In a telephone interview with The Phuket News following a private meeting held with officers in charge of the riot investigation, Region 8 Police Commander, Pol Lt General Tesa Siriwato, gave an update on the progress being made in the investigation.
He said that police had clear evidence from photos, video and CCTV footage of who the suspects are and that they we will continue to request arrest warrants until all suspects have been caught.
“So far we have warrants for 33 suspects. However, after yesterday’s meeting I can say that today we will request the court issues warrants for 13 more suspects. After that we will request warrants for those who instigated the riot.”
At yesterday’s meeting, held by Vice Governor Chokdee Armornwat and attended by police officers, city defense officers, law officials, Provincial Heath officials, and representatives from both of the victim’s families, the main topic of discussion was progress in the Thalang riot investigation.
It was revealed at the meeting that autopsy results from the bodies of Prathomwat Panarak, 22, and a 17-year-old whose name has been withheld, who were allegedly hit by a police patrol car during a chase and died when crashing the motorbike they were riding (see story here) had been discussed.
V/Gov Chokdee said the autopsy results revealed that both had died from head injuries sustained in the crash and that there were no other injuries or bullet wounds on the bodies. Both victims were pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital and blood test revealed that there were no traces of drugs in their systems.
“Today we have discussed many topics, but the main issue remains how to we can move forward after an incident like this which involved police officers chasing drug suspects and ended so tragically.
“Another issue is how we can stop incidents such as the riot at Thalang Police Station happening again.
“Information has been gathered to find the perpetrators involved in the riot and we will conclude our investigation within 30 days,” he said.
“This case has received a lot of attention and the aftermath of the chaos has affected the island in many ways,” V/Gov Chokdee concluded.