedures, at the end of the year Thailand could join a still restricted club in Asia, since only Nepal and Taiwan have preceded it.

On the other hand, the decades-long cruelty with online betting sites may not have much further to go. The current prime minister is the biggest defender of the legalization of casinos, which he seems to be getting closer to. As you can see, in Thailand, blood rarely reaches the river. When it does, all is not lost.

(Below, images of the moment when Big Joke was handed over at the Tao Poon police station in Bangkok)