Thai police are arrested after they’re caught on camera suffocating suspected drug dealer ‘while trying to get him to double the bribe he offered them’
Jirapong Thanapat, 24, and his girlfriend were arrested was arrested for allegedly selling methamphetamine
Police initially accepted a $30,275 bribe to free him
Then station chief Colonel Thitisan Utthanaphon, aka Joe Ferrari, demanded the pair pay double the bribe
They wrapped five bags on the suspect’s head as they allegedly, tried to extort extra cash
The suspect died in the process
The govt. ordered the national police to oversee the investigation and he immediately sacked the officers allegedly involved in the death
The police chief fled and remains at large, while four other officers have been arrested in probe
A group of police officers in Thailand were caught on CCTV torturing a suspected drug dealer, leading to his death. to death after suffocating him with plastic bags wrapped around his head in a bid to extort a $66,,550 bribe.
Jirapong Thanapat, 24, had been arrested with his girlfriend after allegedly, selling methamphetamine in Nakhon Sawan, northeast Thailand on August 5.
The footage of Thanapat being tortured by police as they tried to extort money to secure his release has been widely shared after it was leaked by a junior officer.
CCTV footage of the incident has been widely shared showing Jirapong Thanapat, 24, being interrogated in a police station. Thanapat had been arrested with his girlfriend after they were allegedly sold methamphetamines in Nakhon Sawan, northeast Thailand on August 5.
Officers initially accepted a one million baht [$30,275], bribe for the pair to be released, not entirely strange in a country where corruption is endemic in the justice system.
That was before station chief Colonel Thitisan Utthanaphon, welched and allegedly, demanded the pair pay double the bribe money it is alleged.
He tried to extort the cash by wrapping at least five plastic bags around Jirapong’s head and taping his hands while repeatedly shaking him.
Jirapong collapsed and officers were unable to revive the suspect before he died the next day in hospital.
The police chief, nicknamed Joe Ferrari for his vast sports car collection including a Lamborghini and Bentley, is said to have recorded the death as a ‘drugs overdose’ and released the suspect’s girlfriend on the condition she did not speak.
But a junior officer at the station leaked the CCTV to a lawyer who publicly demanded that the policemen involved face justice.
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha today ordered an investigation into the death as officials arrested four of the officers involved and began hunting three others including the chief.
A government spokesman said the prime minister ‘wants the national police chief to examine the clip and to give justice to the deceased’.
The military leader ordered national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk to oversee the investigation and he immediately sacked the officers allegedly involved in the death.
Four were arrested and interrogated while arrest warrants were issued for three others, with cops at checkpoints along the country’s borders ordered to turn them in.
The police chief said: ‘We have watched the clip and believe the officers have committed an offence. The video is authentic. They will be dismissed from the police force and a serious disciplinary investigation will be launched.’ Colonel Utthanaphon graduated from the Royal Police Cadet Academy in Bangkok before becoming known as one of the best drug enforcement officers in the country.
He was also known as a ‘playboy’ who dated models and boasted a collection of sports cars including a Lamborghini limited-edition Aventador LP 720-4 50 Anniversary special, which he claimed to be the first person in the country to own, along with a Bentley Continental GT, Ferrari 488 GTB and several Mercedes and Porsche.
Ex-girlfriend Pachanga ‘May’ Sakakorn, a Thai actress, even claimed he had ordered officers to spy on her while she was on holiday before turning up at her parent’s house to order her online rants about him to be deleted.
Despite being illegal, bribes are a widely accepted part of the Thai justice system with officers across the country accepting payments in order for cases to be dropped.