Thai actress among 31 charged over illicit cyanide procurement

Picture of Preechaya "Ice" Phongthananikorn courtesy of Facebook.

Deputy National Police General Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn revealed that 31 individuals, including renowned Thai actress Preechaya “Ice” Phongthananikorn, are set to be summoned by the police next week. They are to face charges of allegedly procuring cyanide for illicit purposes. The charges were initiated by the Department of Industrial Works (DIW), which lodged complaints with the Crime Suppression Division against these individuals.

Among those named are Preechaya and alleged Thai cyanide serial killer Sararat “Am” Rangsiwuthaporn. Sararat stands accused of 14 counts of murder and one attempted murder. Preechaya reportedly purchased cyanide from the same source as Sararat, intending to use it as a pesticide.

Purchasing a chemical compound, in this case, cyanide, for wrongful use can result in a sentence of up to three years and a fine of up to 300,000 baht, or both, as clarified by Big Joke.

“Officers at the Crime Suppression Division will summon all 31 people to acknowledge their charges, and they will conduct a probe to determine whether officials from the DIW were involved in any misconduct.”

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This development comes on the back of Sararat’s arrest, who is under suspicion of using cyanide to poison her victims. The authorities have broadened their investigation and discovered that cyanide was being imported, traded, and bought for illicit purposes, which prompted the DIW to file a lawsuit.

In June, Big Joke disclosed that Sararat is facing more than 75 charges. These include premeditated murder, attempted murder, and theft resulting in death and forgery in 15 cases, spanning from 2015 to the current year. The cases are spread across seven provinces: Nakhon Pathom, Samut Sakhon, Kanchanaburi, Phetchaburi, Ratchaburi, Udon Thani and Mukdahan. The police concluded the investigation into Sararat after questioning over 900 witnesses over a three-month period.

The DIW’s director, Jullapong Thaveesri, stated in May that 14 firms are legally permitted to import up to 80 tonnes of cyanide annually. Individuals who used more than 100 kilograms over the past six months are required to report it to the DIW.

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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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