Twenty-eight locations in Chiang Rai’s Wiang Kaen district were searched by some 500 soldiers, police and administrative officials on Thursday morning as part of the investigation into the fatal April 24 ambush on Hmong kamnan Thaweesak Yodmaneebanphot and his family.
Provincial Police Region 5 chief Pol Lt-General Pulsap Prasertsak led the operation at Ban Huai Han in Tambon Por, which also aimed to uncover drug criminals and fugitives. They brought along the explosive ordnance disposal team, which used a metal detector to look for spent cartridges at spots where the gunmen were suspected of disposing of the weapons used in the ambush.
The search for evidence from the ambush failed to find anything, but the search led to the arrests of a number of people possessing illegal items and unregistered guns, Pulsap said.
Police suspect that 54-year-old Thaweesak’s role in the recent arrests of drug suspects might have prompted the attack that killed his wife and five-year-old daughter, and left the chief of Tambon Por and president of the Hmong People Club of Thailand and his three-year-old son seriously injured.