Police attacked while investigating voter fraud, former MP involved

Photo via Sanook

Four to five men attacked a police officer when the officer was investigating voter fraud in a community in the central province of Ratchaburi. The former Member of Parliament (MP) to Ratchaburi from Palang Pracharath Party, Pareena “Ae” Kraikupt, defended the attackers.

The officer, identified as Jaruphat Khakaew, suffered neck and knee injuries and had his gun stolen during the incident. The attack occurred after the Provincial Special Operation Sub-Division (PSO) received a complaint from locals that a group of people in Pho Tha Rarm district were planning election fraud.

Four police officers were dispatched to investigate the complaint when they encountered a group of locals gathering suspiciously in a house. Upon identifying themselves, the group scattered, and the officers gave chase, resulting in the attack on Officer Khakaew.

The owner of the house filed a complaint against the four police officers for breaking into his home, while officer Khakaew also filed a complaint against his attackers. Former Member of Parliament (MP) Pareena “Ae” Kraikupt defended the attackers, claiming that the police officers had broken into their house at night.

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Pareena was at the scene and claimed she was attending a birthday party at the house. Officers from Khao Din Police Station are investigating the incident and will question both locals and police officers present at the scene. Videos taken by locals are expected to be crucial evidence in the case.

The incident is just one of several concerning issues reported during the election season. Another issue involved a picture circulated on Thai social media showing a staff member gathering ID cards from people. The picture led many to believe that a political party was paying locals to vote for them and seizing ID cards to prevent them from voting for other parties.

However, the Election Commission of Thailand (ECT) investigated the picture and found no suspicious activity. The picture was from the Palang Pracharath Party, and each ID card was used for applying for party membership.

Sudarat Kateyuraphan, the leader of the Thai Sang Thai Party, also reported that many locals complained to her about vote buying, particularly in Isaan provinces. She claimed that some parties paid 500 baht each, while others paid 1,000 baht. Sudarat stated that this election had the most vote buying she had ever seen.

During the advance voter period on May 7, the ECT faced criticism after officers at polling stations provided incorrect details on the ballots. The Secretary-General of the ECT, Sawaeng Boonmee, assured the public that the issue had been recognized and would be resolved. He promised that each ballot would be rechecked and counted transparently and that the problem would not happen again on election day, May 14.

Pareena involved in voter fraud
Photo via Sanook

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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