Officer faces second misconduct accusation
Outspoken lawyer Atchariya Reungratanapong on Monday lodged a complaint of misconduct against an embattled police officer after two men caught in possession of drugs were able to walk off scot-free.
Atchariya, who is also chairman of the Facebook-based Help Crime Victims Club, met with Metropolitan Police Bureau chief Pol Lt-General Sutthipong Wongpin at police headquarters to request that a serious disciplinary investigation be launched against Pol Lt-Colonel Pratuan Malaengtab of Chokchai police. It is the second time the same officer has faced such an accusation.
Pratuan is accused of intervening in the case of Jeerawat Pudbumrung and Panida Yaemkhayai, who was arrested with three kilograms of “ice” by officers from the 191 Patrol and Special Operation Division on March 22.
The lawyer claims that the arresting officers gave the evidence and arrest report to Pratuan, who then hid them away. The case was therefore not filed for indictment by the prosecutor within the 84-day legal time frame, so the suspects were released from detention and did not face any action.
Pratuan has already been transferred to an inactive post at the Metropolitan Police Division 4 Office after being accused in a separate case of delaying a stolen vehicle investigation and failing to report progress in the case to the 42-year-old victim, Praiwan Saelee.
Praiwan, who claimed to have been cheated by a money-lender of his Mazda pick-up truck in January 2018, committed suicide in a Samut Prakan apartment room in May out of stress and desperation – and left a suicide note asking Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to seek justice on his behalf.
His relatives say he told them that he reported the truck as stolen with a Bangkok police officer but was told he needed to pay a Bt5,000 investigation fee.
Pratuan maintains he is innocent of any wrongdoing in the Praiwan case.