You’ve probably seen these media events on Thai television. After Thai police have captured a suspect, they usually parade him in front of television cameras during a press conference at the police station. Standing behind him are senior officers looking for press exposure. The higher the profile of the case is, the more police you will see. Like the other day with the press conference for the scrap dealer who was accused of spraying toilet detergent on random strangers. It started as a small case but became large once the media picked it up. So, it was a big thing for the police to have arrested the guy so “quickly”. During the packed press conference the suspect told everyone the details of his crime. (Obviously Thailand doesn’t have any lawyers telling you to shut up like you see in the movies.) The victims were there and they were told to point at the suspect for the cameras.
Later in the day, the suspect was then taken back to the crime scene where he re-enacted his crimes. In this case the real victims also went along which is mildly disturbing. For murder or rape, they usually use a stand-in to represent the victim. Once I saw a crazy picture of a man re-enacting a rape on a bed. The stand-in in this case was a giant teddy bear which obviously looked ridiculous. The smirk on the guys face was just as bad. Thai police seem to do this every time, whether you are innocent or not. It’s almost a trial by media. In Thailand they don’t have a jury, but when they do these re-enactments at the scene of the crime, it can actually get quite dangerous for the suspect as family members of the victim are often there waiting to be jury, judge and executioner all rolled into one. Nothing says “guilty” more than pictures of you re-enacting the crime. When the evidence is overwhelming, some suspects are persuaded to “confess” as the judges then halve their sentence if they do so. Saves the police and court a lot of paperwork and time if more people confess.
On Monday, Thai police arrested five Vietnamese men accused of abducting another Vietnamese man. Yesterday, the police took the five men to re-enact their crime at Phaon Yothin Soi 54/4 at about 10 a.m. As the suspects were getting out of the police van, one of them, who was still handcuffed, fled over a nearby wall and escaped. The red faced police still haven’t found any trace of him. If you see the man in the top picture, please call 1808 or contact the police directly at Sai Mai Police Station. There is a 10,000 Baht reward.