CSD investigates Banyin kidnapping jailbreak plot
The Crime Suppression Division (CSD) is investigating an alleged jailbreak plot hatched by murder suspect Banyin Tangpakorn that involved a threat to kidnap the wife of a prison chief, a source at the CSD said on Friday.
Pol Lt Col Banyin, a former deputy commerce minister, is being held in prison for forgery and has been accused of kidnapping and killing the brother of a Bangkok South Criminal Court judge.
That kidnap was aimed at pressuring the judge into dismissing a 300-million-baht stock fraud case against him.
The CSD discovered the escape plot early this month when a team arrested a 42-year-old man, identified as Suthon "Joe" Thongsiri, in Bangkok's Bang Kapi district shortly after he was released on bail from Bangkok Remand Prison. Suthon was apprehended again on another warrant.
He told police he had met Pol Lt Col Banyin in prison and was approached to help plan the escape. If the jailbreak attempt failed, he was told to kidnap the wife of the prison commander to negotiate for Pol Lt Col Banyin's release.
According to the source, Pol Lt Col Banyin had a lawyer to apply for Suthon's release and told Suthon to contact an MP in Nakhon Sawan for help. The MP in question refused to get involved.
The CSD sent its officers to find more information in the prison and discovered that Pol Lt Col Banyin also approached another inmate, identified as "Top", to work on the escape plot.
Pol Col Naras Savestanan, director-general of the Corrections Department, refused to comment on the matter. He also refused to say where Pol Lt Col Banyin was currently being held citing security reasons.
A source at the Corrections Department said Pol Lt Col Banyin was transferred to Bang Kwang prison after officials learned of the escape plot. He also unsuccessfully attempted suicide.
According to the source, Pol Lt Col Banyin planned to "get himself abducted" this Monday before or after a court appearance. The suspect allegedly made the threat to kidnap the wife of the prison commander in front of the prison chief.
Pol Lt Col Banyin was arrested in late February for kidnapping and murdering Wirachai Sakuntaprasoet, the 70-year-old, elder brother of Bangkok South Criminal Court judge Phanida Sakuntaprasoet.
Wirachai was kidnapped by four men outside the court on Feb 4 in order to pressure her to dismiss charges in the fraud case against Pol Lt Col Banyin. The kidnapped man was then killed, his body burned and the remains tossed into the Chao Phraya River in Nakhon Sawan.