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Fugitive police Chief Joe said to be captured in Myanmar

Neill Fronde

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[UPDATE: Media is now reporting to have received confirmation from police sources of the information below.]

A few Thai media websites are reporting the alleged capture of Pol Col Thitisan “Chief Joe” Utthanaphon, the police station superintendent seen in video with a group of officers released this week putting a plastic bag over a suspect’s head, reportedly suffocating a suspect to death, while attempting to extort a 2 million baht bribe.

The Thai media outlet Daily News reported that Thitisan was arrested in Myanmar’s Myawaddy town just across the border from Tak’s Mae Sot district. The report said that Thitisan is currently in custody and being taken back to Thailand for prosecution.

Many had suspected he had immediately fled Thailand and immigration police had been instructed to keep an eye out at all official borders and patrol the soft borders where people often cross illegally.

Thai media reports that he had a hideout in Myawaddy, a town just across the Thai border, considered the most important trading point between Myanmar and Thailand. Chief Joe allegedly caved to the pressure of the massive manhunt making international headlines and contacted authorities to reveal his warehouse.

Khaosod reported that he was extracted from his Burmese hideout by an arresting team of officers and transported to a safe house where he is currently being held. The head of the investigation team announced they would fly from Bangkok to interrogate Chief Joe, though the exact location of the interrogation was not revealed.

None of the above information has been officially confirmed by police or official sources, but The Thaiger will continue to monitor and update this story as more information and confirmation becomes available.

The police colonel also known as Jo Ferrari for his vast collection of reportedly 42 luxury and supercars valued at over 175 million baht, had become a fugitive when the arrest warrant for 7 officers involved in the death were issued yesterday. Since police started their manhunt, the extent of his vast wealth has been revealed publicly and caused an outcry leading to the National Anti-Corruption Commission opening a probe into his fortune.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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