Phuketwan first encountered the major general back in 2008, when he was a colonel based in Ranong and connected to the inhumane ''pushbacks'' of boatpeople from Thailand.
In January 2009, the South China Morning Post newspaper in Hong Kong published a photograph of the colonel on Koh Sai Dang - Red Sand Island - where Rohingya were held in barbed wire enclosures before being pushed out to sea in boats with no means of propulsion.
Hundreds are thought to have died before survivors washed up in two boats, one on the Indian territory of Andaman and Nicobar islands and the other in Indonesia.
Phuketwan journalists Chutima Sidasathian and Alan Morison worked with the Post to break the news of the Rohingya pushbacks from Thailand.
The Prime Minister at the time, Abhisit Vejjajiva, promised an investigation, but no probe followed.
The colonel's career flourished and he continued to hold the senior position in the Army's Internal Security Operations Command, based on the Thai-Burmese border, north of Phuket.
The 58-year-old colonel has since been promoted and moved from Ranong to become a senior Royal Thai Army adviser.
The major general becomes the most senior official to have been accused in the month since the human-trafficking scandal was revealed with the discovery of scores of graves at secret jungle camps along the Thai-Malaysia border.
Scores more graves have also been discovered on the Malaysian side of the border, with an unknown number of trafficking victims stranded at sea because of the breach in the people-trade pipeline from Burma and Bangladesh.
Back in 2008-2009, any boatpeople apprehended along Thailand's Andaman coast were trucked north to be given over to ISOC, which kept the Rohingya in secret on Koh Sai Dang until there were sufficient numbers to justify towing out to sea the unwanted arrivals on large, obsolete vessels.
The boatpeople were then cut adrift.
The ''pushback'' policy was replaced with the ''help on'' policy soon after the Phuketwan journalists, working with the South China Morning Post, revealed what was happening.
Reports tonight said Major General Manat had surrendered to police but Phuketwan was unable to confirm that he had given himself up.
The Na Thawi Provincial Court in Songkhla province agreed on Sunday to a police request for the warrant. Eighty-two warrants have so far been issued, with 51 suspects detained.
WATCH How Trafficking Works
Phuketwan Investigative reporter Chutima Sidasathian, still being sued for criminal defamation over a Reuters paragraph: ''It's worse and worse, day by day. Nobody cares''.
LISTEN The Rohingya Solution
A tragedy almost beyond words has been unfolding in Thailand, where a human smuggling network is thriving with the full knowledge of some corrupt law enforcement officers. Alan Morison of Phuketwan talks to Australia's AM program.
Declaration of Interest: In July, Phuketwan journalists Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian face the continuation of a trial over criminal defamation and Computer Crimes Act charges brought by the Royal Thai Navy, citing a 41-word paragraph from a Pulitzer prize-winning Reuters special report on the Rohingya boatpeople.
The paragraph does not mention the Royal Thai Navy. Reuters and other news organisations in Thailand that published the same paragraph have not been charged. The charges were laid before the military takeover in Thailand.