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Suspects in abduction, murder of judge’s brother taken for re-enactment

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Police escort three of the six suspects alleged to have been involved in the abduction and murder a senior judge's brother for re-enactment of the crime - Thai PBS World

When the brother of a senior judge in the central province of Nakhon Sawan was abducted in broad daylight in front of the Bangkok South Criminal Court on February 4, police feared the worst. Today, three of the six suspects alleged to have been involved in the abduction and subsequent murder were escorted by officers of the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) to three locations for re-enactments of the crime.

The suspects, including former deputy commerce minister and police lieutenant colonel Banyin Tangpaporn, are charged with the abduction of Veerachai Sakhuntaprasert, elder brother of a senior Criminal Court judge, surnamed Panita. The judge was handling a case in which Banyin was charged with falsifying documents and using them in the transfer of about 300 million baht in shares, belonging to Mr. Chuwong sae Tang, a wealthy subcontractor.

Chuwong died in a car accident under suspicious circumstances, in the company of Banyin, on the outskirts of Bangkok on June 26, 2015. The verdict in the share transfer case is due to be delivered on March 20th.

The three suspects were taken to three locations, namely Banyin’s Bangkok house, the area in front of the Bangkok South Civil Court and Talingchan Road in Suphan Buri province, northwest of Bangkok.

Police believe the gang kidnapped Veerachai and held him hostage, while one of of them called Panita demanding that she acquit Banyin in the share transfer case, but she declined.

Police say the hostage was killed and his body destroyed to hide the crime. Confessions by some of the suspects led the CSD to search for his remains in the Chao Phraya River in Nakhon Sawan province, of which Banyin is a former MP.

Yesterday divers found a mobile phone, believed to have belonged to the victim, in the river.

The five other suspects are identified as 67 year old Manat Thapnil; 49 year old Narongsak Pomchan; Prachawit Srithongsuk, aged 34; 31 year old Chartchai Menkul, and Thongchai Wajeesajja, a retired police officer. All six are charged with intimidation, criminal association, kidnapping, illegal detention and murder. Banyin has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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