The mysteries surrounding the detention of convicted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has also caused many to doubt whether Praween Chanklai, “aka “Kamnan Nok”, a prime suspect in the murder of a police officer, is really being detained in Bangkok Remand Prison.
Scores of comments on social media are demanding that the Corrections Department provide solid proof that Praween is really in the prison.
Others claim that the man presently in detention is a Praween doppelganger.
They do not believe in the country’s justice system, many of them say, out of a local belief that prison is only for the poor, as rich people, like Thaksin, and influential figures, like Praween, receive “special” treatment and don’t have to stay in prison.
Speculation over Praween’s actual whereabouts have gone viral, forcing the Corrections Department to publically deny it.
The department’s director general Ayuth Sintoppant reiterated that Praween is definitely being held in detention.
Moreover, he said the person in the prison is definitely Praween, as the department compared his fingerprints with the Interior Ministry’s database.
Praween is now in quarantine, before being sent to his cell, the director general said, adding that visits from his wife and children are allowed.
Mongkolkit Suksintharanon, a former Thai Civilised party MP, posted on his Facebook page that he planned to file a request with the Justice Minister today (Monday), asking for a re-check of the fingerprints of the man in the prison, to verify that he is Praween.
Many believe that it is because of his money and power that Thaksin, a convict, is being allowed to receive medical treatment outside prison.
They even wonder whether Thaksin is now residing in his house. The Corrections Department has refused to provide images of Thaksin in hospital, claiming protection of privacy.
Therefore, no one outside his family, the police, prison officials and hospital staff have seen him or photos of him since his high profile return from self-imposed exile on August 22.