THE INVESTIGATION team tracking down Pol. Col. Thitisan Uttanaphon who fled after a video clip emerged showing him suffocating a drug suspect to death with two plastic bags said they believe he is no longer in Thailand and has fled by natural route to Cambodia, Thai Rath newspaper said today (Aug. 26).
They are certain that Pol. Col. Thitisan, whose nickname is Superintendent Joe Ferrari, used a a natural route in Sa Kaeo province to go to the neighbouring country.
As he is a former investigation officer and has been involved with investigation work all his life he knows the escape routes very well and also the police tactics to track down suspects, they said, adding that this then is an obstacle in catching him.
They also denied that the Pol. Col. Thitisan escaped in a luxury car because this would have made it easy to apprehend him.
Regarding a Mercedes Benz sedan caught by a surveillance camera driving on a highway in Uttaradit province, they said that a check showed that this vehicle belonged to Provincial Police Region 6 commander.
Read earlier reports:Cop in plastic bag murder of suspect owns 29 luxury vehicles
As for the second missing police suspect in this case, Pol.Lt.Taranin, the investigators believe he did not escape with Superintendent Joe as the two men are not close to each other but had gone to seek advice from a senior person and is expected to surrender today.
The five other suspects in this killing of drug suspect Jeerapong Thanapat, 24, namely Pol. Maj. Raviroj Disathong, Pol. Capt. Songyod Klainak, Pol. Sen. Sgt. Maj. Supakorn Nimsing, Pol. L. Pravikorn Khammarew and Pol. Sen. Sgt. Maj. Wisut Boonkhiew, were today taken to for detention at the Nakhon Sawan Provincial Court.
All five declined to comment when asked to do so by reporters.
The investigation officers had filed a petition objecting to bail for the five suspects on grounds that this was a serious and shocking case and if they were temporarily freed, being former police officers, might interfere with the evidence.
Relatives and friends of Pol. Sen. Sgt. Maj. Wisut came with 400,000 baht to post bail for his temporary release while Mr. Saman Disathong, 62 , the father of Pol. Maj. Ravirot came from Phetchabun province to see his son.
Pol Maj Raviroj said loudly before getting into the van that his duty was to drive Superintendent Joe’s vehicle and that he had only been a police officer for two years at Takhli police station before being transferred to Mueang Nakhon Sawan station.
He added that he had told his relatives that he had been verbally abused and forced by Superintendent Joe and his girlfriend to do things he was not willing to do but because he was a subordinate he had to follow orders or be punished.
The five police suspects being taken to Nakhon Sawan provincial court for detention today. Photos: Thai Rath