Arrest warrants for torture-death cops

Arrest warrants for torture-death cops

Police examine the interrogation room in Nakhon Sawan province where seven officers allegedly tortured and suffocated a drug suspect. (Photo: Chalit Phumruang)
Police examine the interrogation room in Nakhon Sawan province where seven officers allegedly tortured and suffocated a drug suspect. (Photo: Chalit Phumruang)

A Nakhon Sawan court has approved arrest warrants for a senior police officer and six subordinates relating to the alleged torture and death of a drug suspect.

The warrants follow posting of a video clip on social media Tuesday showing a suspect being suffocated to death with a plastic bag. The alleged incident occurred during an interrogation at Muang police station. 

The seven policemen include senior officer Pol Col Thitisan Utthanaphon, who was superintendent of Muang police station in Nakhon Sawan. The officer is known as "Jo Ferrari" because he owns several sports cars, including a limited-edition Lamborghini.

National police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk has since sacked Pol Col Thitisan, 39, from the police force for his alleged role in the torture.

Arrest warrants were issued by the Nakhon Sawan Provincial Court on Wednesday.

Drug suspect Jeerapong Thanapat, 24, died at Muang police station in Nakhon Sawan on Aug 6. He and his wife had been arrested with 100,000 methamphetamine pills on a bypass road in the province.

A subordinate officer filed a complaint claiming his supervisor had demanded 2 million baht from the suspect, even after the suspect agreed to pay half that. The suspect was then suffocated and the supervisor instructed his team to tell other people the man had overdosed.

Jeerapong's wife was released after she agreed to remain silent, it was alleged.

A police source said four of the seven police involved in the torture had already been detained.

There were rumours that Pol Col Thitisan had fled to Chiang Saen and Mae Sot on Tuesday night. Pol Lt Gen Sompong said he had not received reports of any of the suspects attempting to leave.

Nonetheless, Immigration Bureau chief Sompong Chingduang on Wednesday said he had ordered a full alert at the borders for Pol Col Thitisan and any accomplices who might try to flee the country.

Vocabulary

  • accomplice: a person who helps someone else to commit a crime or to do something morally wrong - ผู้สมรู้ร่วมคิด
  • allege: to say that something is true or that someone has done something wrong, even though this has not been proved - อ้าง, กล่าวหา
  • arrest warrant: a document signed by a judge allowing police to arrest someone - หมายจับ
  • flee (past form: fled) (verb): to leave a place or person quickly because you are afraid of possible danger or consequences - หนี
  • interrogation: asking someone a lot of questions in order to get information - การสอบถาม, การซักถาม
  • issue: to give or provide something official - แจกจ่าย
  • methamphetamine: a stimulant drug that increases alertness and energy, but which is dangerous when taken in large amounts or over a long period of time - ยาบ้า
  • nonetheless: despite what has just been said or done; nevertheless; even so - ถึงอย่างไรก็ตาม, ถึงอย่างนั้นก็ตาม
  • overdose: (v) to take too much of a drug at one time, so that it is dangerous -
  • sack: to remove someone from a job; to fire - ปลดออกจากตำแหน่ง
  • subordinate: someone who has less power or authority than someone else - ผู้ใต้บังคับบัญชา สมุน
  • suffocate (verb): to die because there is no air to breathe; to kill somebody by not letting them breathe air - หายใจไม่ออก, ทำให้หายใจไม่ออก
  • superintendent: a senior police officer - เจ้าหน้าที่ตำรวจระดับสูง
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