287 sex offenders rounded up in Thailand, 15000 more to find

A police officer stands in front of a backdrop banner announcing the Central Investigation Bureau operation to capture most-wanted suspects on sex-related charges. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
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Almost 300 suspects on sex-related offences have been arrested nationwide with more than 15,000 still on the run, according to the Command and Control Operation Centre.

The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) ordered a search campaign nationwide mounted by the various provincial police bureaus between April 1 to 5 and nabbed a total of 287 suspects facing sex-related charges.

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The suspects were trying to evade the court-approved warrants for their arrest. Of the 287 suspects, 69 were caught in Bangkok.

They had allegedly committed a range of sexual offences: rape and murder; forcibly sexually assaulting women; attempted rape and molesting girls; rape and taking away girls between the ages of 13 and 15 from parental care; rape and assault with intent to steal from victims; public indecency and human trafficking.

According to the CIB, the suspects arrested last week make up only a fraction of those still on the run. Arrest warrants are out for 15,453 suspects on sex-related charges nationwide.

CIB commissioner Pol Lt Gen Thitirat Nonghanpithak said sex crimes were severe offences which heavily traumatise victims physically and emotionally.

Often, the suspects resorted to violent acts against the victims and showed no remorse. They also were not afraid of the law, he said.

The CIB has integrated efforts with other police units to capture the criminals who remain at large. The police have worked in units in each province, which also link up with the operation in cluster of provinces.

Pol Lt Gen Thitirat said it was vital that the suspects wanted for sex-related crimes were taken off the streets as they have the tendency to repeat the crime or commit other offences. Arresting them early would help cut the ‘crime circuit.’

The CIB has focused its attention and invested human resources and equipment in weeding out sex crimes. The CIB is also speeding up efforts tracking down suspects wanted for other crimes around the country from April 1 until Monday.

Among them were 17 suspects detained in murder cases, three in robbery cases, six in theft cases, 32 in attempted murder cases, 114 in embezzlement cases, 139 in fraud cases, and 96 in drug cases, said deputy national police chief Suthep Detraksa.

Meanwhile, the National Police Office has launched crackdowns on crimes, including the areas in the far South, ahead of the Songkran festival which kicks off tomorrow.

Deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said Tuesday that police have gone on the offensive by launching sting operations in targetted areas and captured many suspects on drug charges.

The police expected the operations will boost security and people’s confidence during the Songkran festival. Also, Pol Gen Suthep said the Tourist Police Division, which is an important unit for arresting suspects who include transnational criminals, is to be upgraded to a bureau under the Royal Thai Police in about a year.

-The Bangkok Post

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