Three policemen in Roi Et’s Phon Thong district are under disciplinary investigation after a man caught on CCTV unlocked a jail cell door, allowing two drug suspects to escape.
Pol Col Wichai Thawairuek, the Phon Thong police station chief, said on Sunday a committee has been formed to probe Pol Sen Sgt Maj Chalad Naen-udon, Pol Sen Sgt Maj Kimhun Sunthararak and Pol Sen Sgt Maj Preecha Khmjumjung, Manager Online reported.
The three policemen were on duty early on Saturday when Surachai Phumipak and Surasak Kuntamat escaped from the cell.
Mr Surachai and Mr Surasak, both 24, were in police custody for allegedly being in possession of 1,200 “yaba” tablets. They were captured in Phon Thong district on Friday and were supposed to be sent to the provincial court on Monday for a request for further detention.
Footage from a CCTV camera at the police station in Roi Et shows two women speaking to the suspects through the cell door at 4.50am on Saturday. A man, believed to be Pol Sen Sgt Maj Chalad, then unlocks the door and turns his back as one of the women pushes the door open.
The suspects walk out of the cell, give the women an extended hug, and then simply walk away.
The police station chief was alerted to the escape about 10 minutes later, by which time the suspects and their visitors were gone.
Pol Sn Sgt Maj Chalad stated that he opened the cell door to collect the garbage inside, according to Manager Online. The women were the suspects’ girlfriends, who pleaded to be allowed to meet them, he added. They fled the station together.
Pol Sn Sgt Maj Chalad said he had no intention of letting them go, and tried to get them back into the cell.
The man who relocked the door was not identified.
The CCTV footage was posted on Ratchapong Suraamad’s Facebook account.
He said in the post that a “generous” policeman let them escape. Mr Surasak fled in a car waiting near the police station, and Mr Surachai escaped through a wooded area behind the police station, according to Mr Ratchapong.
Police are searching for the escaped suspects and their girlfriends, who were identified as Saowalak Samuerjai, 21, and Ilada Pholyiem, 18, according to the police station chief.
The Bangkok Post