‘8 or 9’ people in Thailand bought cyanide to commit suicide, Big Joke says

Photo via Matichon

As Thai police find more potential victims of Thailand’s notorious cyanide serial killer, an investigation reveals that more than 100 factories are suspected of illegally selling cyanide for misuse. “Eight or nine people” bought cyanide to commit suicide, deputy police chief Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn said yesterday.

At 4.30pm, Big Joke met with the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Industrial Works, Pornyot Klangkrong, to discuss the case of over 100 factories allegedly selling cyanide for misuse, to customers including serial killer Sararat “Am” Rangsiwuthaporn, as well as ten people who used the controlled substance to kill themselves, reports Matichon.

Selling cyanide in Thailand is only allowed with a license for study and research or factory operation purposes. However, Big Joke found that the department’s operations were “reckless.” He said he found a loophole that resellers of cyanide are not required to ask permission from the department, so long as their buyers use the hazardous substance for the aforementioned purposes.

“One factory legally ordered 1,600 bottles of cyanide. It was found that 100 bottles were sold for misuse to six retailers, including some who resold them to Am. The retailers sold cyanide to people who committed suicide in eight or nine cases.

“Traders must take legal responsibility because people died and this is a criminal case. All of the traders have ceased selling cyanide, but I will gather the evidence and present it to the Department of Industrial Works to undertake further prosecution.”

Big Joke said that after consulting Pornyot, he believes there is enough evidence to prosecute the factories. Whether any department officials have broken the law will need to be investigated further, he added.

Pornyot said that cyanide is a Type 3 Controlled Substance – the most dangerous of its kind. The department is therefore working on solutions to prevent further misuse of cyanide in Thailand, he said.

In yet another shocking development in the case, relatives of a police officer who died three years ago claim that the deceased might be Sararat’s 16th victim.

Famous Thai actress Preechaya “Ice” Pongthananikorn came under investigation after ordering cyanide online on April 25 for 3,132 baht, from the same source as Sararat.

Preechaya was cleared of wrongdoing after the police bought her story that she ordered the legal substance to poison snakes and monitor lizards in her back garden that had attacked her pet dogs.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.