Thai Crime: The Saga of “Jo Ferrari” Continues As Thai Court Rules That Police Can Keep Him For Another 12 Days

Pol Col Thitisan “Jo Ferrari” Utthanaphon is being held in custody for 12 more days as police in the Crime Suppression Division continue their investigation. Muang district police say they need more time as they still have 10 witnesses to question.
An indictment must be made as soon as possible, but if further investigation is needed, an extension of 12 days may be requested up to seven times, giving law enforcement a maximum of 84 days to prepare their case against a suspect.
It is possible that Thitisan faces multiple charges including murder and torture for the death of a suspect in custody. A leaked video shows a suspect suffocating as police wrestled with him while plastic bags were placed over his head and tied behind his back. Despite allegations of wrongdoing, he denied it.
Thoranin Maswanna, who was Thitisan’s closest ally, turned himself into Phetchaburi police yesterday and was transferred to Nakhon Sawan. The court has also approved an extension of his custody for 12 more days. Both men will be held until at least September 7.
After surrendering in Chon Buri yesterday, Thitisan was interrogated late into the night Thursday and was given a chance to speak at a press conference in his defense, a move that drew widespread ire. When asked about the incriminating video that revealed the whole incident publicly, Thitisan graciously forgave the junior officer who recorded and leaked the video.
Seven police officers, including Thitisan, are now in custody over the death of Jeerapong Thanapat, 24, who was found suffocated to death inside a police station. Jeerapong and his wife were arrested on August 4 after trying to sell crystal meth to a plainclothes officer outside a convenience store in the Muang district.
Each had three 100 gram bags of meth on them. Police searched Jeerapong’s house after discovering photos of a big drug stash on his phone, but no illegal drugs were found. The next day, the couple was taken into custody for aggressive interrogation by Thitisan, which caused Jeerapong’s death around 1 pm according to the video’s timestamp. In exchange for her silence, his wife was released.
According to Thitisan, the beating and suffocation were not an attempt at extortion and were not meant to kill the suspect, but were an interrogation technique to learn more about the impounded drugs and the supply chain.
An autopsy recorded on August 6 stated that Jeerapong had died of a drug overdose, with sources stating that Thitisan had ordered that cause of death be recorded. According to the issuing hospital, this was only an initial report so that the family could apply for a death certificate, and a full autopsy report will be released next week with more detailed information.

The Crime Suppression Division is Thailand’s FBI. The headquarters are near Ratcthaoteyothin Junction and Major Cineplex Ratchayothin in Bangkok.

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