CSD closing in on Somchai suspects
The Crime Suppression Division (CSD) expects to wrap up its investigation into several suspects who allegedly harboured convicted criminal Somchai Khunploem within 15 days.
- Published: 4/02/2013 at 12:00 AM
- Newspaper section: topstories
Somchai, 75, better known as Kamnan Poh, was arrested in Bangkok on Wednesday after a two-month covert police operation. He had been on the run for nearly seven years.
Once dubbed the "Godfather of Chon Buri," Somchai was convicted in March last year in absentia by the Supreme Court for masterminding the murder of political rival Prayoon Sitthichoke at a wedding reception in March 2003. He was handed a sentence of 25 years in prison. He was also sentenced in absentia by the Supreme Court in May 2006 to five years and four months' imprisonment for corruption.
Pol Col Nirand Namsuwan, chief of CSD Sub-Division 2 and head of the investigation into how Somchai evaded arrest, said his team was focusing on the period of time Somchai reportedly spent hiding at his Chon Buri home.
He said several people were believed to have illegally provided him shelter.
The investigation should wrap up in the next 15 days, Pol Col Nirand said.
Sorasit Jongjaroen, chief of Bangkok Remand Prison, said Somchai was still being treated at the Corrections Department hospital for several chronic illnesses including clogged blood vessels in the brain and respiratory problems.
Somchai's family has not submitted an application for a royal pardon, although they can do so as Somchai has exhausted all avenues of appeal, Mr Sorasit said.
Asked if Somchai could be transferred to a prison in his hometown in Chon Buri, Mr Sorasit said the opinions of his doctors would be taken into consideration.