5 police probed for deadly drug bust

Relatives rally at the Ratchaburi provincial hall on Monday to demand a quick investigation into the death of Saranya Sangsook whose motorcycle went off a road in a suspected road chase by police to arrest a drug dealer. (Photo by Saichol Ochkajon)

RATCHABURI: Local authorities have ordered an investigation into five policemen who were allegedly responsible for the death of a woman while trying to arrest suspected drug dealers.

Ratchaburi deputy governor Wisit Puangpet said governor Chayawut Chantorn ordered local police to investigate the death in seven days as relatives of the victim rallied at the provincial hall with her coffin Monday.

Ratchaburi police chief Pol Maj Gen Anuparp Srinual said police would investigate the operation of the five local policemen in arresting suspected drug dealers and DNA tests were underway.

Kawinna Kerdchuang, 39, and relatives showed up at the provincial hall to demand a quick probe into the death of her 24-year-old daughter, Saranya Sangsook.

Saranya, a native of Chom Bung district, died of a broken neck. She was a pillion rider and her motorcycle plunged off Hua Phai-Namphu Road and hit a tree in Muang district on Feb 2. She had two sons.

A small bag of speed pills was allegedly found near her body and Wuthikorn Pakammas, the slightly injured 20-year-old motorcyclist, was arrested.

Ms Kawinna said she doubted that it was a normal road accident and that her daughter was a drug trafficker.

Earlier reports said eyewitnesses saw a car overtaking Saranya‘s motorcycle which then lost control and plunged off a steep roadside.

The incident happened just after Withaya Sornsit, 33 of Chom Bung, had been arrested with 12 speed pills while he was going fishing at a local reservoir.

Mr Withaya said police asked if he knew Saranya but he replied he did not know her.

He said police took him in their car and roamed local roads to look for a drug supplier. He claimed they pushed his head down so he did not see what was going on clearly.

Then the police found a motorcycle and he heard one policeman saying “Cut in front of it”. He then heard a crash before police got off the car to inspect the scene.

Mr Withaya said that the left side mirror of the police car was broken and the driver sent him to a local police station.

Ms Kawinna, the dead woman‘s mother, said police acted unreasonably violently by cutting in front of her daughter‘s motorcycle to force it to stop. She also accused them of failing to help her daughter and send her to a hospital.

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