Blacklist all 'mafia-like' kamnans, says Anutin
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Blacklist all 'mafia-like' kamnans, says Anutin

Praween Chankhlai, alias Kamnan Nok, left, undergoes questioning by police from the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok on Friday. (Police photo)
Praween Chankhlai, alias Kamnan Nok, left, undergoes questioning by police from the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok on Friday. (Police photo)

Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Friday he has assigned his deputy, Chada Thaiset, and all provincial governors to gather information on and blacklist local leaders found to be involved in mafia-style gangs.

He was responding to a fresh violent incident in which a highway patrol officer was gunned down and another injured at a dinner party at the home of a highly influential local leader in Nakhon Pathom's Muang district late on Wednesday night, which was attended by at least 25 other police officers.

The murdered officer was Pol Maj Siwakorn Saibua, chief of Highway Police Station 1 of the Highway Police Sub-division 2. Pol Lt Col Wasin Wanpee, the deputy commander of the Highway Police Sub-division 2, was seriously injured.

Thananchai Manmak, who was wanted on a court warrant for allegedly shooting Pol Maj Siwakorn and injuring Pol Lt Col Wasin, was shot and killed in an exchange of gunfire with police in Tha Rua district, Kanchanaburi province, early Friday morning.

Praween Chankhlai, alias Kamnan Nok, the local leader and host of the fateful dinner party, turned himself in to Nakhon Pathom police on Thursday afternoon, shortly after an arrest warrant was issued.

Eyewitnesses told investigators that the shooting took place after a request by Mr Praween for the transfer of his nephew, who is a policeman, was rebuffed, said Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej, commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau.

Chada: Looking for 'bad' kamnans

The kamnan (subdistrict head) will be dismissed from his local administrative work and now faces a probe into his alleged involvement in the shooting, said Mr Anutin, citing a report submitted to him by the Nakhon Pathom governor.

The screening and blacklisting of local leaders who have a history of involvement in mafia-style gangs is now very much necessary, said Mr Anutin.

"This kind of person should no longer be active in society nor allowed to continue hurting and killing people," he said.

The Nakhon Pathom tragedy is a perfect example of why "bad" local leaders must be blacklisted for public safety, said Mr Anutin.

Mr Anutin also ordered tougher regulations to control those allowed to own or carry guns, saying that being allowed to own a gun does not permit the owner to carry it around in public whenever he wants.

There are many restrictions that gun licence owners must follow, he said.

Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas ordered the transfer of the 25 police officers seen at the Nakhon Pathom party to inactive posts at the Royal Thai Police Operation Centre while a fact-finding committee looked into why they were there.

The Metropolitan Police Bureau also launched a separate fact-finding probe to find out why the gunman wasn't apprehended at the scene where a high number of police officers were present.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, meanwhile, vowed to ensure justice for the highway police officer who was killed, saying it was absolutely shocking to learn that the officer was shot dead because he refused to cooperate in an attempt by gangsters to interfere with a local police reshuffle.

As for a suggestion that the tragedy might have something to do with bribe payments linked with lobbying for a promotion in the police reshuffle, Mr Srettha said that Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol, the deputy national police chief, is already questioning all the police officers who were at the Nakhon Pathom dinner party.

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