Central list initiated for wanted suspects

Central list initiated for wanted suspects

A new law has come into effect placing suspects with arrest warrants on a central domicile registration list to speed up criminal investigations, according to the Lawyers Council.

The Civil Registration Act, which entered into effect on Monday, stipulates that any criminal suspect with an outstanding arrest warrant -- who has not been caught or failed to surrender within 180 days of the warrant having been issued -- will have their names removed from the household registration list and placed on the central domicile registration instead, said Maj Sombat Wongkamhaeng, vice chairman of the council.

The transfer is to help the police process investigations faster with all suspects placed in the same pool, according to a source. Law enforcement authorities are obliged to formally notify the director of the central registration unit of suspects whose names are to be transferred.

The names will be moved back to the local household registration list only when they report in person and inform the unit the warrants against them have been withdrawn or that they were captured or turned themselves in to the authorities and their cases were closed, Maj Sombat said.

The council vice chairman explained that central registration has been running for a while now. It previously dealt with handling the names of people who had been dropped from the household registrations for whatever reason.

If those whose names are taken out by the head of the household and have no other house registration to be relocated to, they were placed on the central listing, Maj Sombat said.

However, critics argue that the transfer of suspects' names to the central registration constitutes a breach of their basic rights.

On the central list, the suspects are also marked with a clause denoting 'criminal suspect pending capture'.

Maj Sombat said the measure was in the public interest and was the reason cited by lawmakers for passing the act.

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