UPDATE: Former Chonburi Police Chief Cleared of Wrongdoing in Pattaya Pool Villa Shooting Suspect Swap

PHOTO: Mueang Chon Reporter

Pattaya —

The former Provincial Police Commander of Chonburi province has been cleared of wrongdoing after he was accused of being linked to an attempt to help the real suspects escape prosecution in a 2022 Pattaya pool villa shooting incident.

First our previous story:

The Chonburi Provincial Police Chief has been transferred to an inactive post and charged for allegedly swapping the real suspects with scapegoats in a pool villa shooting case in Pattaya on October 18th, 2022, according to assistant national police chief Pol. Maj. Gen. Surachat Hakparn.

Now for our update:

Pol. Maj. Gen. Kittanate Thanananthavisin, the former Chonburi Police Commander, was demoted to an inactive post in Bangkok following a shooting that shook a pool villa in Pattaya in October last year.

The incident implicated an alleged attempt to help the real suspects escape prosecution by swapping them with scapegoats. Several senior police officers in Chonburi were accused of being involved in the foiled plan, including Pol. Maj. Gen. Kittanate and after he was moved to an inactive post a probe was launched against him.

Regarding the case in question, on October 18th, 2022, a group of five men forcibly entered a pool villa within a Pattaya resort and assaulted, and caused injuries to the occupants, including teenagers. Additionally, the suspects discharged firearms at three vehicles parked at the premises.

The next day, the five suspects surrendered to local police. They purportedly admitted to assaulting the villa’s occupants out of frustration after they couldn’t locate the individuals they were seeking, who refused to pay off their debts.

Before the surrender, however, it was discovered that two men attempted to turn themselves in as the suspects to help the real ones flee but were unsuccessful. This led to an investigation and transfers of several senior Chonburi police officers.

Nevertheless, on Friday, September 22nd, 2023, a fact-finding committee issued a statement clarifying that they could not find any implication of Pol. Maj. Gen. Kittanate in the incident. Therefore, he was cleared of a malfeasance charge under Section 157 of the Criminal Code. A probe against him was stopped. He will likely be restored to an active duty role although where is unclear.

The original version of this article appeared on our sister website, The Pattaya News, owned by our parent company TPN media.

Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for five years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.