Air force plane to return fugitive from Jakarta
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Air force plane to return fugitive from Jakarta

'Paeng Nanod' is arrested in Indonesia. (Police photo)
'Paeng Nanod' is arrested in Indonesia. (Police photo)

The government will send a Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) aircraft to transport high-profile fugitive Chaowalit "Paeng Nanod" Thongduang from Jakarta to Bangkok this week, according to Justice Minister Tawee Sodsong.

Pol Col Tawee said the RTAF's Airbus A320 will depart for Indonesia on Tuesday before returning with Chaowalit.

ACM Punpakdee Pattanakul, commander-in-chief of the air force, said the Foreign Affairs Ministry will work to arrange the flight to collect the fugitive.

Chaowalit, 37, was serving time at Nakhon Si Thammarat Prison for attempted murder and was facing a slew of other charges in other cases, including murder, attempted murder and firearms possession, when he fled.

On Oct 22, he fled from Maharaj Nakhon Si Thammarat Hospital after being taken there for dental treatment. Despite a massive manhunt that followed, Chaowalit managed to escape Thailand in a speedboat reportedly from Satun. While on the run, Chaowalit released video clips claiming he was unfairly treated by the justice system.

Chaowalit was arrested in Bali on Thursday by Indonesian police for drug dealing, using a fake Indonesian ID card and assaulting women, according to the justice minister.

Pol Col Tawee and a delegation of government officials flew to Jakarta at 2.30pm on Saturday and will return on Sunday after discussing the legal procedures with Indonesian police.

Pol Col Tawee said Interpol is assisting with the transfer of the fugitive, which is expected to be wrapped up in three days.

Gen Nipat Thonglek, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin's adviser and a delegate member, said the transfer clearance will be secured after some legal procedures are performed first.

The Chaowalit investigation will be handled as a special case. On his return to Thailand, the fugitive will be questioned by the Royal Thai Police before being sent to Phatthalung and Provincial Police Region 9 for further investigation, according to Pol Col Tawee.

The ministry will set up a committee to look into how Chaowalit slipped out of the country and identify the people who assisted him in his escape.

Sahakarn Petchnarin, director-general of the Department of Corrections, said Chaowalit might not be transferred back to Nakhon Si Thammarat Prison, but a high-security prison elsewhere.

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