Connect with us

Crime

‘Jo Ferrari’ – his arrest, press conference and investigation

Published

 on 

PHOTO: Royal Thai Police

Details have now emerged on the arrest of former policeman Thitisan Utthanaphon, aka “Chief Joe” or “Jo Ferrari”, the Nakhon Sawan police station superintendent accused with 6 other officers of torturing and suffocating a suspect in custody, allegedly in an attempt to extort 2 million baht.

Despite previous reports originating in Thai media, the fleeing officer was not found just across the Burmese border but actually surrendered on Thursday, late afternoon, to police in Chon Buri.

A major general from the Provincial Police Region 6 reported that he called Thitisan at 11 pm on Wednesday night, asking him to surrender and arranging to pick him up in Chon Buri earlier Thursday. The arrest was actually recorded around 4 pm Thursday at the Saen Suk Police Station. He was then transferred to the Crime Suppression Division on Thursday evening.

PRESS CONFERENCE

In a bizarre, staged event, and despite national police declaring that the rouge officers will be received the same treatment as any other lawbreaker, Thitisan answered questions from the media by phone. The police held a late-night press conference during which they held a mobile phone to a microphone and allowed the fugitive to offer his perspective and answer questions.

He claimed that the death was an accident and the incident, captured on CCTV, had nothing to do with any extortion plot, and that he was merely trying to get information about the illegal drug trade to protect and prevent people from drug use.

He said that the suspect, identified as 24 year old Jeerapong Thanapat, was being uncooperative, so he put a black plastic bag over his head “to prevent the suspect from seeing him”.

He then claimed that Jeerapong clawed at the bag, so his arms were tied behind his back to restrain him (although in the video footage the victim’s hands were tied behind his back at all times). The video footage shows the restrained man struggling with multiple police officers helping restrain and move him until he loses consciousness after which some offers attempt to resuscitate him.

It was reported that Jo Ferrari instructed his death to be listed as a drug overdose and his girlfriend was released in exchange for her silence.

Thitisan said he was just “doing his job” but he accepts that what he did was wrong and he takes all responsibility himself for the death, saying the other 6 officers involved were his subordinates that were only following his orders.

National Police official Suwat Jangyodsuk made a statement saying they will not protect wrongdoers, no matter who they are, even if they are police.

“Everyone will be treated the same under the legal system. The police organization must exist with people’s trust,”

INVESTIGATION REVELATIONS

The saga unfolded when security video showing the murder went viral online, leading to arrest warrants for 7 officers of the Nakhon Sawa Muang police station. After 3, including Thitisan, were missing briefly, all 7 are now in custody. They were reportedly denied bail.

During their pursuit, police went to Thitisan’s Bangkok house, which brought attention to his lavish lifestyle, with a 2 acre compound, 60 million baht mansion, 42 luxury cars, and reports of hundreds of millions of baht cash stashed, despite his official salary of about 40,000 baht per month.

He was said to have over 200 million baht being held by nominees and in 2017 his estranged actress girlfriend told media he had offered her 230 million baht held by a nominee.

The revelations prompted the National Anti-Corruption Commission to launch a probe into his earnings which revealed a program that rewards police officers and others that assist with recovering illegally smuggled luxury cars with between 30 and 45% of the value of the car, reportedly netting Thitisan 400 million baht. That policy is said to have been revised to 20% with a 5 million baht cap, per case, in 2017.

The web of alleged corruption further unravelled to reveal that these impounded cars are later sold at auction by the Customs Department.

The electronic control units were allegedly removed from the cars before being sent to the Customs Department for auction and the cars were useless without them. Whoever had the electronics units could buy and operate the vehicles… anyone else would need to pay extra to retrieve the control units.

More details are sure to surface as the investigation by the NACC and police continues. The Association for the Protection of the Thai Constitution petitioned earlier today for the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission to open a full investigation of the 7 officers as well.

SOURCES: Thai PBS World, The Pattaya News, and The Phuket News

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

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.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand7 mins ago

Mass shooting in Thailand 37 killed | GMT

World32 mins ago

Slaughtered Thai grandfather celebrated in street sign

Hot News42 mins ago

A sickening scene as little ones massacred while sleeping at Thai nursery

Sponsored22 hours ago

Segafredo Zanetti Coffee teamed up with Bangkok Airways and hosted “Bangkok Airways Surf Festival 2022”

Guides15 hours ago

Foodie Zone: Where to get vegan desserts in Bangkok 2022

Thailand16 hours ago

Thailand News Today | 36 dead in a mass shooting at a nursery in northeast Thailand

Guides16 hours ago

5 best wine bars in Bangkok offering rich and quality wine

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
North East16 hours ago

Hip businesses in northeast Thai province offer tasty food and fun experiences

Crime16 hours ago

British CEO arrested at Bangkok Airport over 40 million baht fraud accusations

Thailand16 hours ago

Thailand’s 5 national parks raise entry fees for foreigners by 100%

Bangkok16 hours ago

Ari around invites Ari people to share good deeds through the app.

Press Room17 hours ago

Where to order cannabis/weed in Thailand

Chon Buri17 hours ago

Trouserless Chon Buri man crashes car into power pole

Entertainment17 hours ago

‘The Trapped 13’ lets Wild Boars speak for themselves

Thailand17 hours ago

Reported Bangkok VIP casino vanishes into thin air

World17 hours ago

Australia sets goal of preventing any more species from going extinct

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending