BREAKING NEWS: Former police chief ‘Joe Ferrari’ sentenced to life in prison

The Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases in Bangkok today sentenced to death former cop, Thitisan Utthanaphon, aka. Joe Ferrari, before later commuting his sentence.

Thitisan was the police chief in Nakhon Sawan in central Thailand, when he led the torture and eventual death of a suspected drug trafficker in August last year.

The Court today ruled that Thitisan’s actions carry the death sentence, although the penalty was commuted to life in prison instead. He is sentenced along with 6 other officers: Raveeroj Ditthon, Songyot Klainak, Thanin Masawanna, Wisut Boonkiew and Paweekorn Kammaraw, who were charged for intentionally murdering others by “dangerously torturing”.

The 6 officers were also initially sentenced to death, but the penalties were reduced to life in jail because they sent the victim to a hospital. Another suspect, Supakorn Nimchoen, wasn’t charged with murder, but he was charged with “abuse of function”. He was sentenced to 7 years jail time, but the penalty reduced to 5 years and 4 months.

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Thitisan was captured on video in a violent interrogation of a suspect in an alleged drugs case, during which the superintendent with his subordinates placed 6 plastic bags over the man’s head and tied his hands behind his back which led to his suffocation until he died.

The video of the botched interrogation and torture went viral, shocking viewers of the violent police treatment of a suspect. The police station CCTV footage was leaked by a junior officer.

The 39 year old former police chief and 6 other officers were subsequently arrested and charged in the investigation.

Thitisan is also being investigated for his role in the seizure, resale, and ownership of high-end cars. The former police chief earned the nickname Joe Ferrari as a result of his collection of luxury vehicles. His assets, which were seized as part of the investigation, also include a 57-million-baht mansion in Bangkok.

In total, investigating officers have seized assets valued at 130 million baht, including 24 cars valued at 70 million baht, a condo worth 1.5 million baht, and 18 guns worth 720,000 baht.

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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