Police commandos arrested a son of late influential boxing promoter Klaew Thanikul and the father of TV actors Nachat and Natcha Janthaphan, and 15 other suspects, when executing arrest warrants in 12 provinces on Thursday.
Special Operations Police raided 17 locations - in Bangkok and in Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, Kanchanaburi, Chachoengsao, Chanthaburi, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Phanom and Kalasin provinces - on the orders of Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej, commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB).
Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop told reporters on Thursday afternoon that a total of 17 suspects were arrested during the raids - six wanted in murder cases, seven for attempted murder, three for robbery and one for assault causing serious injury.
Among those detained were Vorachet Janthaphan, 63, father of actor brothers Nachat and Natcha, and Khom Thanikul, son of late Muay Thai promoter Klaew Thanikul, dubbed the “metropolitan godfather’’.
Mr Vorachet was wanted on charges of attempted murder and violations of the Firearms Act in connection with an attack on a truck in Nonthaburi, for causing injuries and causing damage to the vehicle. He was arrested at Viphawan housing estate in tambon Bang Krasor of Muang district, Nonthaburi.
Mr Khom, 35, was arrested in Nakhon Si Thammarat. He was wanted for allegedly shooting dead Ekkarong Ruengnate at a roadside bus pavilion in Tha Muang district of Kanchanaburi province, in full view of shocked passengers. He allegedly shot Ekkarong four times with a .45 handgun. He was apprehended on a road in Cha-uat district.
In Chachoengsao province, commandos surrounded the house of murder suspect Sathaporn Khaopongchan in Bang Nam Phrieo district. However, Mr Sathaporn was not in the house or anywhere in the 40 rai compound. Other family members were at home.
Mr Sathaporn allegedly shot dead Uthen Lornor over a land dispute in Bang Nam Phrieo in 2007. Police arrested him and he later skipped court bail. He was previously convicted on drug charges.
Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop said that during questioning all suspects confessed to the charges. Some said they were unaware that warrants had been issued for their arrest.
Special Operations Police commander Pol Maj Gen Phumin Phumpanmuang said Mr Vorachet, had fired shots at the driver of a 10-wheel truck in Chiang Mai’s Mae Taeng district. The driver had parked his vehicle in front of Mr Vorachet’s resort.
Mr Vorachet was arrested after the attack and a lower court sentenced him to five years in jail. He claimed the gunshots were accidental and was allowed bail to appeal. He failed to show up to hear the Supreme Court's ruling. In 2017, he had opened a YouTube channel which had more than 100,000 followers.
Mr Khom had fired shots at a vagabond in front of a roadside pavilion in Tha Muang district, Kanchanaburi in 2019 and had explained it was to relieve stress. He was arrested in Nakhon Si Thammarat, the Special Operations Police commander confirmed. He led the operation.
Other major arrests included Thosaphol Udomdee, 42, wanted for colluding in murder, setting fire to a body and destroying a corpse. He had used a knife to attack a former air force officer he said had refused to pay for a motorcycle tyre repair at his shop. He claimed the man, who fled, had tried to intimidate him.
The suspect then allegedly conspired with four accomplices to run down the man with a pickup truck. They beat him with wooden batons and drove the pickup over their victim before setting fire to his body. Mr Thosaphol had been in hiding for 15 years before he was arrested in Khon Kaen.
Khom Thanikul, second left, son of late Muay Thai promoter Klaew Thanikul, the “metropolitan godfather", is among 16 suspects arrested by police commandos during raids in 12 provinces on Thursday. (Photo supplied)
Police commandos show an arrest warrant to Vorachet Janthaphan, father of actor brothers Nachat and Natcha, who is wanted for attempted murder, in Nonthaburi province. (Photo supplied)