Police Won’t Say if Mutilated Body is Missing Republican

Police and rescue workers at the scene where a body was discovered in the Mekong River in Nakhon Phanom province. Photo: Courtesy

NAKHON PHANOM — Police in the northeast said Monday it’s too early to tell if a dead body found in the Mekong River belongs to a prominent anti-monarchy activist who went missing two weeks ago.

The unidentified man; whose throat was cut, intestines removed and hands locked in handcuffs; could have been the victim of narcotics traffickers, police in Nakhon Phanom province told the media. The fate of Surachai Danwattananusorn, 76, remains unknown.

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The corpse was found inside a sack that washed ashore Saturday on the river border between Thailand and Laos. Another dead body was found in a similar manner just two days earlier. Both were sent to a hospital in Khon Kaen province for autopsies.

Surachai’s wife, Pranee Dawattanasunorn, told reporters she believes neither of the bodies is that of her husband, as they appear to have been men in their 30-40s. Surachai, a former lese majeste convict, fled to Laos after the coup in 2014 and has been missing since Dec. 9.

An undated file photo of Surachai.