Immigration: Fugitive 'Sia Paeng' not detected using legal routes

Immigration: Fugitive 'Sia Paeng' not detected using legal routes

A TV screen capture of fugitive prison escapee Chaowalit Thongduang, alias Sia Paeng Nanod, from one of the videos he sent to police saying he escaped because he had been treated unfairly by police, prosecutors and the justice system.
A TV screen capture of fugitive prison escapee Chaowalit Thongduang, alias Sia Paeng Nanod, from one of the videos he sent to police saying he escaped because he had been treated unfairly by police, prosecutors and the justice system.

The Immigration Bureau has not found any records indicating that fugitive inmate Chaowalit Thongduang has left Thailand through legal channels, but it is possible that he used a natural crossing.

The bureau’s Immigration Division 2, responsible for overseeing the entry and exit of Thai citizens and foreign nationals, found no evidence of Chaowalit, also known as Sia Paeng Nanod, leaving the country via legal checkpoints, including water, land and air channels.

The 37-year-old inmate might have fled the country through a natural crossing, said Pol Maj Gen Choengron Rimphadee, chief of Immigration Division 2.

His comments came in response to unconfirmed reports that the fugitive may have fled to Indonesia, reportedly using a speedboat through Satun's La Ngu district.

On Tuesday, the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) confirmed that Thailand has an extradition treaty with Indonesia.

Chaowalit, who was serving time for attempted murder and faced multiple other criminal charges, has remained at large since fleeing from Maharaj Nakhon Si Thammarat Hospital on Oct 22 where he was taken for dental treatment.

He got involved in a shootout with police in his hideout on the Banthad mountain range in Palian district of Trang province on Nov 8. The mountain range stretches across Phatthalung, Trang and Satun provinces. 

Despite a massive manhunt, he managed to evade capture and released video clips in which he claimed he was unfairly treated, and he was the only person sentenced despite numerous other suspects being involved. He also claimed his appeal for bail had not been handled fairly.

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