Banyin’s son denies links to prison break plan

Banyin’s son denies links to prison break plan

Woraphat Tangpakorn, son of Banyin, is at the Crime Suppression Division headquarters in Bangkok on Thursday. (Photo supplied)
Woraphat Tangpakorn, son of Banyin, is at the Crime Suppression Division headquarters in Bangkok on Thursday. (Photo supplied)

The son of disgraced former government official Banyin Tangpakorn has denied any involvement in his father’s alleged plan to break from Bangkok Remand Prison.

Banyin, former deputy commerce minister, was convicted over a forgery charge and has been accused of being involved in the abduction and murder of a Bangkok South Criminal Court Judge's elder brother.

He was placed in solitary confinement last month at Bang Kwang Central Prison in Nonthaburi after reports of an escape plan allegedly involving multiple people surfaced.

Woraphat Tangpakorn, son of Banyin, showed up for questioning at the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) headquarters in Bangkok on Thursday after he was summoned by Pol Col Sanphet Nuthong, superintendent of the CSD investigation unit.

Mr Woraphat was summoned after police learned he was a close friend of Natthapol “Top” Norakarn, 30, who served under Banyin’s command when he still had his police rank.

Natthapol was detained at the prison at the same time as Banyin before the alleged prison escape plan came to light.

Police suspect Mr Woraphat and Natthapol were involved in the escape plan because the two communicated before the plan was revealed.

Mr Woraphat on Thursday told police he had no involvement.

He insisted he was not a friend of Natthapol. Mr Woraphat said they met in prison during a visit and asked Mr Natthapol about his father who was detained in the same section.

Mr Woraphat, however, admitted to having communicated with Natthapol over the phone about general topics.

According to Pol Col Anake Taosuphap, deputy chief of the CSD, police agents learned Natthapol contacted Mr Woraphat after the former was released on bail. However, Pol Col Anake said he does not know the details of what was said.

According to the CSD, the escape plan was uncovered after a team of law enforcement agents arrested a 42-year-old man identified as Suthon “Joe” Thongsiri in Bangkok’s Kapi district shortly after he was released on bail from the prison, the same facility that Banyin was held in before he was transferred.

Suthon was nabbed on a separate arrest warrant.

Suthon told police he met Banyin in prison after he was approached to help plan the escape. If the jailbreak attempt failed, Suthon was told to kidnap the wife of BRK’s commander and use her as leverage to secure Banyin’s release.

Police earlier questioned prison officials and three inmates, who indicated Banyin had arranged the plan, Pol Col Anake said.

Police are now considering summoning Korn Kanthiang, a lawyer who posted bail for Suthon’s release.

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