Thai police caught on camera suffocating suspected drug dealer

Thai police are arrested after they’re caught on camera suffocating suspected drug dealer ‘while trying to get him to double the £22,000 bribe he offered them’

  • Jirapong Thanapat was arrested for allegedly selling methamphetamine 
  • Police accepted a £22,000 bribe to free him but then demanded more, it is said
  • They wrapped five bags on his head as they tried to extort another £22,000
  • The police chief is wanted while four other officers have been arrested in probe 

Thai police have allegedly tortured a drugs suspect to death after suffocating him with plastic bags wrapped around his head in a bid to extort a £44,000 bribe.

Jirapong Thanapat, 24, had been arrested with his girlfriend after they were allegedly selling methamphetamine in Nakhon Sawan, northeast Thailand on August 5.

CCTV footage of him being tortured by police as they tried to demand money to secure his release has been widely shared after it was leaked by a junior officer.  


Thai police have allegedly tortured a drugs suspect to death after suffocating him with plastic bags wrapped around his head in a bid to extort a £44,000 bribe

CCTV footage of the incident has been widely shared showing Jirapong Thanapat, 24, being interrogated in a police station

Thanapat (pictured) had been arrested with his girlfriend after they were allegedly selling methamphetamine drugs in Nakhon Sawan, northeast Thailand on August 5

Officers initially accepted a one million baht (£22,000) bribe for the pair to be released, a widely-known practice in the country’s chronically corrupt justice system.

But station chief Colonel Thitisan Utthanaphon then demanded the pair pay DOUBLE, it has been claimed.

He tried to extort the cash by wrapping at least five plastic bags around Jirapong’s head and taping his hands while repeatedly shaking him.

Jirapong collapsed and officers were unable to revive the suspect before he died the next day in hospital.

The police chief, nicknamed Joe Ferrari for his vast sports car collection including a Lamborghini and Bentley, is said to have recorded the death as a ‘drugs overdose’ and released the suspect’s girlfriend on the condition she did not speak.


Officers initially accepted a one million baht (£22,000) bribe for the pair to be released

Station chief Colonel Thitisan Utthanaphon (pictured) demanded the pair pay DOUBLE the bribe, it has been claimed

Jirapong collapsed and officers were unable to revive the suspect before he died the next day in hospital

But a junior officer at the station leaked the CCTV to a lawyer who publicly demanded that the policemen involved face justice.  

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha today ordered an investigation into the death as officials arrested four of the officers involved and began hunting three others including the chief.

A government spokesman said the prime minister ‘wants the national police chief to examine the clip and to give justice to the deceased’.

The military leader ordered national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk to oversee the investigation and he immediately sacked the officers allegedly involved in the death.

Four were arrested and interrogated while arrest warrants were issued for three others, with cops at checkpoints along the country’s borders ordered to turn them in.

The police chief, nicknamed Joe Ferrari for his vast sports car collection including a Lamborghini and Bentley, is said to have recorded the death as a ‘drugs overdose’

A junior officer at the station leaked the CCTV to a lawyer who publicly demanded that the policemen involved face justice

Officers are seen in the video trying to revive the suspect after he went silent and throwing water on his face

The police chief said: ‘We have watched the clip and believe the officers have committed an offence. The video is authentic. They will be dismissed from the police force and a serious disciplinary investigation will be launched.’

Colonel Utthanaphon graduated from the Royal Police Cadet Academy in Bangkok before becoming known as one of the best drug enforcement officers in the country.

He was also known as a ‘playboy’ who dated models and boasted a collection of sports cars including a Lamborghini limited-edition Aventador LP 720-4 50 Anniversary special, which he claimed to be the first person in the country to own, along with a Bentley Continental GT, Ferrari 488 GTB and several Mercedes and Porsche.

Ex-girlfriend Pichanak ‘May’ Sakakorn, a Thai actress, even claimed he had ordered officers to spy on her while she was on holiday before turning up at her parent’s house to order her online rants about him to be deleted.

Despite being illegal, bribes are a widely accepted part of the Thai justice system with officers across the country accepting payments in order for cases to be dropped. 

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