NAKHON PATHOM Provincial Police arranged a special unit to protect the media covering the murder of a policeman at a party in a former village headman’s house last week after a high-ranking police officer threatened Amarin TV news team, this TV station said today (Sep. 12).
A member of Amarin TV news team had called to interview this high-ranking police officer about the latest developments in the investigation of the murder of Pol. Maj. Siwakorn Saibua, or Inspector Bank, during the party at the house of former village headman Mr. Praween Chanklai, or Kamnan Nok, 34, in Nakhon Pathom last Wednesday night (Sep. 6) which he had also attended.
Praween’s subordinate, Mr. Thananchai Manmak, or Nong Thapha, 45, had fled after the shooting but was tracked down in Kanchanaburi where he was shot dead in an exchange of gunfire with police.
The journalist recorded this senior police officer’s reply as follows:
“No need to call anymore, another person is dead. Why are you now calling? Do you want more people to die? Is this not enough? How many more to die?
“If you meet me at Region 7 (police headquarters), don’t interview me, the pistol will go off at you all.”
Deputy National Police Chief Pol. Lt. Gen. Surachate Hakparn, nicknamed Big Joke, said he does not know anything about this matter but if journalists have been threatened they should report it and then get back to him.
Even so, Nakhon Pathom Provincial Police did assign a special unit to protect the media after hearing the audio clip.
In another development, National Police Chief Pol. Gen. Damrongsak Kittipraphat said this afternoon that an inspection of the house of Pol. Col. Wachira Yaowthaisong, or Inspector Berm, superintendent of Highway Police Division 2, by various agencies showed he had committed suicide and no one else was involved in his death.
Investigation showed that no one had gone into the house and interfered with his death with there also being gunpower soot on both his hands. It appears he held the pistol with his right hand with his left hand supporting it then fired the shot that killed him.
The deceased policeman’s cell phone has also been found with this being with his closest subordinate.
Pol.Maj. Gen. Charoonkiat Pankaew, acting commander of Highway Police, said as Pol. Col. Wachira was stressed out after being questioned about the murder of his subordinate Pol. Maj. Siwakorn, another subordinate who is very close to him, took him out to dinner then rented a hotel room for him to sleep in and guarded it.
He waited till Pol. Col. Wachira had fallen asleep then left. When he returned at 8 a.m. he saw that he was missing with a surveillance camera clip showing he had left the hotel via the fire escape at around 4 a.m. and died at his home at around 5 a.m.
This subordinate had kept his cell phone so that he need not answer phone calls and could get a good rest.
Top and Front Page: The special police unit guarding the media today, Sep. 12, 2023.
Insert: Pol. Col. Wachira Yaowthaisong, right, and his closest subordinate who tried to save his life, left. All photos: Amarin TV