Thai police intensify crackdown on juvenile delinquency following brutal murder

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

In response to a brutal murder committed by five teenagers in Sa Kaeo’s Aranyaprathet district, Thai police are intensifying efforts to combat juvenile delinquency across the country. The murder of a middle-aged woman earlier this month has sparked a nationwide crackdown on criminal acts perpetrated by young offenders, an operation ordered by National Police Chief Torsak Sukvimol.

Torsak has given the Sa Kaeo police chief a mandate to maintain records on all juvenile delinquents in the province. He has also directed local law enforcement to pay particular attention to teens between the ages of 10 and 15 who stay outdoors after 10pm. If these teens are found unaccompanied after this hour, their details will be recorded, and their parents brought in for questioning.

In provinces like Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan, which frequently record incidents involving unruly youths but are lacking sufficient police officers to address the issue, the Provincial Special Operation Sub-Division will offer support in the crackdown, reported Bangkok Post.

Additionally, Torsak announced that the results of an investigation into the alleged misconduct of two police officers from the Aranyaprathet district police station have been forwarded to the National Anti-Corruption Commission. The officers stand accused of coercing Panya Khongsaenkham into a false confession of the brutal murder of his mentally unstable wife, Buaphan Tansu, known locally as Pa Kob.

The victim was murdered by a group of teenagers aged 13 to 16, as confirmed by police. Security camera footage revealed the group attacking the victim in Aranyaprathet. They later admitted to killing Tansu and disposing of her body in a pond. The suspects are currently in detention for her murder.

Somprasong Yentuam, chief of Police Provincial Police Region 2, had previously stated that the officers violated a disciplinary code under the 2022 National Police Act and the Criminal Code, specifically around dereliction of duty and malfeasance. The officers, however, have not yet been found to have violated the Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance Act.

Panya problem

Torsak stressed that investigators were not attempting to protect their fellow officers, but rather they were ensuring that solid evidence was gathered before bringing additional charges against the officers under the prevention and suppression of torture and enforced disappearance law. He also noted that Panya, originally thought to be a witness, is currently unable to testify as he is undergoing treatment for alcoholism in a hospital.

Panya was arrested after his wife’s body was found, and allegedly confessed to the crime before security camera footage revealed the teenagers were responsible. He claimed he was forced to strip inside an air-conditioned room and told he could not leave the station until he had signed a written confession.

Activist Kanthat Pongpaiboonvej, along with a niece of Panya’s, approached the Department of Special Investigation to seek justice. They are asking for an investigation into whether any other officers at the Aranyaprathet District Police Station were involved and whether the two officers could also be charged under the prevention and suppression of torture and enforced disappearance law.

In a bid to protect teenagers and prevent such incidents, Thawatchai Thaikaeo, a former director-general of the Department of Juvenile Observation and Protection, has suggested the imposition of a curfew. He cited examples of cities such as Washington DC, New Orleans, and Atlanta in the US, where an 11pm curfew is already in place.

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.

Related Articles