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Fears mount cops will shield ‘Joe Ferrari’

Fears mount cops will shield ‘Joe Ferrari’

BANGKOK: Concerns have been raised that Pol Col Thitisan Utthanaphon, the prime suspect in the case involving the alleged fatal torture of a drug suspect at Nakhon Sawan’s Muang police station, could be let off the hook after he surrendered to police on Thursday (Aug 26).

corruptioncrimedeathpolice
By Bangkok Post

Saturday 28 August 2021, 09:23AM


Thitisan Utthanaphon is taken from the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok to Nakhon Sawan on Thursday night (Aug 26). Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool

Thitisan Utthanaphon is taken from the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok to Nakhon Sawan on Thursday night (Aug 26). Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool

Senior police officers were accused of using a press conference on Thursday night to shield Pol Col Thitisan, triggering public suspicion, particularly on social media, that he might eventually be spared punishment.

“Stop lying Joe” trended on Thai Twitter yesterday, referring to Thitisan’s nickname of Joe Ferrari.

The former Nakhon Sawan Muang police station chief surrendered to police at the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) in Bangkok on Thursday evening.

Thitisan admitted ordering the partial suffocation of Chiraphong Thanapat, a 24-year-old drug suspect with plastic bags but said the motive was not to extort money from him.

Having seen photos of around one kilogramme of crystal methamphetamine and 20,000 speed pills on Chiraphong’s mobile phone, he said he had been trying to extract more information from him.

“I covered the suspect’s head with plastic bags to prevent him from seeing officers’ faces, but he kept trying to remove them, so I had to have his hands tied too,” he claimed.

“My intention was to get the information so I could destroy a drug business and protect the people of Nakhon Sawan. I made a mistake. My subordinates were just following my orders and I take sole responsibility,” he said.

The 39-year-old policeman insisted it was the first time he had treated a suspect that way and denied a separate slew of accusations of corruption.

“As for [the alleged attempt to extort B1 million], I swear by the amulet around my neck that I have never been involved in corruption,” he said.

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Vicha Mahakun, a member of the House committee scrutinising a bill on the Royal Thai Police, said yesterday that the public is concerned that efforts may be made to let the suspects in the case off scot-free.

“Don’t try to cover the entire sky with the palm of your hand,” said Mr Vicha, a former commissioner of the National Anti-Corruption Commission.

Mr Vicha also cited a Supreme Court ruling in 2017 on a case in which police officers used a bag to cover the head of a suspect during questioning. The court ruled that the officers must have known that this would suffocate the suspect and that equated to attempted murder.

Chuvit Kamolvisit, a former MP, posted on Facebook that “Joe says he wanted to extract information for the sake of the people. Yet he made no mention of why the suspect’s wife, who was arrested at the same time, was released? Something is fishy. The drug buster says he wanted to do good deeds, but used the wrong approach. If the case is left in the hands of Nakhon Sawan police, harsh [punishment] is unlikely,” Chuvit posted.

National police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk said that the CSD would be handling the investigation and any officers found to be involved will face action.

Pol Gen Suwat said that police examined the video clip and found no evidence of an attempt to extort B1mn as alleged.

However, the investigation will delve further into the issue as it has received public attention, he said.

The Nakhon Sawan Court refused to grant the temporary release on bail of the seven suspects in the case, arguing as the crime is potentially murder, which carries a severe penalty, the officers pose a flight risk.

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2718e.com | 10 September 2021 - 00:40:44

One of the problems is that the police promotion system is not based on merit alone

2718e.com | 10 September 2021 - 00:34:17

The police cannot be reformed if the police chairman is an army guy

2718e.com | 10 September 2021 - 00:31:40

With due respect to other comments it means that a legal process always becomes a political process under Thai law

Kurt | 31 August 2021 - 10:20:09

@2718e.com. Police is doing her job by 'making a case' and present that to prosecutor. ( or not, instead do 'mediation'. Read: many times own pocket filling). Besides, it is well known RTP is much of the time busy with their own 'jobs'. (At road blocks, protection money earnings from entrepreneurs, etc) Prosecutors not report to Governors but to their superiors in Ministry ...

2718e.com | 30 August 2021 - 23:02:08

I do not wish to pass comment on this case.
However the police in general cannot do their job because of the Public Prosecutor who kind of reports to the province governor.

Christy Sweet | 29 August 2021 - 11:23:17

"The investigation will delve further into the issue as it has received public attention, he said..." And that's the only reason- they even admit it. Who will run for PM on this platform of cleaning up police- it's a sure winner, IF they can survive the assassination attempts. 

Kurt | 29 August 2021 - 09:35:46

Wow, Jo Ferrari was even allowed to give a press conference in a police station after his return from Myanmar. Why is he still addressed as 'Colonel'? He was sacked, should be addressed as 'mister', or as Jo Ferrari. A nick name what is a black spot on RTP's flag, banner or standard, whatever you like to call it.

JohnC | 29 August 2021 - 09:32:00

[I swear by the amulet around my neck that I have never been involved in corruption,” he said.] So now Buddhist amulets offer protection from lying your head off.    ..never been CAUGHT involved in corruption (until now) is the right answer.

Sir Burr | 28 August 2021 - 17:05:22

I think the worst thing is that he insults everyone as brain-dead with such transparent lies.

Malc-thai | 28 August 2021 - 12:12:41

Put a plastic bag on his head,  tie his hands behind his back and beat the truth out of him .. he set that standard of interrogation 

Fascinated | 28 August 2021 - 12:06:02

At the end of this he will be shown to have been deep undercover and all the 'unusual wealth' will have been part of his 'legend' in his fight against drug lords. If he has so much, think of what those above him must have. Another 'strangled himself with his socks' incident is on the horizon. Definite conflict of interest with his g/f's father as well.

Capricornball | 28 August 2021 - 10:51:33

Here we go again...dirty cops in charge of prosecuting dirty cops, and everyone knows this will go nowhere. There is just too much dirty money to go around to all the dirty cops, with those at the top standing to pocket the lion's share of the ill-gotten gains. This whole case, and the RTP as a whole, is rotten to the core. Thais deserve better but will never see it.

 

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