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Thailand News: Death sentences for police who murdered youth

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– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Death terms for police guilty of murdering youth
Phuket Gazette / The Nation
PHUKET: The Criminal Court yesterday handed down a guilty verdict to five former Kalasin-based policemen for their involvement in the extrajudicial killing of a 17-year-old boy in 2004. Three of them were sentenced to death, another to life imprisonment, and the other to seven years in jail.

The death sentence was meted out against three police senior sergeant majors: Angkarn Kammoonna, Sudtinan Noanting and Pansin Uppana. They were 48, 43, and 42 years old, respectively. They were also found guilty of trying to cover up their crime.

Pol Lt Colonel Sumit Nansatit, who was serving as deputy superintendent of Muang Kalasin station at the time of the murder, was convicted of collaborating in it. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

His supervisor, Pol Colonel Montri Sriboonleu, the former superintendent of Muang Kalasin Police, was found guilty of trying to help his subordinates escape the reach of the law. He was ordered to serve seven years in jail.

The court found that Angkarn, Sudtinan, Pansin, and Sumit strangled Kiatisak Titboonkrong, a 17-year-old suspect in a motorcycle theft case, in Kalasin on July 22, 2004. They and Montri then had Kiatisak’s body moved to Roi Et to make it appear like Kiatisak had hanged himself.

Kiatisak’s family suspected foul play in his death and lodged a complaint. From July 30, 2004 to April 27, 2005, Sumit and Montri had intimidated the family.


All of these police denied any wrongdoing. The court, however, found solid evidence against them and handed down the guilty verdicts.

The killing of Kiatisak took place at the time of the Thaksin Shinawatra government’s notorious “War on drugs”.

Last year, the Criminal Court handed down a suspended two year jail term to three police officers for opening fire on a drug suspect’s vehicle, which lead to the death of his two-year-old son in February 2003.

Pol Senior Sergeant Major Pipat Saenin, Sergeant Major Panumas Chanakham, and Sgt Major Anusorn Taensuwan were convicted of recklessness during the sting operation and attempt to arrest the drug suspect. They were also ordered to pay a fine of 10,000 baht each.

The fatal shooting also took place during the ‘War on drugs’ when there were said to have been more than 2,500 extra-jucidial killings.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Drugs

Police seize 920 kilograms of cannabis smuggled across the Mekong River

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police seize 920 kilograms of cannabis smuggled across the Mekong River | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath

In a major bust on the Mekong River, notorious for drug smuggling, border patrol police seized 920 kilograms of dried, compacted cannabis from a boat along the Nakhon Pathom riverbank, bordering Laos.

Police were tipped off about a large shipment of drugs being trafficked across the Thai-Laos border. Police spotted a boat around 4am yesterday. When police moved in, men onboard the boat jumped onto a smaller boat and sped off. Police found 23 sacks filled with 1-kilogram packages of compressed cannabis.

Police seize 920 kilograms of cannabis smuggled across the Mekong River | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: MGR Online

In the recent months, police have seized more than 5 tonnes of cannabis. While the Thai government has been loosening measures on cannabis, allowing parts of the plant with low traces of the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, to be used in food and medicinal products, trafficking cannabis is still illegal. Cannabis with high amounts of THC is still classified as a Category 5 narcotic.

SOURCE:Bangkok Post

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Protests

At least 22 people arrested at Bangkok protest, officer dies of heart failure

Caitlin Ashworth

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At least 22 people arrested at Bangkok protest, officer dies of heart failure | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

At least 22 people were arrested during the Bangkok protest yesterday, which turned violent as pro-democracy activists marched toward the prime minister’s residence, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights. An officer died during the rally, which the human rights group says was due to heart failure.

Some protesters threw ping pong bombs and firecrackers in the violent clash with police, the group says. Police armed in riot gear fired rubber bullets and hit protesters with batons. Water cannons and tear gas were used to break up the crowds after some protesters had breached the barricade of shipping containers that had been blocking the way to the prime minister’s residence at a military base on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, according to the Bangkok Post. At least 33 people, including 23 police officers, were injured.

Out of the 22 arrested, 4 were minors who were picked up from the Din Daeng police station by their parents and will need to report to the Juvenile and Family Court this afternoon, according to the human rights group. The detained protesters face charges of fighting, blocking or harming a police officer.

Protesters from REDEM, or Restart Democracy, which is a spin off of the Free Youth group, were marching to PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s residence to call on monarchy reform and an end to Thailand’s military influences in government.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai PM says Covid-19 jab is safe, urges people to get vaccinated

Maya Taylor

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Thai PM says Covid-19 jab is safe, urges people to get vaccinated | The Thaiger
PHOTO: EPA-EFE

The Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha, has assured people the Covid-19 vaccine is safe as he called on citizens to get vaccinated. Nation Thailand reports that the PM was speaking at a vaccination drive taking place at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute, in the central province of Nonthaburi.

It’s understood Prayut himself will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, having been deemed too old for China’s Sinovac jab. However, it is unclear when he might be vaccinated, with the delay put down to issues with the AstraZeneca paperwork.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul was the first person in Thailand to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, when he got the Sinovac jab yesterday. It’s understood he has not experienced any adverse reaction. A number of other politicians and prominent medics also got the vaccine, including Opas Karnkawinpong from the Department of Disease Control and the Public Health Deputy Minister Sathit Pitutecha.

The PM says the vaccines are safe and is calling on everyone to get inoculated when the time comes.

“The government and medical personnel have overcome this crisis many times so far. This shows that Thailand can contain the spread of Covid-19 effectively.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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