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SUMMARY OF TESTIMONY: Ms Oaynapa Sukprasong, whose formal profession was running a mercantile business as well as selling life insurance, ran an underground lottery business on the side. She knew some Kalasin Polices well and used to offer them bribes so they would turn a blind-eye. However, before being taken she stopped paying them because of a new Government policy that sought to legalize formerly illegal lotteries. The victim’s oldest son recalls his mother telling him she felt like someone was following her shortly before she disappeared. His mother thought that if ever the family were to have problems with a police who she believed was capable of physical violence against her husband. The Sukprasong family home was often searched by police officers as there were many rumours that the family was involved in illegal activities, such as selling drugs. The family has stressed that these allegations are all false. Still, Mr Gra, an associate of the victim, once told her that her husband was on the Kalasin Governor’s blacklist of possible drug suspects. There was an incident at the family’s drinking water factory a few months before Oaynapa’s abduction to such effect: where her husband’s younger sister and an employee were taken for interrogation for half a day – they said the police had questioned them about the victim’s husband and his day-to-day whereabouts. On 2 December 2004, at around 9 a.m. the family, their friends and relatives were celebrating the construction of the new drinking water factory. Shortly after, Oaynapa and her assistant drove off to pay for wood and toiletries. It is believed their abduction took place any time before noon, two or three kilometres from the road exiting the factory. The only eyewitness to the incident is a buffalo herder, who initially told the family what he saw but henceforth refused to give testimony about the case to the relevant authorities. He recounts the victim driving along when suddenly a four-door pickup truck drove in front of her and forced her to stop. There were four men in the car but only three got out. The victim’s assistant got out the car in order to talk with them but without any warning a group of three men took the victim’s assistant and also pulled the victim outside and pushed them into their car. Two sat either side of them so they could not attempt to escape. The third assailant drove the victim’s car away – the vehicle was later found at Kalasin Police Station. He added that the men were all wearing round-necked T-shirts but no visible insignia. After reporting her disappearance to the police, the family went to look for Oaynapa in different places, but without avail. When they reached the Municipality Office, the Chief said that Regional Commissioner xxxx was responsible for taking her but gave no lead to prove such a fact. However, the informant believes it to be the truth as he recalls that three months after his mother’s disappearance the quarters that the Police had newly occupied were quickly emptied. OFFICIAL ACTION: The victim’s family had to report the disappearance three times as not enough time had passed after the first and second times they went to complain – official procedure dictates that 24 hours need to pass to report somebody a missing person. The police also went to inspect the water factory but no progress had been made with regards to that investigation. What has made the investigation more difficult than need be is that the only eyewitness, the buffalo herder, still refuses to testify. The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) also retrieved a report from the family, but they have been no updates as to progress on their part yet. 17

Enforced Disappearances in Thailand  

Enforced Disappearances in Thailand

Enforced Disappearances in Thailand  

Enforced Disappearances in Thailand

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