Cop linked to murder 'had assets of B600m'

Cop linked to murder 'had assets of B600m'

Investigators have found the former chief of Muang Nakhon Sawan police, Pol Col Thitisan Utthanaphon, whose order to have a plastic bag placed over the head of a drug suspect during questioning is alleged to have caused his death, owns property with an estimated value of at least 600 million baht.

Pol Col Thitisan, aka Joe Ferrari, was found to hold considerable assets in money and property, stemming from arrest rewards and tax-evasion concerning the import and sale of luxury vehicles, many of which had earlier been seized by the Customs Department.

The officers are also investigating other alleged misconduct, including accepting bribes from four other drug suspects. The Crime Suppression Division will deliver its findings to the National Anti‑Corruption Commission today.

Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Suchart Theerasawat yesterday told media that police will continue to probe the money trail left behind by Pol Col Thitisan after it was found that the suspect has seized 410 imported cars for tax evasion and then gone on to oversee and profit from their auction by the Customs Department. Five more luxury vehicles previously impounded by police were also found at his house.

Another official accused of helping him has not yet been found to have committed any crime while the six officers who were present during the fatal interrogation will face no further action, said Pol Gen Suchart, who also said there was no evidence that the suspect was suffering from a mental disorder of any kind.

The investigation team are continuing to examine the suspect's assets and the origins of the seized luxury vehicles.

Pol Col Anek Taosupab, deputy commander of the Crime Suppression Division, told media yesterday that he has sought a court order to have the suspect and seven accused accomplices kept in custody a while longer while the probe continues.

The suspect is still likely to face the original set of charges including causing harm leading to death and murder.

The investigation is thought to be about 80% complete and case files will be delivered to the National Anti-Corruption Commission by Sept 24, Pol Col Anek said.

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