Four of nine escapees caught in Nakhon Pathom
Saw blade used to cut through bars at temporary detention facility
Four of nine male inmates who escaped from a temporary prison in Nakhon Pathom early Saturday have been recaptured and a manhunt is under way for the remaining escapees.
The inmates escaped from from the facility on army property in the Thung Noi area at around 2.30am, said Pol Lt Col Thanisorn Ekkarattanarat, investigation chief at Sam Khwai Phuak police station in Muang district, who was alerted by the 191 radio centre.
The facility was being used as a Covid-19 screening centre for new inmates before they were sent to the main prison.
The nine — six charged with drug offences, two accused of theft and one held for alleged physical abuse — had used a metal saw blade to cut through the bars of their living quarters, Thai media reported.
Police found the blade left near a toilet at the site. Some of the inmates clothes were found covering barbed wire on the wall of the facility.
Officers on Saturday morning apprehended two of the escapees, identified as Natthakorn Matwangsaeng, 24, and Ekkarat Paengklan, 18.
Two more were caught later in the afternoon. Paithoon Mekhlongbaeng, 36, charged with drug offences, was apprehended by local leaders in tambon Bo Phlab of Muang district at 3.30pm and handed over to police. Veerachet Thepchu, 28, was caught by police in Nakhon Chaisri district.
Natthakorn and Ekkarat told police that they were awaiting the outcome of Covid screening before being sent to the main prison. They decided to escape because some older inmates told them they were facing 5-6 years behind bars. The group spent about two weeks planning their breakout, the pair said.
An army source said the Corrections Department had sought the use of the detention facility in Thung Noi from Military Circle 11 to hold inmates for 21 days for Covid screening. A total of 276 inmates were detained there with prison warders guarding them.
Source: Bangkok Post