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Ununiformed checkpoint police face charges for shooting at truck

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Plainclothes police shoot a truck at a checkpoint, injuring 2. (via Southpeace.go.th)

5 young men left a camping trip outside Ban Phikunthong village in Narathiwat to run to town to grab some food at a 24-hour convenience store. As they were driving through Muang district they approached 3 men dressed in street clothes signalling them to pull over. Unsure of what they wanted in the middle of the night, and with no indication that they were police or other authorities, the group didn’t slow and passed through the checkpoint. The 3 men pulled out guns and opened fire on their truck seriously injuring 2 of the men in the back of the pickup.

What the campers didn’t know was that the three men were out of uniform police officers conducting a checkpoint in an area of the southern province rumoured to have drug trafficking. Is unclear why the officers didn’t wear uniforms to set up in an official checkpoint, but when the campers did not stop, the police fired at the Toyota Vigo pickup truck thinking they may be drug runners.

The injured campers were 18 and 21 years old and, after being shot, the pickup truck quickly stopped and the two injured men were raced to Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Hospital nearby. The father of the 18 year old boy filed a complaint with the Tanyong Police, calling their unclear and overly aggressive actions “attempted murder”.

Details of the incident were posted on the forward headquarters website for the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4 today for the incident which took place between late Saturday night and early Sunday morning. The Narathiwat Police Chief confirmed that the officers were based at the Tanyong Police Station and under assignment from their commander to try to intercept drug traffickers by setting up a checkpoint.

An investigation is still pending but the 3 plain-clothed police officers may be charged with attempted murder for firing at the vehicle when it failed to stop at the unclear checkpoint.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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    Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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