NAKHON PHANOM – Authorities on Monday were trying to identify the bodies of two men dumped into the Mekong River with concrete placed inside their ruptured bellies. The bodies washed up on a riverbank in this northeastern province.
Police suspected the victims were political activists.
The two bodies were found in That Phanom and Muang districts handcuffed and with their ankles tied together. Their bellies had been ripped open and chunks of concrete stuffed inside them. The bodies had then been placed in sacks and dumped into the river.
Local police collected samples from the bodies for examination at a forensic facility in Khon Kaen province.
Sources said national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda ordered police handling the case to speed up the investigation in order to verify the belief that the victims were political activists.
According to sources, relatives of political activists in Bangkok contacted Nakhon Phanom police, requesting to see the bodies and provide information that might help identify them. Detectives were quoted as saying that the handcuffs found on the bodies were often used in Laos and Vietnam.
Nakhon Phanom police commander Thanachart Rodkhlongtan said the men were murdered about a week ago, and their bodies may have been dumped into the Mekong River five days ago.
Police would try to identify them from relatives’ information and DNA tests, he said.
By Patanapong Sripiachai
The Bangkok Post