Police Blame 'Fake CCTV' For No Footage of PCAD Stabbing

PCAD guards walking on Chaeng Wattana Road during the gunbattle between pro- and anti-government protesters at Laksi Intersection in Bangkok, 1 February 2014.

BANGKOK — Police say the alleged stabbing of an ice delivery man by anti-government protest guards was not captured on film because the nearest security camera turned out to be a "dummy" device.

The alleged attack has left the man, identified by his family as Thanakrit, in a coma in Ratchavithi Hospital’s intensive care unit.

According to police, the  security camera installed close to where the attack took place was a "dummy" device placed by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. As a result, there is no footage of the incident, said Pol.Col. Wichai Daengpradap, a senior investigative officer at Phayathai Police Station.

Pol. Col. Wichai said that it will now be very difficult for police to identify the perpetrators, who faces were reportedly masked by balaclavas and scarves. 

According to the victim’s family and witnesses, Mr. Thanakrit was driving his pick-up truck to deliver goods to a customer on Phahonyothin Road last Saturday when he encountered a checkpoint set up by supporters of the People's Committee for Absolute Democracy With the King As Head of State (PCAD) in front of Channel 5 TV station. 

Mr. Thanakrit reportedly knocked over a traffic cone placed on the road by the PCAD guards. When he attempted to apologise, Mr. Thanakrit was immediately mobbed and stabbed by the guards, said his wife, who was with him at the time of the alleged attack.

His wife, Nanthawadee, met with Phayathai Police yesterday to give testimony to the officers. 

Ms. Nanthawadee, who asked to be identified by first name only out of fear of being targeted, told police that her husband accidentally knocked over the traffic cone because it was raining and he could not see the obstacle on the road. She also denied the accusation that Mr. Thanakrit was drunk or trying to pick a fight with the guards. 

Ms. Nanathawadee left the police station after two hours of interrogation and did not give any interviews with the media.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) installed a number of fake CCTVs in 2009 because of a delay in budget for functioning cameras, former BMA Governor Abhirak Kosayothin said in an interview in 2011. 

In a report published by Matichon, Mr. Abhirak was quoted as saying that all dummy CCTVs would be replaced by real ones once the budget issues were sorted out.

The BMA recently insisted that there are no more fake CCTVs in the city. One BMA official went as far as claiming that anyone who finds a fake CCTV will be rewarded 100,000 baht by the authorities. 

There is no word whether the Phayathai Police will claim the reward. 

 

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