BANGKOK — The Department of Special Investigation announced Monday that arrest warrants have been issued for four men allegedly involved in the murder of a Karen land rights activist whose bones was found burned in an oil drum.
Police Col. Paisit Wongmung, director of the Department of Special Investigation told the press Monday that courts have issued arrests for four men, including Chaiwat Limlikhit-aksorn, former national park chief of Kaeng Krachan National Park, for the murder of Porlajee “Billy” Rakchongcharoen.
The Department of Special Investigation said in September that burnt bone fragments found in the park in May inside a tank submerged in water belonged to Billy. The bones were burned at temperatures of 200C to 300C, which the investigation committee said was an attempt to cover up the murder.
Activists had previously accused then-director Chaiwat of engineering the disappearance of the local Karen activist.
Chaiwat and several park officials briefly detained the land rights activist on April 17, 2014 to reprimand him for “wild honey theft” but claim they later released him without charge. Billy, a campaigner for community rights, was not seen since. His friends and family feared the 30-year-old activist was abducted and murdered for his opposition to the government’s eviction efforts.
This is a developing story and may be updated without notice.