Caught in the act: Drug offender’s escape foiled at Khon Kaen resort

Image courtesy of Chakrapan Natanri of Bangkok Post

In a sudden turn of events, a 35 year old convicted drug offender escaped custody at the provincial court on Wednesday but was apprehended this morning at a resort in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen. The accused, Ratchaphon Khiannok, was arrested along with his accomplice, 20 year old Palangwatchara Khunsinchairat.

Acting on information that the pair were holed up in a resort in the Sila district of Mueang, Khon Kaen, police swiftly surrounded the resort.

Upon storming the room, Ratchaphon and Palangwatchara were discovered using illicit substances and were promptly arrested. An additional 8,000 methamphetamine pills were seized from their room.

The Khon Kaen provincial police office’s investigation superintendent, Police Colonel Pornsak Ngamdee, revealed during a media briefing on Friday that the events unfolded rapidly following Ratchaphon’s previous audacious escape from custody while being transferred to a prison vehicle at the provincial court.

This occurred shortly after a verdict had been passed on his drug case. Despite being restrained by fetters, Ratchaphon managed to scale the court fence and made a quick escape on a waiting motorcycle driven by Palangwatchara.

They first made their way to a relative’s house in Phra Lap, a district in Khon Kaen, to remove Ratchaphon’s leg chains. Leaving the motorcycle behind, and fleeing by car instead.

Old habits

The duo then travelled to the Chiang Yuen district of Maha Sarakham to retrieve a stash of 14,000 meth pills. They took temporary refuge at a resort in Chiang Yuen before making their way back to Khon Kaen around 5am on Friday.

Upon receiving information about their location, officers raided the resort and apprehended the two men that same morning.

At the time of arrest, it was noted that Ratchaphon and Palangwatchara were consuming methamphetamine pills, a significant quantity of which was scattered across the floor, with some even being flushed down the toilet.

Following their apprehension, a search of the house where the motorbike had been left resulted in the seizure of prison clothes, leg chains, a crash helmet and two mobile phones.

During the investigation, police questioned Ratchaphon’s wife, Theerada Sirisuttha, who confirmed that she had no involvement in facilitating her husband’s escape.

During his interrogation, Ratchaphon confessed to his arrest on January 29 this year in Khon Kaen with 8,600 methamphetamine pills.

He was held at the Khon Kaen Special Correctional Institution before being taken to court for the ruling on Wednesday when he made his escape. He also admitted to plans to deliver the 14,000 meth pills found in Maha Sarakham.

Both Ratchaphon and Palangwatchara are now facing charges for possession of illicit drugs. In addition to this, Ratchaphon has been charged with escaping, while Palangwatchara faces charges for aiding the convicted defendant’s escape.

The media briefing was also attended by Chak Limbut, the chief of Khon Kaen Central Prison, and Piyawat Kongsurat, director of the Khon Kaen Special Correctional Institution, reported by Bangkok Post.

ORIGINAL STORY: Convicted drug offender remarkably escapes custody in Khon Kaen

Police in Khon Kaen are in pursuit of a 35 year old man, a recently convicted drug offender who made a daring escape from custody. Ratchaphon Khiannok was on his way to the prison vehicle at the provincial court when he made his escape last night, April 25, according to the authorities.

Ratchaphon was captured on security cameras, still wearing his fetters, as he swiftly scaled the court’s fence at 5.11pm.

Two individuals, one presumed to be his spouse, were observed waiting for him with a motorcycle, disclosed Police Colonel Yotsawat Kaewsuebthanyanit, the head of the local police station in Khon Kaen.

Escaping on the motorcycle with one of the individuals, Ratchaphon was last seen heading towards Prachasamosorn Road, all the while dressed in his prison uniform.

Reports from Khon Kaen’s local media identified the woman who had been waiting on the motorcycle as Ratchaphon’s wife, and she has since been detained by the police.

Ratchaphon had been at court for his sentencing when he made his escape. He had been detained earlier for possession of 8,600 methamphetamine pills, a crime which led to him receiving a prison sentence of 24 years, six months, and 10 days, as reported by Bangkok Post.

The search for Ratchaphon continues, with police and corrections officials working tirelessly to recapture him.

Crime NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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