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Police chief transferred for probe into death during alleged extortion attempt

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Nakhon Sawan Police

A police chief in Nakhon Sawan is being transferred following allegations that he accidentally killed a man while demanding a 2 million baht bribe. A plastic bag was reportedly tied over the man’s head and he suffocated to death, but the superintendent of the station allegedly wrote the death off as drug overdose, according to Royal Thai Police inspector-general Wissanu Prasartthong-osoth.

Two suspects were arrested on drug charges and brought into the Mueang Nakhon Sawan Provincial Police Station on August 5 for questioning by the province’s narcotics suppression team, according to the inspector-general. During the interrogation, the station’s superintendent, Pol Col Thitisant Utthanaphon, allegedly demanded 2 million baht from the man and woman, Wissanu says. A plastic bag was put over the man’s head and he suffocated to death.

“The superintendent then ordered the doctor to put the cause of death down as drug overdose and told the woman to keep quiet before releasing her… Some police officers filed a complaint against the superintendent because they could not accept his behavior.”

The station’s superintendent is being transferred to the Provincial Police Region 6 during an investigation into the alleged extortion attempt and the man’s death.

“The commander of the police station, Pol Maj-General Rapeepong Sukpaiboon, has been tasked with leading the investigation and reporting to the Royal Thai Police.”

10 other police officers at the Muang station will be questioned over the allegations. The victim’s parents, doctors, and the victim’s girlfriend will also be questioned. The man’s body has already been cremated and doctors at the Sawanpracharak Hospital where the autopsy was performed are required to give information to police.

Well-known lawyer Decha Kittiwittayanan recently made a post on Facebook saying the couple was arrested and asked to pay 1 million baht in exchange for their freedom. The lawyer accuses the police chief of demanding they pay double and putting a plastic bag over the man’s head to threaten him. The lawyer claims the man suffocated to death and Thitisant told his subordinates to mark the cause of death as drug overdose before sending the body to the hospital.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Bangkok Post

 

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Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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