Thailand Officers to Face Charges for Fleeing Deadly Shooting at Prominent Thai Businessman’s Dinner Party
The evening of September 6th, 2021, witnessed a tragic incident at the home of Praween “Kamnan Nok” Chankhlai, a prominent businessman in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand. A dinner party attended by several local police officers turned deadly when Thananchai Mamnak, a close aide of Mr. Praween, opened fire. The ensuing chaos resulted in the death of Pol Maj Siwakorn Saibua, a 32-year-old highway police inspector, and the injury of Pol Lt Col Wasin Panpee. What shocked many was the reaction of their fellow officers who, instead of intervening, fled the scene.
Charges for Dereliction of Duty
Following an intensive investigation into the regrettable incident, Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) Commissioner Jirabhop Bhuridej announced that the fifteen officers who fled the scene will face charges of dereliction of duty. The decision came after careful examination of security camera footage, witness statements, and other supporting evidence. The officers present at the party were divided into four groups for the purpose of the investigation.
The first group comprised the dead and injured officers, while the second included six officers already dismissed from the force due to dereliction of duty and concealment of evidence. The third group contained six officers who assisted the dead and injured, and the fourth group was made up of the fifteen officers who fled, now facing charges.
The Triggering Event
The fatal shooting was reportedly triggered by Pol Maj Siwakorn’s refusal to approve the promotion of Mr. Praween’s nephew. This denial seemingly infuriated Thananchai Mamnak, leading to the fatal shooting. The incident sparked widespread outrage, primarily due to the inaction of the other officers present. The gunman was later shot dead by the police, and Mr. Praween turned himself in.
CIB Commissioner Jirabhop Bhuridej confirmed that the existing evidence is enough to prosecute both Mr. Praween and the fifteen officers who fled the scene. Their failure to act during the incident, despite being law enforcement officers, constitutes a violation of Section 157 of the Criminal Code. This law stipulates that police officers witnessing a crime are duty-bound to arrest the wrongdoers unless there is a valid reason not to, such as assisting the injured. As only six officers helped the dead and injured officers, the remaining fifteen officers must be prosecuted for their dereliction of duty.
A Wake-Up Call for Accountability
The incident at the dinner party serves as a stark reminder of the duty and responsibility that law enforcement officers bear. These charges signify a step towards accountability and justice, shedding light on the need for a higher degree of professionalism and commitment among those entrusted with maintaining law and order.
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