Drug suspect in cop saga 'suffocated'

Drug suspect in cop saga 'suffocated'

An autopsy from Sawanpracharak Hospital has confirmed that the death of a drug suspect, who was allegedly tortured by the former chief of Muang Nakhon Sawan police, was caused by suffocation, not a narcotics overdose.

Joe Ferrari: Caption

It was reported that Pol Col Thitisan "Joe Ferrari" Utthanaphon ordered subordinates to ensure doctors recorded acute drug intoxication as the cause of Jeerapong Thanapat's death, after he had a plastic bag put over the man's head during questioning.

After leaked footage of the incident was disseminated on social media, severe doubts were raised over the earlier given cause of death of the 24-year-old man.

Pol Col Anek Taosupab, deputy commander of the Crime Suppression Division, told media yesterday that although methamphetamine and amphetamine were detected in a urine test, they were not present in sufficient quantities to cause death.

The Royal Thai Police have assigned the CSD to oversee the investigation into Pol Col Thitisan and six other officers under his command, while the Economic Crime Suppression Division will examine Pol Col Thitisan's financial transactions after questions were asked about his lavish lifestyle.

That branch of the investigation will seek to ascertain the source of Pol Col Thitisan's collection of luxury cars after police received a tip-off that the vehicles had been illegally imported from Malaysia.

Pol Col Thitisan has been linked with the sale of over 300 vehicles by accomplices in the luxury car sector, which is thought to have reaped in huge profits.

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