Area police are searching for two jail inmates who cut their way out of a police transport and escaped in Ban Chang.
Akharaphan Suwannanont, 33, and Traimad Ruaninth, 33, used concealed paper clips to free themselves from handcuffs and scissors to cut through the fabric roofing over the back of a pickup truck being used to transport them and eight other prisoners from Nongprue and Banglamung police stations to Pattaya Provincial Court Feb. 20.
The inmates’ shirts and scissors were found in the parking lot of the Ban Chang Homemart store 200 meters from their escape. About 50 officers and search dogs scoured the area but did not locate the escapees.
Nongprue commander Col. Somnuk Changate (right) prepares the police troops to search for the two escaped convicts.
Maj. Vinai Khidyolae, who was driving the prisoners, said one of the other eight in the truck alerted him to the escape as the two men were climbing through the roof. The prisoner said he and the others had been threatened with the scissors to remain quiet. Vinai tried to apprehend one escaping prisoner, but was subdued by the larger man.
Nongprue commander Col. Somnuk Changate said Akharaphan, the son of a Pattaya highway policeman, was arrested on fraud and kidnapping charges with Traimad. He previously served time for theft, rape and molestation.
Somnuk said a cousin had left a knife, scissors and paper clips for Akharaphan. Why they were not searched prior to transport was not explained.
Update: Both escapees have been caught and returned to prison.