CIB chief confident ‘Kamnan Nok’ will face death sentence
Praween Chankhlai, also known as “Kamnan Nok”, who allegedly ordered the shooting of a highway police officer at a birthday party on the night of September 6, will face the death sentence, Pol Lt-General Jirabhop Bhuridej, commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB), said on Friday.
Evidence and witness statements pointed to premeditated murder and an attempt to conceal evidence at Praween’s residence in Nakhon Pathom province, where Praween is a subdistrict chief (kamnan) and an influential figure.
Pol Major Siwakorn Saibua, an inspector with the Highway Police’s 2nd command, was shot dead at the party.
The murder reportedly stemmed from an argument over a promotion. According to eyewitnesses, Praween’s alleged henchman, Thananchai Manmak, approached the dining table and opened fire on Siwakorn. Another police officer was injured by the bullets.
Thananchai was killed in a shootout with the CIB police in Kanchanaburi province two days later.
Jirabhop said investigators gathered footage from the residence’s 15 CCTV cameras, except for two cameras pointing at the dining table where the shooting occurred because they had been unplugged.
Video footage, along with witness statements, information on the gun, and an attempt to destroy evidence were sufficient to charge Praween with premeditated murder, he said.
Deputy national police chief Pol General Surachate Hakparn, who is supervising the investigation, said on Friday that he was considering filing charges of neglect of duty against the police who were attending the party.
Only eight of the more than 20 police present were seen helping the victim to the hospital after the shooting, said Surachate. The rest either ran or hid, he added.
He said some police, including senior officers, lied and said they tried to help, but video footage showed they ran away. “This is unacceptable. They will face both legal charges and disciplinary punishment,” Surachate said.
He added that investigators are also looking into Praween’s finances for signs of corruption and money laundering. The subdistrict chief who is in the construction business has reportedly won over 1,500 contracts for projects in the province, suggesting possible bid rigging, Surachate added.