PM orders investigation into alleged police killing of man in custody

The PM has ordered an investigation into the alleged killing of a man while in police custody in the northern province of Nakhon Sawan. A leaked video of the alleged incident has gone viral, prompting outrage around the country.

According to a Bangkok Post report, police arrested a man and woman accused of drug offences and, while questioning the pair, attempted to extort 1 million baht from them. However, the station superintendent, Thitisan Utthanaphon, then doubled the amount to 2 million. In an attempt to force the man to comply, he placed a plastic bag over his head. In the video, the man can be seen struggling, before dying of apparent suffocation.

The video was first posted on Facebook by a lawyer named as Sittha Biabangkerd, who says he was sent the footage by a junior police officer who wanted it sent to the national police chief. The Bangkok Post reports that the officer expressed fear that he and his colleagues might be killed.

The matter came to national attention when prominent lawyer Decha Kittiwittayanan shared it on Facebook. In his post, Decha says that following the man’s death by suffocation, Thitisan allegedly ordered that the cause of death be listed as a drug overdose. He then released the woman, ordering her to keep quiet.

The PM has tasked national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk with the investigation. Suwat says he has seen the video and has ordered that all the officers in the clip be dismissed from the force.

“After seeing the clip, we believe they (those officers involved) committed an offence. The clip is real. An order will be issued to dismiss them from the police force and a serious disciplinary investigation will be launched.”

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post reports that Thitisan, who has been taken in for questioning, goes by the nickname Jo Ferrari. The alias was conferred on him due to the fact that he owns so many sports cars, including a rare Lamborghini model. Thitisan was reportedly the first Thai to own the limited-edition model.

WARNING: The video of the incident contains violent content that might be disturbing to some viewers. It can be viewed HERE.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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