Thai police chief accused of torturing suspect to death over £44k bribe turns himself in

Video of policeman handing himself in:

CCTV showing alleged torture:

Video of cop’s mansion:

This is the moment a former police chief surrendered after being accused of torturing a suspect to death to extort a £44k bribe – before claiming the tactics used were in the public interest.

Police Colonel Thitisan Utthanaphon – nicknamed Joe Ferrari for his love of supercars – allegedly demanded the drugs suspect double his one million baht (22,000 GBP) bribe to two million in order to be released.

CCTV cameras from the station in Nakhon Sawan, northern Thailand, appeared to show the cop wrapping several plastic bags around the head of Jirapong Thanapat, 24, on August 5.

However, the suspect later collapsed and died the next day in hospital. JoeFerrari recorded the death as a ‘drugs overdose’ and blackmailed the suspect’s girlfriend – who was arrested with him – by letting her go free on the condition she did not speak.

A shocked junior office at the station leaked the video – after another cop is said to have tried to use it to blackmail his own colleagues – and the Prime Minister ordered the country’s national police chief to sack and arrest all of those allegedly involved.

Utthanaphon finally handed himself in to a station in Chonburi province on Thursday afternoon August 26.

Bizarrely, the allegedly bent cop – a divorcee who is currently dating a popular TV presenter – claimed that he suffocated the suspect ‘to protect the public’.

He claimed that he had not demanded any money and was only using the deadly torture method in order to extract more information from the suspect.

The former police chief said: ‘Normally I would not get involved in such cases but this one was important. The suspect had pictures on his phone of drugs and I wanted to get him to talk about them.

‘The plastic bags on his head were so he couldn’t see my face. He was handcuffed to be restrained.

‘I was not involved in any corruption and did not ask him for money. I didn’t know this would happen. I didn’t mean for it to happen. I was only doing my job to protect the public and to protect kids from drugs.’

Jirapong Thanapat and his girlfriend had both been arrested the day before after allegedly being found carrying three grams of crystal meth. Officers claimed they found pictures on his phone showing 1kg of methamphetamine pills and were torturing the suspect in order for him to reveal the location of the drugs.

The ex-cop said he panicked when the suspect died and removed the CCTV from the room and then put the man’s death down as a ‘drugs overdose’.

Utthanaphon and six other cops allegedly involved in the death were remanded in custody and denied bail.

National police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk, who is overseeing the investigation, said that the officers would be interrogated over the coming days.

He added: ‘The public can have full confidence that the suspects will be investigated like any other person would be. They will face justice and they will tell their evidence to a court.’

Police Colonel Kissana Phathanacharoen, Deputy Spokesman for the Royal Thai Police, said: ‘The Nakhon Sawan Provincial Court issued arrest warrants for the seven police officers involved in the incident.

‘They are charged with omission to act causing injury to others, jointly coercing someone, and joint murder by torture.’

Alleged corrupt cop Joe Ferrari graduated from the Royal Police Cadet Academy in Bangkok before becoming known as one of the best drug enforcement officers in the country.

He was also known as a ‘playboy’ who dated models and boasted a collection of sports cars Ex-girlfriend Pichanak ‘May’ Sakakorn, a Thai actress, even claimed that Joe had ordered officers to spy on her while she was on holiday before turning up at her parent’s house to order her online rants about him to be deleted.

Despite being illegal, bribes are a widely accepted part of the Thai justice system with officers across the country accepting payments in order for cases to be dropped.