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Escaped Thai prisoner arrested in Indonesia after 7 months on the run

PHOTO: Matichon

A convict who escaped custody in southern Thailand last year has been re-captured in Indonesia.

The Phuket Express reports that Chavalit Thongduang, also known as “Pang Nanod” was arrested in Bali yesterday, May 30. Last October, he managed to escape custody while undergoing dental treatment at a hospital in Nakhon Si Thammarat.

At the time, Chavalit was described as armed and dangerous, with the public warned not approach him. His high-profile escape dominated the headlines for weeks as he subsequently engaged in a gun battle with Thai police. Rumours that Chavalit had died during the shootout proved to be false, as he continued to evade capture, even using social media to taunt the authorities.

A reward of 1 million baht was offered for any information leading to his arrest, while the chief of Nakhon Si Thammarat Provincial Prison and 3 prison officers were transferred to the Department of Corrections, pending an investigation into any role they may have played in Chavalit’s escape.

Despite paratroopers being drafted in to join the hunt for Chavalit, who was believed to be hiding in the mountains of Phattalung province, he managed to avoid capture and the story eventually went quiet until his arrest was announced yesterday.

Yesterday afternoon, PM Srettha Thavisin issued a statement to say he’d been informed by Justice Minister, Tawee Sodsong, that Chavalit had been arrested in Indonesia. It’s understood Thai officials are liaising with their Indonesian counterparts to have the fugitive brought back to Thailand.

According to Tawee, Chavalit was “on holiday” in Bali when he got into an argument with an Indonesian woman, which led to the police being called and Chavalit being arrested. The Thai convict had reportedly used a fake passport to enter Indonesia.

Meanwhile, the authorities are now trying to determine if there is any link with an incident on May 14 when 3 Indonesian men were rescued by police in Phatthalung.

It’s understood a group of Thai men had kidnapped the Indonesians for ransom, according to Tawee.

SOURCE: The Phuket Express

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