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Air Force plane to return fugitive from Jakarta

Air Force plane to return fugitive from Jakarta

The government will send a Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) aircraft to transport high-profile fugitive Chaowalit “Paeng Nanod” Thongduang from Jakarta to Bangkok this week, according to Justice Minister Tawee Sodsong.

Pol Col Tawee announced that the RTAF’s Airbus A320 will depart for Indonesia on Tuesday to bring Chaowalit back.

ACM Punpakdee Pattanakul, commander-in-chief of the air force, mentioned that the Foreign Affairs Ministry is coordinating the flight arrangements for the fugitive’s retrieval.

Chaowalit, 37, was serving a sentence at Nakhon Si Thammarat Prison for attempted murder and faced numerous other charges, including murder, attempted murder, and firearms possession, when he escaped. On October 22, he fled from Maharaj Nakhon Si Thammarat Hospital after being taken there for dental treatment. Despite an extensive manhunt, he managed to leave Thailand by speedboat, reportedly from Satun. While on the run, he released video clips claiming he was unfairly treated by the justice system.

Chaowalit was arrested in Bali on Thursday by Indonesian police for drug dealing, using a fake Indonesian ID card, and assaulting women, according to the justice minister.

Pol Col Tawee and a delegation of government officials flew to Jakarta at 2:30 PM on Saturday and will return on Sunday after discussing legal procedures with Indonesian police.

Interpol is assisting with Chaowalit’s transfer, which is expected to be completed within three days. Gen Nipat Thonglek, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s adviser and a delegate member, stated that transfer clearance will be secured after the necessary legal procedures are performed.

The investigation into Chaowalit will be handled as a special case. Upon his return to Thailand, he will be questioned by the Royal Thai Police before being sent to Phatthalung and Provincial Police Region 9 for further investigation, according to Pol Col Tawee.

The ministry will establish a committee to investigate how Chaowalit escaped the country and identify those who assisted him.

Sahakarn Petchnarin, director-general of the Department of Corrections, indicated that Chaowalit might be transferred to a high-security prison elsewhere instead of returning to Nakhon Si Thammarat Prison.

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