Southern cops honoured for bravery, wits in long day of drama
Five policemen in southern Pattani province have been cited for outstanding work in intercepting a pickup truck carrying a bomb earlier this month.
The pickup was one of several that were stolen on August 16 in Songkhla’s Na Thawi district. The driver was killed in a shootout and the bomb disarmed without incident.
National police chief Pol General Chakthip Chaijinda on Tuesday presented certificates of honour to the five officers stationed in Pattani’s Khok Pho district.
They are Pol Major Warisorn Matcha, Pol Captain Somsak Kaewkohsaba, Pol Senior Sergeant Major Anuchok Kotan, Pol Corporal Manasnan Kaewsaikhao and Pol Corporal Apichet Boonjariya.
Chakthip praised them for their bravery and sharp wits in utilising intelligence information to figure out what the suspects in the truck robbery would do next.
The thieves were believed to be ethnic Malay Muslim insurgents.
Intercepting the explosives-laden truck prevented the loss of lives and damage to property, the police chief said.
The five officers were able to determine the suspects’ likely escape route from Na Thawi, track one of the stolen trucks to Khok Pho’s Tambon Tha Rua, and alert nearby units to help intercept it.
The ensuing police chase ended in a gun fight in which a suspect was killed.
The daring multiple truck theft in Na Thawi set off a series of dramatic events, including four employees of a car-care centre being taken hostage, the shootout and an explosion.
By the end of the day two people were dead – hostage Saharat Laeni and suspected insurgent Nur-arsan Arwae of Mueang Pattani – both fatally shot.