Man linked to Thailand's corrupt police and gambling boss commits suicide in prison

A man with links to a Thai police and gambling kingpin committed suicide while in custody using a bed sheet as a noose.

Apr 8, 2024
2 min read
Police are preparing to arrest Pakpoom Saengnil in Thailand. He claimed ties to a corrupt
Police are preparing to arrest Pakpoom Saengnil in Thailand. He claimed ties to a corrupt police officer and committed suicide in


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Man linked to Thailand's corrupt police and gambling boss commits suicide in prison

Thailand authorities have lost a key piece of evidence in their case against a police officer suspected of running a large illegal gambling ring and drug operation. They captured a senior associate, allegedly an MIA officer, but he committed suicide in his cell at the local jail.

Pakpoom Saengnil, 36, was arrested by Sa Kaeo district police around 8pm on Sunday and was held in a remote cell at Klong Luek police station. On Monday morning, police planned to transport him to Bangkok for investigation.

Pakpoom, who went by "New," took his own life hours after being arrested, local media outlet Thaiger reported. CCTV footage showed him hanging himself from the ceiling sometime between 10pm and 11pm, although no one appeared to be actively monitoring the cameras at the time.

The criminal’s life is over

Local media reported that New was close to Lieutenant Colonel Wasawat Makurasakul, a police officer turned criminal who went by the alias Inspector Sua. Sua was allegedly involved in the operation of 27 illegal gambling websites and the Special Investigations Unit issued a warrant for his arrest for his involvement and money laundering offences.

New was arrested in March following a sexual assault and murder investigation. He allegedly forced a female victim to take drugs and get drunk before attacking her in a private home. The woman's boyfriend was present at the time and New allegedly drugged and killed him.

The unidentified woman reported the incident to police the next day and identified New as the attacker. As authorities began investigating, they realized they were looking for someone they were already familiar with.

New, who allegedly ran Inspector Sua's gambling business in Poipet, Cambodia, was arrested on online gambling and money laundering charges but failed to attract attention. The sexual assault helped authorities corner and arrest him.

However, he does not have to face trial now. After he was found dead in his cell, authorities concluded he had killed himself with a bedsheet, claiming "stress and anxiety" over the case led to the decision.

Search Sua

Sua is alleged to have been running a large-scale illegal gambling and drug trafficking operation in Southeast Asia since at least 2016. Police conducted raids across Thailand this month in an effort to dismantle the group but have yet to find the mastermind.

They seized assets worth about 2 billion baht ($73.55 million) in April, the Bangkok Post reported. They also arrested about 35 people but not Sua.

Despite their best efforts, authorities believe they may have just touched the edge of a larger operation. Sua allegedly sold "franchises" to others and set up legitimate companies to launder funds from all of his illegal activities.

In addition to Sua, four others are at large. Thai authorities do not know where they are but believe they may have left the country and are living abroad with the money they earned.

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