Police chief transferred amid probe

Police chief transferred amid probe

Chon Buri's police chief has been transferred to an inactive post pending an investigation into his alleged connection with the hiring of fake suspects in an assault and shooting case in central Pattaya last month.

National police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas on Tuesday signed an order transferring Chon Buri police commander Pol Maj Gen Kittanate Thanananthavisin to the inactive post at the Royal Thai Police Department Operation Centre in Bangkok.

He is being probed for his alleged links to an attempt to help the real culprits escape prosecution by switching them with two other people.

The case in question was an assault and shooting which took place on Oct 18 when five people stormed a pool villa in a resort in the Jomtien-Pattaya area and attacked and injured its occupants, who included teenagers. The suspects also shot at three vehicles at the villa.

The next day, the five suspects surrendered to local police. They allegedly confessed to having physically harmed the villa occupants in a fit of anger after they failed to find the individuals they were looking for there, who refused to pay off their debts.

They also threatened the villa occupants to keep quiet about the attack.

According to Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, the deputy national police chief, the investigators later found that two of the five had been hired to pose as suspects to allow the real culprits to escape prosecution.

They were identified as Boonrit Jitma, 24, and Salarun Yodthad, 23. They told police they were given 1,000 baht each to confess to the crime and that they did so out of gratitude for someone they highly respected.

Pol Gen Surachate said the two fake suspects were each handed a year in jail, commuted to six months as they confessed.

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