The victim’s daughter recalls seeing her father leaving the house at around 8 a.m. to deliver rice to merchants around Tao Hi village. The last person to see the victim is the owner of a convenience store in Toong Na Tong market who received rice from the victim that morning. The merchant did not notice anything unusual and saw Saman drive away normally. At around 10 a.m. the victim’s wife, Mrs Meetum, tried to phone her husband but was unable to connect to his phone. Neither the victim, nor his car (4-door Nissan Frontier), were recovered to date. The informant believed her father’s disappearance to be linked to his plans to expand the rice mill, which had already been delayed because of a neighbour’s opposition to the project. This neighbour was a Police Major at Yang Talat Police Station name Mr xxxx. The two men had argued at great length about this expansion; smoke from the rice mills already polluted Mr xxxx’s land and he did not want it to escalate. Although the arguments had been foul-mouthed, no violence was ever involved. However, Mr xxxx did resort to threatening the mill’s employees which made some too scared to come into work. The victim disappeared on the road running from Kalasin to Roi Et province, on the way back to his village. There were some rumours that someone at the market had seen the victim drive towards the city, but when the family went looking for witnesses no one came forward. OFFICIAL ACTION: At around 2 p.m., the same day the victim disappeared, the family went to the police, but they would not accept the complaint saying they would have to wait the next day for the minimum 24 hours to have passed. The only thing the police did at the time was to send out a radio broadcast on their scanner informing the forces on the make and model of the victim’s vehicle. About 12 days later, a policeman came to the family’s home to ask them questions. The policeman also questioned the neighbor about his altercations with the victim. Mr xxxx was fast to underplay the gravity of the confrontations. The policeman did not question Mr xxxx’s integrity and simply took his word for being the truth. A year after the victim’s disappearance, the DSI took the case to the police station again. To date, the DSI has not reported back to the Meetums in person, but did send a letter saying they felt the case did not have enough merit to become a special case. The family has meet with a commissioner from the NHRC about the case, but nothing has been said since then. At the beginning of 2011, experts from the Central Institute of Forensic Science of Thailand came to collect DNA samples on behalf of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ). As far as the family is concerned, no new unidentified dead body matches Saman’s DNA.
Incident 16 NAME: Mr Kamol Lausiphaphan DATE OF INCIDENT: 7 February 2008 20
Published on Jun 6, 2012