A group of 25 police officers, who attended a dinner at the house of Praween Chanklai, aka “Kamnan Nok”, on Wednesday night when a highway police officer was shot dead and another injured by a gunman at the same venue, have been transferred to inactive posts at the operations centre of the Royal Thai Police.
Pol Lt-Gen Atchayon Kraithong, spokesman for the Royal Thai Police, said that the presence of the 25 officers, including four superintendents, at Praween’s house, who is the chief of Ta Kong sub-district in Nakhon Pathom, has sparked widespread public criticism.
Some of the group are accused of aiding and abetting Praween’s escape and that of gunman Thananchai from the scene after the shooting. They are also accused of destroying evidence at the crime scene.
The spokesman said the national police chief, Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittipraphat, wants to find out why the 25 officers were at the house.
Since Praween is an influential figure in Nakhon Pathom, the case has been transferred to the Central Investigation Bureau, said Atchayon.
Praween was taken by Crime Suppression Division police to the Criminal Court this morning (Saturday) to seek a court order to have him further detained, pending the outcome of the investigation.
The suspected gunman, Thananchai, was shot dead by CSD police in Kanchanaburi province Friday morning, after reportedly resisting arrest.
Atchayon also said that the police chief has ordered a nation-wide crackdown on criminal activities in which firearms are involved and local organised crime figures, adding that police officers have also been warned not to associate with such people or vice dens.