Fugitive 'Sia Paeng Nanod' arrested in Indonesia
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Fugitive 'Sia Paeng Nanod' arrested in Indonesia

Murder suspect had spent seven months on the run after fleeing hospital

Fugitive Chaowalit “Sia Paeng Nanod” Thongduang was convicted in absentia of attempted murder and will face a murder charge when he is brought back to Thailand. (Photo Supplied)
Fugitive Chaowalit “Sia Paeng Nanod” Thongduang was convicted in absentia of attempted murder and will face a murder charge when he is brought back to Thailand. (Photo Supplied)

Fugitive inmate Chaowalit Thongduang, alias “Sia Paeng Nanod”, who fled a hospital in Nakhon Si Thammarat last October and later got involved in a shootout with police, has been arrested in Indonesia after seven months on the run.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on Thursday confirmed the arrest following a briefing from Justice Minister Tawee Sodsong at Government House.

Pol Col Tawee said Indonesian police arrested Chaowalit on the resort island of Bali on Thursday morning.

The minister has already questioned Chaowalit via a video link and will travel to Indonesia on Friday to arrange for his return to Thailand.

Chaowalit used a fake Indonesian passport and moved around the country cautiously, pretending to be mute because he could not speak the local language, said the minister. He mostly stayed in Medan and Bali.

“During the video call, Chaowalit admitted he was cornered. I told him to enter the justice system and I will guarantee his safety,” said Pol Col Tawee.

When Chaowalit is brought back to Thailand, authorities hope to learn more about his dealings with a drug gang, said the minister.

According to Pol Col Tawee, several women made frequent trips to Indonesia to meet with Chaowalit. He declined to give details about the women or the money trail linked to the fugitive, saying police were still investigating.

The minister did say, however, that a quarrel with an Indonesian woman, “during which an assault occurred”, led to the fugitive’s arrest by Indonesian police.

Pol Col Tawee said police, officials from the Department of Corrections, the Office of the Narcotics Control Board, the Department of Special Investigation and Gen Niphat Thonglek, an adviser to the prime minister, would go to Indonesia with him on Friday.

Chaowalit, 37, was serving time for attempted murder and was facing multiple other criminal charges including murder and firearms possession. On Oct 22 last year he fled from Maharaj Nakhon Si Thammarat Hospital after being taken there for dental treatment.

Police tracked him to a hideout in the Banthad mountain range in Trang on Nov 8. A shootout ensued but he escaped again into the mountainous terrain that straddles Phatthalung, Trang and Satun provinces.

Despite a massive manhunt, the inmate managed to evade capture. It was later reported that he was believed to have left Thailand in a speedboat from Satun. (Story continues below)

Security video shows inmate Chaowalit Thongduang walking out of Maharat Nakhon Si Thammarat Hospital, where he had been taken for dental treatment, on Oct 22 last year. The 37-year-old fugitive has been arrested in Indonesia, authorities said on Thursday. (Photo: CCTV from Maharat Nakhon Si Thammarat Hospital)

While on the run, Chaowalit released a series of videos in which he claimed he had been unfairly treated.

He claimed he was the only person sentenced for his crimes despite numerous other suspects being involved. He also claimed his appeal for bail in the pending murder case had not been handled fairly.

The Ministry of Justice rejected the claims, noting his lengthy criminal record.

On Dec 25 Chaowalit was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment for attempted murder. The conviction stemmed from a shooting at a restaurant in Muang district of Phatthalung, on Sept 9, 2019.

He was charged with colluding with four others to try and murder a court assistant. All five were handed life terms.


Fugitive inmate Chaowalit Thongduang was arrested in Indonesia following his escape seven months ago.

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