National police chief Chakthip Chaijinda dismissed speculation on Saturday that the abrupt transfer of the chief of Cha-am police station was linked to the investigation into the Feb 25 murder of a 24-year-old Silpakorn University student.
Pol Gen Chakthip, however, confirmed the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) has taken over the murder case from the local police. He also assigned his deputy, Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul, to follow the progress of the investigation.
Pol Gen Chakthip insisted the transfer was not due to Pol Col Phakhin Siwamethakul being inefficient in handling the investigation.
He said Pol Col Phakhin was transferred to Provincial Police Region 7 because the regional commissioner felt there was a job there that was better suited to a senior officer.
Pol Lt Gen Sutthiphong Wongpin, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 7, on Saturday signed the transfer order for Pol Col Phakhin.
The order went into effect retroactively from Friday until further notice.
Pol Gen Srivara on Thursday ordered that the murder investigation be shifted from Cha-am police to the CSD’s subdivision 5.
The order came after the family of the victim, Teerapong Thitathan, a student at Silpakorn University’s Phetchaburi campus, met Pol Gen Srivara on Wednesday at the Royal Thai Police, calling on him to have the CSD take over the case.
The family made a formal request, saying they feared for their safety since several suspects involved in the murder are sons of local influential figures.
On Feb 25, Teerapong died after he was beaten and stabbed in the head with a screwdriver at his dormitory in Cha-am district. Four other students were badly hurt.
Three of the injured filed a complaint against the attackers at Cha-am police station on Monday.
All 18 young people allegedly involved in the attack later turned themselves in to police. They were charged with premeditated murder, intruding upon a property at night and assault.
Cha-am police investigators found the attack stemmed from the girlfriend of one of the assailants, Dechanon Moonmanee, who had left him earlier to go out with another man, called Ake (real name withheld).
She later left Ake and returned to Mr Dechanon, who was told that Ake had hurt her feelings. Mr Dechanon became angry and led his friends in a search for Ake at the dormitory, but could not find him, so they attacked Ake’s friends instead.
The victims said Teerapong knew none of the attackers.
-The Bangkok Post