Deputy Prime Minister’s Response to Increasing Violence
Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, has taken action against the rise of mafia-style local leaders by assigning his deputy, Chada Thaiset, and all provincial governors to gather information on them. The aim is to blacklist such local leaders found to be involved in violent gangs.
This decision follows a recent incident in Nakhon Pathom’s Muang district, where an influential local leader hosted a dinner party that resulted in the death of a highway patrol officer and left another seriously injured.
A Tragic Incident Sheds Light on Local Gangs
At the fateful dinner party, Pol Maj Siwakorn Saibua, chief of Highway Police Station 1 of the Highway Police Sub-division 2, was gunned down, while Pol Lt Col Wasin Wanpee, the deputy commander of the Highway Police Sub-division 2, sustained severe injuries.
The suspected shooter, Thananchai Manmak, was later killed in a shootout with police in Tha Rua district, Kanchanaburi province. Meanwhile, the local leader and dinner party host, Praween Chankhlai, turned himself in to authorities after an arrest warrant was issued.
Identifying and Blacklisting “Bad” Kamnans
Anutin has stressed the importance of identifying and blacklisting local leaders with ties to mafia-style gangs. He believes these individuals should be removed from society to prevent further harm and loss of life. The Nakhon Pathom incident serves as an example of why such actions are essential for public safety.
As a direct result of this incident, the subdistrict head, or kamnan, will be dismissed from his local administrative duties and investigated for his alleged involvement in the shooting.
Stricter Gun Control Measures
Anutin has also called for more stringent controls on gun ownership and usage, emphasizing that owning a gun does not grant the right to carry it in public. He highlighted the multiple restrictions that gun license owners should adhere to.
Fact-Finding Missions to Investigate Police Involvement
In light of the Nakhon Pathom tragedy, 25 police officers present at the dinner party were transferred to inactive posts at the Royal Thai Police Operation Centre, pending investigation. The Metropolitan Police Bureau has launched a separate probe to determine why the gunman was not apprehended at the scene despite the presence of numerous officers.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin also vowed to ensure justice for the slain highway police officer, expressing shock at the crime’s connection to gangsters’ attempts to interfere with local police reshuffles. He mentioned that Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol, the deputy national police chief, is now questioning all the police officers who attended the dinner party about potential ties to bribe payments and lobbying for promotions in the police force.