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Chemicals found in dismembered body

BANGKOK: Certain chemicals have been found in the dismembered body found in a freezer during a raid on an alleged passport forgery racket in Bangkok late last month and the victim might have run a small print-media business, police said on Saturday (Oct 8).

crime, death, police,

Bangkok Post

Saturday 8 October 2016, 07:29PM

Police put on display guns and passports seized during a raid on a fake passport racket in Phra Khanong district, Bangkok, on Sept 23 when a dismembered male body was also discovered. Photo: Tourist Police
Police put on display guns and passports seized during a raid on a fake passport racket in Phra Khanong district, Bangkok, on Sept 23 when a dismembered male body was also discovered. Photo: Tourist Police

The investigators were waiting for details on the chemicals from the Department of Forensic Medicine at Chulalongkorn University and for a confirmation from the American embassy in Bangkok whether the victim was really Charles Edward Ditlefsen, metropolitan police commissioner Sanit Mahathavorn said.

He expected the answer from the embassy in a few weeks. If the identity of the body is verified, police can seek an arrest warrant for a suspect, Pol Lt Gen Sanit said.

He also said that the victim had probably run a small print media business but did not say how he came to the conclusion.

They are also investigating 10 aspects in the case and progress on some of them should be known next week.

The chopped male body was found in a freezer at a shophouse on Sukhumvit Rd Soi 56 in Bangkok where police raided an alleged passport forgery ring on Sept 23.

Three foreigners were arrested there. One of them, Herbert Craig La Fon, a 63-year-old American, shot and wounded a tourist policeman during the operation. He later admitted to dismembering the victim but denied killing him.

The others are also Americans: Aaron Thomas Gabel, 33, and James Douglas Eger, 66. Police suspected Mr Gabel of being involved with a spy agency.

Earlier, a team of Chulalongkorn University forensic specialists who conducted an autopsy found the victim, 179.5 centimetres tall, might have died of a lack of oxygen and/or use of drugs.

Investigators believe the man was probably killed in 2007, which was about the same time Mr La Fon allegedly bought the big freezer.

The Straits Times of Singapore reported on Tuesday (Oct 4) the case had drawn the interest of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation for possible links with terrorists, citing sources.

It said the three men arrested in the house on Sept 23 had several fake passports, which were provided by a Pakistani national now jailed in Thailand.

The sources said 61-year-old Babu Rafiq, arrested in Bangkok in April last year, had been told to provide the fake passports by someone in Pakistan whom security agencies believe may be the racket’s kingpin.

The Pakistanis involved in the fake passport ring are said to be linked to at least one individual, Atiq ur Rehman. He is suspected of having provided passports to the Al-Qaeda operatives who set off a series of coordinated bombings on commuter trains in Madrid in 2004, according to the report.


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