11 July 2024

National police chief, Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol, has vowed root out what he called the “criminal organisation”, which is allegedly instigating hatred and violence between rival students at the Rajamangala University of Technology Tawan-ok, Uthenthawai campus.

He said the organization was behind the plotting of the fatal shooting of Thanasorn Hongsawat in the Khlong Toei area on November 11.

Speaking at a press conference today, after questioning Anawin, the prime suspect in the shooting, Pol Gen Torsak said that members of the organisation and former students of a vocational college near the Uthenthawai campus can no longer be treated as students, but as criminals, because of their activities, such as stockpiling of arms, their acquisition of vehicles used in committing crimes and their access to lawyers to defend them in court.

He claimed that Anawin, who was arrested along with another suspect at the Doi Pui mountainous retreat in Chiang Mai yesterday, admitted to shooting Thanasorn. One of the stray bullets also killed a teacher from the Sacred Heart Convent School.

Anawin, according to the police chief, admitted that he stole a motorcycle license plate in the Din Daeng area on November 10th and attached to his motorbike, which he and another suspect used to patrol the streets in the Rom Klao area, looking for Uthenthawai students. They didn’t find any.

The following day, both of them patrolled the streets again, this time in the Khlong Toei area. They found a group of Uthenthawai students, at whom they opened fire, fatally injuring Thanasorn and killing the school teacher.

The police chief said that the leaders of the criminal organisation had created a virtual world and sowed the seeds of hatred among their recruits, who are mostly weak-minded.  Police have rounded up 24 suspects are in police custody for alleged association with the organisation, said Pol Gen Torsak.

He admitted, however, that destroying the organisation might not solve the problem entirely, as he suggested that the college should be relocated out of Bangkok.