Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered an investigation into the alleged murder of a drug suspect by some police officers from Nakhon Sawan main district.
Led by a top officer, the police are said to have smothered the drug suspect with a plastic bag in a failed attempt to extort 2 million baht from him.
Prime Minister Prayut ordered this special investigation after a clip depicting the alleged incident was shared on Facebook and went viral.
Prime Minister Prayut ordered National Police Chief Suwat Jangyodsuk to conduct the fact-finding investigation against Colonel Thitisan Utthanaphon, Superintendent of Muang Police Station in Nakhon Sawan, in order to get to the bottom of this case.
“The prime minister wants the national police chief to investigate the clip and do justice to the death,” said a government source.
Shortly after receiving the order, Major General Suwat said he had already seen the clip and that an investigation was underway to determine exactly what had happened. He said he ordered Police Inspector General Visanu Prasattongosoth to investigate the clip.
The move came after lawyer Sittha Biabangkerd yesterday posted the clip on his Facebook page in which a police officer pulled a plastic bag over the head of a man wearing a yellow T-shirt in front of other police officers. The clip showed the man resisting violently.
The lawyer wrote that he received the clip from a junior police officer who sought his help in forwarding the clip to the national police chief. The young officer asked the lawyer to follow up on the case before he and his colleagues were killed, Sittha said.
The clip sparked a barrage of condemnation from netizens against the senior police officer and the men in the clip.
On Tuesday evening, Major General Suwat ordered all officers involved in the clip to be fired from the police.
“After seeing the clip, we believe that they [the officers involved] committed an offence. The clip is real. An order will be issued to fire them from the police and a serious disciplinary investigation will be launched,” the police chief said. .
Initial investigation revealed that 13 police officers were involved, General Suwat said.
He ordered Border Police, Immigration Officers and Region 6 Provincial Police to keep a close eye on them to prevent them from escaping prosecution.
The police chief said General Visanu Pol has already met Colonel Thitisan, the accused officer in the clip.
An investigation was launched after the incident was made public by famed lawyer Decha Kittiwittayanan on Facebook.
According to Mr Decha’s post, it all started with the arrest of a man and a woman for alleged drug offenses by a provincial police team. The officers, he said, urged the couple to pay 1 million baht for their release.
However, a senior officer demanded that the couple pay double. While they were negotiating the amount, the officer put a plastic bag over the man’s head to intimidate him, but he suffocated and died, according to the Facebook post.
To watch the horrific video CLICK HERE!
Before sending the body to the hospital, the senior officer instructed his subordinates to ensure the man’s cause of death was listed as a drug overdose. He then released the woman in exchange for keeping her mouth shut.
The inspector’s name was later revealed as Police Colonel Thitisan, inspector of the Nakhon Sawan Main District Police Station.
Police Colonel Thitisan, alias Jo Ferrari, was a student at the Royal Police Cadet Academy (class 57). His alias came about because he owned many sports cars, including a Lamborghini limited-edition Aventador LP 720-4 50 Anniversary special. He was reportedly the first Thai to own this car.
He is considered one of the top drug-fighting officials and has been transferred to the operations centre of the provincial police region 6 for questioning.
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