🚨 Another prison guard is set to be arrested in connection with the daring prison break in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand. Three guards have already been charged with negligence, and authorities are intensifying their efforts to locate the escaped inmate, Chaowalit Thongduang. #PrisonBreak #ThailandNews #CrimeAlert #Manhunt #StaySafe
In a development that’s been closely followed in the Nakhon Si Thammarat region, authorities are reportedly gearing up to issue an arrest warrant for an additional prison officer. This action arises out of the investigation into the escape of Chaowalit Thongduang, also known as Sia Paeng Nanod, from a hospital two weeks earlier.
String of Arrests Follow Chaowalit’s Escape
Three prison warders from the provincial central prison have already found themselves under arrest and charged with neglect of duty, leading to their suspension. The trio was questioned by Nakhon Si Thammarat police chief Pol Maj Gen Somchai Suetortrakul and subsequently released on a 200,000-baht bail each.
The first two to be apprehended were Warinthorn Thongprachong, 41, and Ekkalak Chaiyakarn, 35. Following this, the Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases gave the green light for the arrest of warder Weerachai Nuduang. In a significant detail, it was Weerachai who had changed Chaowalit’s fetters the day before his escape.
Chaowalit’s Criminal History
Chaowalit, who is 37 years old, was serving time for attempted murder and had a string of other criminal charges, including murder, to his name. On October 22, he managed to escape from Maharat Nakhon Si Thammarat, where he had been detained for dental treatment. Despite being restrained with leg chains, he mysteriously disappeared during the night. His whereabouts remain unknown at this time.
Progress in Investigation
While there is yet to be a breakthrough in finding the fugitive, Pol Maj Gen Somchai recently revealed that their investigation has seen significant progress. In addition to the arrest warrant likely to be issued for another suspect, police are also gathering electronic and other forms of evidence to bolster their case.
Deputy permanent justice secretary Sahakarn Phetnarin, who is also the acting director-general of the Department of Corrections, has temporarily dismissed the three prison warders following the issuance of their arrest warrants. A panel is also in place to probe the incident as per civil service regulations.
Suspect Vehicle Examined
Acting chief of Muang police Pol Col Natthawut Thongthip recently inspected a Honda car allegedly used by Sutiwat Khunnarong, another suspect in the escape. Sutiwat is believed to have driven the vehicle that spirited Chaowalit away from the hospital in the early hours of October 22. The vehicle was later abandoned in the Banthad mountain range in Phatthalung.
Chaowalit’s sentence began at Phatthalung Prison in January 2022 before he was transferred to Nakhon Si Thammarat Prison on August 7 of the same year. He was serving a term of 20 years and six months, handed down by the Phatthalung Provincial Court, in connection with an armed attack on police during an attempted abduction in September 2019.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who are the individuals involved in the prison break and what are their roles?
Chaowalit Thongduang, also known as Sia Paeng Nanod, is the inmate who managed to escape from Maharat Nakhon Si Thammarat hospital where he had been detained for dental treatment. He was serving a 20 years and six months sentence for attempted murder, among other charges.
Three prison guards from the provincial central prison – Warinthorn Thongprachong, Ekkalak Chaiyakarn, and Weerachai Nuduang – have been arrested and charged with neglect of duty. Weerachai is particularly significant as he was the guard who had changed Chaowalit’s chains the day before the escape.
A fourth prison officer is expected to be apprehended in relation to the prison break. Another suspect, Sutiwat Khunnarong, is believed to have driven the vehicle that helped Chaowalit escape from the hospital.
2. What are the charges against Chaowalit Thongduang and what was he doing at the hospital?
Chaowalit Thongduang was serving a 20 years and six months term for attempted murder, among other charges. His sentence began at Phatthalung Prison in January 2022 before he was transferred to Nakhon Si Thammarat Prison on August 7 of the same year. He was at the hospital, Maharat Nakhon Si Thammarat, for dental treatment. Despite being restrained with leg chains, he managed to escape during the night.
3. What measures have been taken after Chaowalit’s escape?
Three prison warders have been arrested and temporarily dismissed following the issuance of their arrest warrants. A panel has also been formed to investigate the incident as per civil service regulations. The police are making progress in the investigation, with a likely issuance of an arrest warrant for another suspect and the collection of electronic and other forms of evidence. The vehicle believed to have been used in the escape has been examined, and efforts to locate Chaowalit are ongoing.