Thailand News Today | Joe Ferrari sentenced to life in prison


The Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases in Bangkok has sentenced former cop, Thitisan Utthanaphon, aka. Joe Ferrari, to death, before later commuting his sentence to life in prison.

Thitisan was the police chief in Nakhon Sawan in central Thailand, when he led the torture and eventual death of a suspected drug trafficker in August last year.

The Court today ruled that Thitisan’s actions carry the death sentence, although the penalty was commuted to life in prison instead.

He is sentenced along with 6 other officers who were charged for intentionally murdering others by “dangerously torturing”.

The 6 officers were also initially sentenced to death, but the penalties were reduced to life in jail because they sent the victim to a hospital.

Another suspect was not charged with murder, but he was charged with “abuse of function”. He was sentenced to 7 years of jail time, but the penalty was reduced to 5 years and 4 months.

Thitisan was captured on video in a violent interrogation of a suspect in an alleged drugs case,

during which the superintendent with his subordinates placed 6 plastic bags over the man’s head and tied his hands behind his back which led to his suffocation until he died.

The video of the botched interrogation and torture went viral, shocking viewers of the violent police treatment of a suspect.

The police station CCTV footage was leaked by a junior officer.

The 39-year-old former police chief and 6 other officers were subsequently arrested and charged in the investigation.

Thitisan is also being investigated for his role in the seizure, resale, and ownership of high-end cars.

The former police chief earned the nickname Joe Ferrari as a result of his collection of luxury vehicles. His assets, which were seized as part of the investigation,

also include a 57-million-baht mansion in Bangkok.

In total, investigating officers have seized assets valued at 130 million baht, including 24 cars valued at 70 million baht, a condo worth 1.5 million baht, and 18 guns worth 720,000 baht.


the Thai cabinet has passed a new civil partnership bill. It now needs to survive its first reading in the lower house of the Thai parliament.

Out of nowhere, but perhaps inspired, or prompted by the Pride Month activities around Bangkok, the Thai cabinet approved a Civil Partnership Bill,

which is considered the next step toward same-sex marriage in Thailand. The bill will allow same-sex couples to ‘register’ their partnership, not get legally married.

The new Bill defines a civil partnership as a “couple born with the same gender”. Civil unions would become available to consenting same-sex couples who are at least 17 years old.

At least one must be a Thai national.

In June 2020, the opposition Move Forward Party decided to go ‘all in’ 2020 when they introduced a bill to legalise same-sex marriage.

Public consultation on the Bill was launched in July and drew broad support.

Then the government referred the Bill to the Constitutional Court in 2021.

The Court ruled that the Civil and Commercial Code interpreted that marriages as “only between women and men” would be considered constitutional.

The ruling also included phrases saying that members of the LGBTQ community “cannot reproduce, as it is against nature,

and they are unlike other animals with unusual behaviours or physical characteristics”.

The Constitutional Court verdict also cites LGBTQ+ citizens as a “different species that needs to be separated and studied as it is incapable of creating the delicate bond of human relationships”. Don’t shoot the messenger guys.

I didn’t come up with these words.

The ruling seemingly put the issue back many decades. So this new Bill, to at least recognise same-sex partnerships was welcomed by Thailand’s LGBTQ community.


Bangkok City Hall has been given the go-ahead to use prisoners to clean the capital’s sewers and improve flood irrigation.

City Hall insists human rights must be respected, use only volunteer inmates, pay wages, use protective equipment, and offer welfare benefits.

Around 1,000 inmates from 10 of the city’s prisons will work on the project which is scheduled to start in July.

All prisoners working on the project will be fully vaccinated and given Antigen tests, but they will not be permitted to see any family or roam in any public locations.

In addition to medical coverage, food and beverages will be provided for the labourers, and they will receive 70% of the revenue generated from their work.

The prisoners can save the money and spend it however they wish once they are freed from serving their time in jail.

The newly elected Bangkok governor, Chadchart Sittipunt, has set a goal of clearing 100 kilometres of sewage as soon as possible and wants drains in all flood-prone zones cleared right away.


Thai officials revealed they have now run tens of thousands of tests on monkeys throughout Thailand and found that even monkeys don’t have monkeypox.

Yesterday, a veterinarian at the Department of National Parks ภัทรพล มีอ่อน, Wildlife and Plant Conservation revealed that,

so far, there have been 25,000 tests, out of 50,000 monkeys in 222 locations across the country and that all the tests turned out negative.

The natural reservoir of the monkeypox virus remains generally unknown. But, African rodents and non-human primates (including some monkeys) may harbour the virus and infect people as a zoonotic disease. Today there are a confirmed 1,033 infected people around the world.

Monkeypox cases in people have occurred outside of Africa 5 times this century, mostly linked to international travel or imported animals, including confirmed cases in at least 29 countries. One strain of monkeypox, the Congo Basin clade, has a 10% fatality rate. The current strain spreading outside of central Africa has a much lower fatality rate. Moreover, current outbreaks have nothing to do with monkeys at all.

This news comes after 6 suspected monkeypox infections in humans also tested negative. Even though no monkeypox cases have been confirmed in the Kingdom’s borders, Phattarapol says people who live near known monkey habitats are urged to stay away from them and avoid feeding them.


Cambodia now claims it is now completely free of Covid, according to a statement released by the country’s health ministry yesterday.

The southeast Asian nation – which has a population of 16.7 million – recorded a total of 136,262 cases, 133,206 recoveries and 3,056 Covid deaths since January 2020. Thailand – which has a population of 69.8 million – recorded 30,218 deaths comparatively.

So how has Cambodia managed to squash the virus?

Secretary of State and spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, Or Vandine, attributes Cambodia’s success in controlling the pandemic to vaccines and…effective leadership…

He said quote “Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen has made the right and timely decision to provide free Covid vaccines to all eligible Cambodians and foreigners living in the country.”

A total of 94% of the Cambodian population has received at least 1 dose of the vaccine, 89% have received 2 shots, 58% have received 3 shots and 16% have had 4 shots. Most of these vaccines are China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccines.

Starting June 9, the country will offer a 5th shot to high-risk groups.

Life in Cambodia has almost returned to “normal.” In April, Cambodia lifted the requirement to wear masks outdoors, but masks are still required indoors.

In November last year, Cambodia opened up its borders to fully vaccinated travellers. Fully vaccinated tourists are exempt from quarantine, pre-arrival and on-arrival Covid testing. Fully vaccinated tourists must provide printed proof of their vaccination history.

Travellers who are unvaccinated, or not fully vaccinated, are required to quarantine for one week (at present) and are required to take a rapid antigen test on the final day of their quarantine period.

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