He said the DSI was stepping up efforts to look for more evidence, adding the probe is expected to wrap up by December.
Pol Col Paisit said the DSI had received a report from a Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) sub-committee which is investigating a group of Kaeng Krachan national park officials who said they had detained Porlajee for allegedly collecting forest honey. However, they failed to hand Porlajee to police on April 17, 2014 – the day of his disappearance.
The officials said they failed to hand Porlajee over to Kaeng Krachan police for prosecution because they said Porlajee had been at odds with local police and PACC investigators.
However, the DSI found the witnesses questioned by the sub-panel gave contradicting statements which is why the DSI called Pol Maj Siripong Sritula, a PACC division head who chairs the sub-committee, for questioning. Due to the clashing statements, the DSI asked the Royal Thai Police for a helicopter to inspect six locations in the park to seek more evidence and check on the witnesses’ statements.
The PACC report sent to the DSI includes forensic evidence, security camera footage, and communication information on the day of Porlajee's disappearance. Col Paisit said the probe is expected to be wrapped up by Dec 3 before the case is forwarded to the prosecution.
At the time of his arrest, Porlajee was helping fellow ethnic Karen forest dwellers sue Chaiwat Limlikit-aksorn, then head of the park in Kanchanaburi province, for setting fire to their bamboo huts and rice barns during a series of forest evictions.
In May, Border Patrol Police divers searching an area of the Kaeng Krachan reservoir found an oil barrel containing bone fragments.
DNA tests on one fragment, from a human skull, confirmed a match with Porlajee’s mother, leading to the assumption the bone fragments belonged to Porlajee and that he had been murdered.
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