Transfer of Senior Police Officers Amidst Dinner Party Murder Investigation

police murder investigation

Key Figures Transferred to Inactive Posts

Two high-ranking police officers present at a dinner party during which a highway policeman was killed and another injured by a gunman in Nakhon Pathom last Wednesday have been transferred to inactive posts. The order, signed by Pol Lt Gen Thanayut Wuthicharasdamrong, the Provincial Police Region 7 commissioner, effectively moved Pol Maj Gen Jakkrit Kruasunthornwanich, the Nakhon Pathom provincial police chief, and Pol Col Phuphon Thapcharoen, the Muang station chief, to work at Provincial Police Region 7 headquarters starting Monday, September 11.

Details of the Tragic Event

The transfer was initiated following the events that took place on the night of September 6. Gunman Thananchai Manmak killed Pol Maj Siwakorn Saibua, 32, of Highway Police sub-division 2, and wounded Pol Lt Col Wasin Panpee, deputy commander of Highway Police sub-division 2. The two victims were among many police officers attending a party hosted by Praween Chankhlai, the chief of tambon Takong in Muang district, who was locally known as Kamnan Nok.

Arrests and Alleged Motive

Praween Chankhlai, 35, has been arrested on suspicion of having ordered the murder, allegedly as a result of his wife’s nephew, a police highway patrolman, being denied a promotion requested by Kamnan Nok, a local influential figure. The gunman was later killed in a shootout with police in Kanchanaburi province.

Investigation of Police Officers and Charges

The Royal Thai Police Office ordered an investigation into all police officers who attended the party. Court arrest warrants were subsequently approved for the arrest of six police officers on criminal charges related to the shooting. The accused officers were taken into custody, dismissed from the force, and charged with aiding and abetting offenses.

Potential Impact on Police Image

Pictures and reports carried by news outlets showed a large number of police in attendance at the dinner party, which could lead the public to believe they were close associates of Praween and potentially affect the image of Provincial Police Region 7 and the Royal Thai Police as a whole.

Legal Proceedings and Cremation Ceremony

The six arrested officers were charged with helping Praween avoid arrest and concealing and destroying evidence of an offense. They were due in the Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases of Region 7 in Samut Songkhram province on Monday. Investigators were to seek court permission to detain them for another 12 days to allow further investigation.

Family, friends, and associates of murdered Pol Maj Siwakorn gathered at Sala 11 of Wat Phra Sri Mahathat in Bang Khen district of Bangkok on Monday for his royally-sponsored cremation. Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol, a deputy national police chief, chaired the ceremony, and the rites were performed by the Supreme Patriarch.