Three people face arrest after Banyin's escape plot foiled

Three people face arrest after Banyin's escape plot foiled

A police convoy accompanies a prisoner transport van carrying former deputy minister for commerce Banyin Tangpakorn to the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases. Pornprom Satrabhaya
A police convoy accompanies a prisoner transport van carrying former deputy minister for commerce Banyin Tangpakorn to the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases. Pornprom Satrabhaya

Investigators will issue arrest warrants for three people who are said to be involved in an alleged jailbreak plan involving former deputy minister for commerce Banyin Tangpakorn this week.

Pol Lt Col Banyin, 56, is now facing four more charges for plotting to escape from prison and kidnap the Bangkok Remand Prison chief's wife to use as leverage.

While the plot was discovered before the crime took place, police said Pol Lt Col Banyin had intended to commit the crime and, as such, must be given a sentence equal to one-third of the sentence that he would get if the crime had taken place.

Deputy commander of the Crime Suppression Division Pol Col Anek Taosuparb said police have evidence which can be used to press the charges, in addition to testimonies from two inmates -- known as "Joe" and "Top" -- who were approached by Pol Lt Col Banyin in prison to help him escape.

The three people who are to be summoned for interrogation are a former MP for Nakhon Sawan, the attorney who helped bail Joe out, as well as Pol Lt Col Banyin's son.

Investigators found that Top, or Natthaphon Norakan, 30, is a friend of Woraphat Tangpakorn, Pol Lt Col Banyin's son. Top contacted Woraphat after he was released from prison.

The Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases on Monday held a hearing for the former deputy minister's case, in which he is alleged of abducting and murdering the elder brother of the judge handling his multi-million-baht stock theft case.

Pol Lt Col Banyin and five other people are named as defendants in the murder case.

He told the court during the hearing that he was framed by the other defendants and asked the court to allow him to consult his wife and daughter.

He also said he had nothing to do with planning a prison break as claimed by the police, before adding that the stress of being held in prison has pushed him to the brink of suicide.

Pol Lt Col Banyin has been held in solitary confinement at Bang Kwang Central Prison in Nonthaburi since last Thursday, after the jailbreak plot came to light.

The hearing for the other five defendants is set for Thursday.


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