Consumer protection police have arrested a Chon Buri sausage maker whose contaminated products were blamed for an illness diagnosed in many young children who ate them.
Sinarit Srathongseethun, 38, was apprehended in tambon Nong Khang Khok of Muang district, Chon Buri, on Thursday.
He was wanted on an arrest warrant issued by the Chon Buri Provincial Court for alleged collusion in producing substandard food products, operating a substandard food factory and other related offences, Consumer Protection Police Division (CPPD) commander Pol Maj Gen Anan Nanasombat said on Friday.
The arrest came after many children were hospitalised after eating contaminated sausages earlier this year.
They were diagnosed with methemoglobinemia (a blood disorder caused by elevated levels of a form of haemoglobin).
Consumer protection police tracked the food they had all eaten to a sausage factory in Chon Buri.
Accompanied by officials from the Food and Drug Administration they then raided a house-cum-factory in tambon Ban Suan of Muang district of Chon Buri in February. They seized 32 items, food products and manufacturing equipment, for examination. The seized items were worth about 700,000 baht.
Lab tests showed the products were contaminated. The investigators then summonsed Mr Sinarit and his wife Rakthawee Khunpaeng, 35, who jointly manufactured the sausages and other food products, to acknowledge charges.
Only his wife reported to the officers. Mr Sinarit fled and remained at large until Thursday, said Pol Col Neti Wongkularb, chief of CPPD sub-division 4, who led the arrest.
During questioning, Mr Sinarit allegedly confessed to the charges. He was handed over to CPPD investigators for legal action. The alleged offences carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or fine of 100,000 baht, Pol Col Neti said.