BANGKOK- August 7, 2012 [PDN]; At 4:30 p.m., Don Muang police was notified that police had extrajudicially killed someone during a gunfight with drug dealers at the front of Don Muang Airport by the entrance of Viphavadeerangsit road, Tambon Don Muang, Amphur Don Muang, Bangkok.
Police rushed to the scene with Pol. Gen. Preawphan Damaphong, Director-General; Pol. Lt. Gen. Khamronvit Thupkrajang, Commissioner; and other high-rank police officers. The incident occurred on a field outside the entrance to Don Muang Airport.
Police found a silver-bronze Isuzu Dmax pickup truck, license number LOR SOR-9447 Bangkok. The truck’s back mirror was broken, and the front and back wheel were shot until broken. A man’s dead body was inside the truck on the driver’s seat. He was shot in his left temple and his left side.
He was identified as Mr. Phol Chaiyaphantho, a Laotian. Police also found a .45 Cal. machine gun, a bomb, and two blue suitcases containing a total of 200,000 amphetamine tablets. A police card was also retrieved that had fallen in the pickup truck.
Two other suspects had escaped, so police mobilized the forces of Don Muang police and Klong Luang police to form a blockade. More than 300 officers surrounded the air base, assisted by a police helicopter flying overhead. The two men came out of hiding and surrendered a few hours later.
Pol. Col. Thanarat Chumsawat, Deputy Commander described the events leading up to the gunfight. Earlier, investigative work by section 5 police officers revealed that a big delivery of drugs was going to be made in Pathumthani province, where a big gang of drug dealers is based.
Through surveillance, the officers learned that a shipment of amphetamines would be delivered August 6 at the parking lot of Tai Market, Tambon Klong Neung, Amphur Klong Luang, Pathumthani province.
So the police waited for them. When a suspicious pickup truck parked, the police went to check the vehicle. But then the pickup truck driver tried to run over the officers and fired his machine gun at them. The suspect drove toward Viphavadeerangsit Road to Bangkok.
When the suspect approached Don Muang airport, he got stuck in a traffic jam, so he drove on the sidewalk and threw a bomb at the officers. He then took out his gun to shoot at the officers. The police split up forces to blockade him, and fired back until the defendant was extrajudicially killed.
Two other defendants escaped within the airport area, but could not get away because of the police blockade. One of them surrendered at 7:50 p.m. after coming out of hiding. The suspect was identified as Mr. Chokchai Tuamak.
Mr. Chokchai told police that before incident occurred, he came to receive amphetamines from an agent at the Tai Market to deliver to customers at Pattaya, Chonburi province. But when police closed in for the arrest at Tai Market, he jumped into the pickup truck with Mr. Phol the drug agent. Mr. Chokchai said he was paid 10,000 THB each time for delivering drugs, and had done it twice previously.
At 10 p.m., the second suspect emerged from the bush to surrender. He was initially identified as “Mr. Mang,” age 22.
Mr. Mang told police that he had travelled from the northern province with three other people. Mr. Chokchai is his elder brother, who used to be a construction worker. His brother had persuaded him to travel together and he didn’t know there were amphetamines in the pickup truck.
After the pickup truck driver Mr. Phol fought with the police and got shot, Mr. Mang said he was so frightened that he escaped to hide himself in the bush, until he heard the voice of the Cambodians talking. Mr. Mang stayed in the water for a long time until he felt cold, so he came out to surrender.