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Former Phuket land chief found hanged in DSI cell

PHUKET: A former Phuket land chief, a native of Thalang district and accused of illegally issuing land documents for plots of land in Andaman provinces including Phuket, was found hanged in a cell at the Department of Special Investigation yesterday night (Aug 29).

corruption, crime, land, police,

Bangkok Post

Tuesday 30 August 2016, 02:45PM

A retired Phuket land official accused of illegally issuing title documents to over 1,000 blocks of land was found dead in his cell at the Department of Special Investigation only hours after his arrest. Photo: Kitja Apichonrojarek
A retired Phuket land official accused of illegally issuing title documents to over 1,000 blocks of land was found dead in his cell at the Department of Special Investigation only hours after his arrest. Photo: Kitja Apichonrojarek

DSI director-general Paisit Wongmuang said today (Aug 30) that Thawatchai Anukul, 66, a land official who retired whilst in office in Phang Nga, committed suicide in his cell on the sixth floor of the DSI head office at the government complex in Chaeng Wattana.

It was reported he used his socks to hang himself from a cell door hinge. He was found about 2am today and taken to Mongkutwattana Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:45am. Thawatchai had been arrested on a warrant in Bang Yai district of Nonthaburi province yesterday and would have been taken to court this morning, when the DSI would have requested he be remanded in custody for a further 12 days.

“Apart from being wanted on the DSI arrest warrant, he also faced arrest warrants issued by courts in other cases,” Col Paisit said. “The Anti-Money Laundering Office is checking his assets and the National Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating him.”

His death ended all criminal action against the former land official, but legal action relating to his alleged money-laundering would continue, Col Paisit said.

Thawatchai was a native of Thalang district. He was arrested in front of a barber shop in tambon Sao Thong Hin of Bang Yai district, Nonthaburi.

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He was accused of having illegally issued land rights documents for more than 1,000 blocks of land in Phang Nga, Phuket and Surat Thani provinces, the DSI chief said.

They included a document for 500 rai overlapping the Khao Lampi-Hat Thai Mueang National Park in Phang Nga. The price of the land was officially estimated at B10.5 billion, and it belonged to a rich person well-known in Phang Nga and Phuket, Col Paisit said.

Thawatchai had also allegedly issued a rights document to a private company for 362 rai of land in Rassada.

Read original story here.



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Joe12 | 06 September 2016 - 19:44:02

Kurt..Rienthong Nanna, like the deceased's brother and you are entitled to say what they like, but that certainly does not equate to them being correct. They have not dismissed anything, merely commented on selective questions that have been posed. How many times do you have to be told? There have been a number of questions that have been posed and reported here during the course of the investigation some in order to elicit facts or to discount events, and most only selective. As an investigator, I would certainly want it clarified and to know, would CPR could cause injuries and what, just like I would want to know the medical procedures adopted in full detail by the hospital. Nothing sinister in that, merely eliciting substantive facts for the coroner. 

As to death in custody you are trying to tell me he was not in custody? The article states, "Thawatchai had been arrested on a warrant." There is no mention that he was granted bail or had been released - unless of course you have that information.  

Now you are telling me he entered the DSI building in good health? Have you informed the authorities of that startling revelation?  

And what has photos of persons in custody got to do with this article? You try to tell me they were illegal, but you can't direct me to the relevant law in which that is so. I have my own views as to why such photos should never be taken or published, but they certainly are not illegal. If the Prime Minister wishes to send a Ministerial directive, that his prerogative, which I applaud. I am sure, that he too would be interested in your staunch view of the freedom of the press.

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Kurt | 04 September 2016 - 20:34:02

Yes, I red contradictive statements of DSI and 2 Colonels.
Every body did read that, In PN as well in Bkk Post.
Hospital doctors dismissed it.

And yes, the doctor ( general director hospital) dismissed statements of DSI with the word 'nonsense'.

I never said that the hospital medical staff was contradictive in anything.

And more: there was no death in custody! The hunted down ( after more than a decade) and arrested suspect did die in hospital.
He entered DSI building in good health and left from there still alive to hospital with internal fractures due to a blund object + perhaps that 'sock hanging'.
(Do we get socks in detention in Thailand?)
Doctors tried their best, but he died a few hours later.

From now I put a Cordon Sanitaire on Thai Joe12, as a number of times I did tell/explain  him about being wrong. ( like with these human rights violating photo sessions of accused in police stations, now forbidden by the Prime Minister.  Told Joe12 were to go in BKK to inform himself about it)
But than conveniently he ignores further comment regarding the subject and just disappears'. ( loose face)
( is like a driver of a thai bus, running away after a accident)

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Joe12 | 03 September 2016 - 22:46:07

Kurt...Now your trying to tell us that. "I did not write that medical staff were contradicting anything."

This is what you said on 1.9.16 18.18.50 - "just read the contradictive facts of DSI and 2 police Colonels. All 3 statement are denied by thai doctors of the hospital."

Get in into your head that, "There are no contradictory Thai statements as you allege. They are rightful questions posed for the report to the Coroner. Medical staff are not contradicting anything as you allege. They are responding to the selective questions that were posed."

It is abundantly clear that you have no experience at all in investigating anything, let alone a death in custody. I can tell you that the socks - or anything else will be the subject of intense scrutiny - or they should be - including where they were bought, who provided them, who manufactured them, stress tested etc. The investigators are not stupid and would have many years of experience in such matters. They will have many questions to ask - - questions to prove or disprove a particular line of enquiry or to discount an event. The judiciary will consider the answers to those questions and consider all the evidence. No doubt they will have questions of their own. Let them get on with the job in hand.

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Christy Sweet | 03 September 2016 - 12:22:43

I believe an article in Bkk Post clarifies the sock were provided as the holding cell can get chilly. Real chilly in this case. 

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swerv | 03 September 2016 - 08:26:49

Kurt: " Thai Joe12 has being served at his platter."
WTF does this mean?

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Kurt | 02 September 2016 - 22:43:34

Joe12 really has to read less 'selective'.

I did not write that medical staff were contradicting anything.
I wrote: I did read the contradictive statements of DSI and 2 Colonels. ( all 3 stated different)
All 3 contradictive statements were denied by doctors/Hospital. 
Do not twist around with other peoples words.

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Joe12 | 02 September 2016 - 22:39:57, it's not because the "whole affair is not clear to them" The article states, "...the family has decided to put off the wait for a complete forensic report." and

"The decision followed growing criticism that the funeral services... was being rushed...that the cremation has been postponed in part due to the criticism that the family might have been paid to keep their mouths shut."

The statement concerning the socks is the opinion of Mr Chainarong, which under the circumstances he has a right to pose for examination or clarification - as indeed the "other number of questions about the circumstances surrounding his brother’s death." and I applaud him for that.

However, the article states, the deceased "was found with the socks wrapped around his neck...and attached to a door hinge" and was allowed to keep his socks because the room was airconditioned and cool at nights.

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Joe12 | 02 September 2016 - 14:40:21

Kurt...this is what you said, "... thai corruption and thai hiding of criminals until the end ( hanging themselves). Quite a number of these happenings in thai cels this year actually." and this, "Do we believe that a retired corrupt land office chief did hang him with his own socks?" and this, "That rich land-grabber person well-known, must be very, very influential."

And prior to your comment, Ed saying, "I'm guessing it is the same person that arranged Mr. Anukul's suicide a day before going to court...after this...ahem, suicide."

So, now you trying to tell me you were not inferring that he was murdered? and other prisoners who commit suicide in custody are murdered?  because that is what you and others are doing. That is a conspiracy theory. In other words, you can say whatever sh*t you like and hopefully some other dim wits will believe you. Unfortunately there are some dim wits who do dutifully follow - ergo, you.

There are no contradictory Thai statements as you allege. They are rightful questions posed for the report to the Coroner. Medical staff are not contradicting anything as you allege. They are responding to the selective questions that were posed.

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Sue Yu2 | 02 September 2016 - 13:41:49

Kurt:go buy a pair of long socks & do us all a favour

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Kurt | 02 September 2016 - 11:08:23

Thai Joe12 has being served at his platter.
The family of the former land chieF found hanged in a DSI cell postponed the cremation as the whole affair doesn't look clear to them.
And the brother declared that the socks were to small to be used for hanging himself. ( as ankle socks always are)

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