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Former cop accused of torture and murder was involved in seizure of over 400 luxury cars

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Shutterstock

A man accused of murder and fired from his role as police chief in the northern province of Nakhon Sawan was involved in the confiscation of over 400 luxury cars. According to deputy national police chief, Suchart Thiraswasdi, disgraced former cop Thitisan Utthanaphol was involved in the seizure of 410 high-end vehicles that had been smuggled into Thailand from Malaysia and Singapore. A Thai PBS World report reveals that 270 of the cars were stolen abroad.

Thitisan, whose penchant for luxury cars had earned him the nickname, “Joe Ferrari”, is in custody, accused of murder. It’s alleged he tortured and murdered a drugs suspect during questioning by covering his head in plastic bags until the man fell unconscious. Several other officers were arrested alongside him. Suchart says the investigation is nearing completion and the case should be forwarded to prosecutors next month.

According to the Thai PBS World report, an investigation was also carried out into Thitisan’s involvement in the seizure of luxury smuggled cars and suspected money laundering. Suchart says 101 vehicles had been stolen abroad before being confiscated in Thailand. 169 were reported stolen after they’d been seized, while the origin of 140 is unknown and still being investigated.

Suchart says the seizure of a number of vehicles before they were smuggled into the kingdom shows such action was illegal, adding that a number of the cars were brought into Thailand by foreigners, who immediately flew out of the country. Immigration officials are currently investigating how many cars arrived in Thailand through this method.

Of the 410 cars confiscated by Thitisan and others, only 5 have not been auctioned off by the Customs Department. In Thailand, police who confiscate smuggled cars are entitled to a reward from the Customs Department. It’s reported that when the department put seized cars up for auction, Thitisan’s men would bid on them, then sell them at below market price to collectors of luxury cars.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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