ANG THONG: Police Region 1 are leaving no stone unturned in their attempt to bring to justice a vicious gang of youths who abducted 1,500 waterfowl from a local politician, in what police believe could be a politically motivated ducknapping.
At about 3 am on March 28, six young men, some on motorcycles, some in a six-wheeled truck, pulled up at a duck farm in Village 2 Tambon Yan Seu in Ang Thong Muang district.
The youths grabbed the lone security guard, 44-year-old Reuangsak Khrueakaow, and bound him hand and foot before administering a savage beating for good measure.
With the security guard taken care of, the youths turned their attention to the not-inconsiderable task of getting the 1,500 ducks from the coop into the back of the truck.
When all the birds were safely on the truck bed, the gang sped away amidst the sound of startled quacking.
When a badly bruised K. Reuangsak managed to wriggle free from his bonds at about 5 am that morning, he called Ang Thong Police to report the crime.
When police learned that the missing fowl belonged to a Lamlee Noinongwun, deputy president of Bang Phlap Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor), they jumped into action.
Maj Gen Thanisak Thirasawat, commander of Ang Thong Provincial Police, said, “The criminals are probably from within the world of duck rearing as they knew how to properly transport the birds and also knew where K. Lamlee kept his ducks, which is a quiet and secluded location.
“We are now taking statements from witnesses who saw the truck [used in the robbery].”
Gen Thanisak added that his superior, Police Region 1 Commissioner Lt Gen Rachot Yensuang, was also following the case closely and had urged him to rapidly bring it to a close.
He therefore ordered Muang District Superintendent Col Wareeroj Kongkanphai to take personal responsibility for the case.
Col Wareeroj said that he had contacted the Provincial Livestock Office for information on local duck-keepers who could be involved in the crime.
He has also ordered police and Volunteer Defence Corp officers to inspect all duck farms in the area to look for any ducks acting suspiciously.
If two flocks of ducks are introduced to each other, they will not mix and will stay as two separate flocks, Col Wareeroj explained.
Police have received tip-offs from confidential informants indicating who the gang of youths are and believe the mastermind behind the plot is likely to be one of K. Lamlee’s competitors in the duck-rearing business, but are not yet ruling out a political motive for the ducknapping. K. Lamlee was preparing to run for another term as OrBorTor deputy president, Col Wareeroj added.
K. Lamlee told reporters that the ducks were worth about 150,000 baht.
K. Lamlee added that he didn’t want to believe that the theft was politically motivated, but admitted that he did have some problems with political rivals.
A source told the Gazette’s Thai-language sister-paper Kom ChadLuek that the motive behind the great duck theft was to intimidate K. Lamlee ahead of the upcoming OrBorTor elections.
The perpetrators were a group of youths from Tambon Pho Rang Nok in Pho Thong District under the control of one of K. Lamlee’s political rivals, the source explained.
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