CSD arrests Phuket policeman for murder

PHUKET: Officers from the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) in Bangkok yesterday arrested a fellow officer working in the Phuket Forensic Science Department on charges of murder and robbery. Pol Lt Col Chatkanok Keawsongsang, Deputy Commissioner of the CSD, explained that it was alleged that Pol Sgt Maj Soonthorn Krodtem stopped an airport limousine driven by 26-year-old Sampakorn Temtup of Krabi at Tesco Lotus in Phuket on the evening of August 5. Soonthorn, who was in uniform at the time, told K. Sampakorn to drive him to Krabi Airport, where, he said, he had to pick up a superior officer. However, after they reached Krabi Airport, the officer told K. Sampakorn that his boss had called to say he was arriving on another day. Soonthorn then told the driver to take him to his home town in Phattalung. When they reached Ba Payom District in Phattalung province, it is alleged, Soonthorn hit K. Sampakorn repeatedly with a blunt instrument, killing him, and then threw him into a klong. Afterwards, he drove off in the limousine, a Toyota worth about 990,000 baht. An autopsy performed after K. Sampakorn’s body was recovered showed that he had died from multiple blows to the head before being thrown in the water. On September 4, the dead man’s father, Thammanoon Temtup, a tambon councilor in Krabi, made a report to the CSD in Bangkok in which he complained that the investigation into his son’s death had been proceeding very slowly. He said that he had made a statement to the Ba Payom Police Station a couple of days after the murder, but that since then no progress had been made. His report to the CSD added that, on August 24, he received a visit from four relatives of Soonthorn, who urged him to drop the case, and offered him 150,000 baht to do so. K. Thammanoon refused the money but, scared that something might happen to him, decided to make the report to the CSD. Colleagues in the Phuket Forensic Science Department made statements to the CSD in which they said that Soonthorn told them he had bought the car second-hand after winning the lottery, and that he planned to respray it soon. But on August 30 – six days after K. Thammanoon turned down the money from Soonthorn’s relatives – the car was found immersed in another canal in Phattalung. Pol Lt Col Chatkanok said that Soonthorn had admitted the charges but had yet to give details of what happened. He is currently being held in custody in Bangkok.

Phuket News
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