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Police nab one suspect for Phuket checkpoint run, shooting at officers

PHUKET: Police have apprehended one suspect who was in the car that ran a police checkpoint in Rassada, north of Phuket Town, early Monday morning (Oct 22), with of its occupants opening fire at police officers.

By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Friday 26 October 2018, 05:40PM

The car, a Nissan Teana registered in Lopburi, near Bangkok, was later found abandoned in Chalong along with a shotgun and ammunition dumped in the grass nearby. (See story here.)

Lt Col Somsak Sophagan of the Chalong Police, who is the lead investigator in the case, told The Phuket News today that he travelled to Takuapa District in Phang Nga, north of Phuket, yesterday (Oct 25) to question the suspect.

Col Somsak explained that Takuapa Police had called him to question the suspect at Takuapa Police Station after they arrested the man for selling drugs and possession of a firearm.

Officers at Takuapa Police Station said that the man had admitted that he was involved in a crime at a checkpoint in Phuket on Monday, he explained.

“The man admitted that he was in the car when it was driven through the checkpoint, but would not admit to anything else,” Col Somsak told The Phuket News.

“I asked if he were the driver or a passenger, which he declined to answer, and so we still do not know how many people were in the car at the time,” Col Somsak added.

Col Somsak declined to name the suspect, but said that the suspect was “about 30 years old” and that the suspect was registered as a Phuket resident.

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Col Somsak also noted he was still unsure of how many people were in the car when it ran the checkpoint.

“The Phuket City Police officers who were at the checkpoint said that they believe there were three suspects in the car, including the driver. However, I have still yet to question the officers who were involved in the incident,” he said.

Other aspects of the investigation are also making slow progress, Col Somsak admitted.

“At this stage we are still trying to track down how the suspect or suspects fled the area after abandoning the car. We are checking CCTV in the area,” he said.

“We have still yet to confirm whether the car was stolen or even in whose name it is registered,” he added.

Col Somsak also explained that although the shooting incident, in which police also returned fire, took place within the jurisdiction of the Phuket City Police, he had been assigned to lead the investigation.

“The car was found in my area, which makes it is our responsibility,” he said.



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