BANGKOK – The Thai Police are experimenting with a new approach in their detection and arrest of hit men in Bangkok and the rest of the Country.
From preparing lists of the “most wanted”, to making “criminal suspect calendars” which feature photos of wanted suspects, their approach demonstrates that police are desperate to cut down the number of hit men who bring violent and, in many
cases, shocking scenes to society.
Yet their attempts have not been fruitful.
The number of killings by hit men remains at a disturbing level.
As a result, police are trying to find more efficient methods to deal with the problem and one among them stands out: Systematically categorizing them.
The idea has been initiated by the Crime Suppression Division which believes dividing suspects into four groups and checking their relations and movements with close associates – parents, relatives, and friends – will enable investigators to know how to more effectively approach their targets.
The CSD divides the hitmen based on experience in killing, their life patterns and bio-information, deputy CSD commander Pol Col Akkaradet Phimonsri said. Under the CSD’s four categories, hitman level 1 refers to those who are professional gunmen, no matter whether they are wanted under arrest warrants or not.
Convicted hitmen who have been released from jail are included in this group.
The level 2 hitmen are newcomers.
The CSD believes this group is the most dangerous because they are not shy to take orders to kill anyone to add their “successes” to their profiles and hope to eventually be upgraded to the first group.
Suspects in level 3 are those who come under the umbrella of influential figures or mafia.
Most of them have not been the subject of arrest warrants.
The level 4 of criminal suspects are those who are not hitmen by career but have murdered people during conflicts.
Still, about 30% of the suspects in the fourth level tend to have contacts with people in the third group.
Pol Col Akkaradet said people in this category will eventually be lured by money into becoming professional hitmen.
A key to the arrest of these hitmen and their masterminds is that police need to know their background and what they will do next, Pol Col Akkaradet said.
For example, officers must block suspects in the second group from promoting themselves up to the first group.
Pol Col Akkaradet admitted suspects in the third group are most difficult to arrest because they are under the umbrella of influential figures and police often lack enough evidence to seek court warrants to search their homes.
Along with the four categories of the suspects, the CSD has also determined that it can find clues about hitmen from people associating with them, including suspects’ parents, relatives and friends.
“No one can live alone forever without contacting other people,” Pol Col Akkaradet said.
CSD deputy superintendent Kittisak Tiengkamol said the division found that the price to hire a hitman commonly begins at 50,000 baht.
But prices will depend on the position and importance of the target – and the reason for the order to kill them.
Pol Lt Col Kittisak said a hit that involves a love affair that went wrong seemed to attract the lowest price.
Assassinations for political and business reasons, however, would attract much higher fees, he said.
“Most of reasons for killing involve assets, sex, being insulted, or people just losing their temper,” he said.
The CSD has compiled two “most wanted” lists – the 2011 list has 75 suspects and the 2013 list has 100 suspects.
For the 2011 list, police have arrested 22 of those named, and two on the list have died.
As for the 2013 list, four have been arrested and two have died. – Bangkok Post