Zealous cop chose 'wrong time' to enforce the law

A tree fell on a building at Thak Khien School in Hua Sai district in Nakhon Si Thammarat after tropical storm Pabuk entered the province on Jan 4. (Photo by Nujaree Raekrun)

NAKHON SI THAMMARAT: An over-zealous police officer has been transferred to another station for attempting to enforce the law at the wrong time.

Provincial police chief Thakoon Netpukkana on Friday announced that Pol Lt Col Pairoj Muangsuvan, who was based at Khao Phang Krai police station, was being shunted to another station in the province.

The decision followed complaints by local residents that lumberjacks helping them repair storm-damaged Kha Khien School in Hua Sai district on Tuesday should not have been arrested.

They were held for having unregistered chainsaws in their possession, but the district chief intervened to save them.

Owners of chainsaws with blades more than 12 inches in length are required by law to register them at offices under the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, a law intended to preserve forests from uncontrolled felling. 

The school was damaged by tropical storm Pabuk, which made landfall in the province on Jan 4.

Pol Maj Gen Thakoon said he decided to transfer his subordinate to prevent community anger escalating any further.

"He went to check on the chainsaws at a time when the villagers were working together to repair the damage. It was not the right time," the provincial police chief commented, and refused to say where the officer was moved to.

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