Ex-Deputy Minister arrested for alleged murder of judge’s brother


BANGKOK– Former Deputy Commerce Minister Banyin Tangpakorn has been arrested for allegedly kidnapping and murdering the brother of a judge who handles a criminal case that Banyin is charged for falsifying documents.

The former MP of the disbanded Palang Prachachon Party has been implicated by kidnappers involved in the disappearance of a younger brother of the Criminal Court judge.

Police said at least two other people told police that Banyin was behind the crime.

Police believe six people including Banyin were involved in the abduction of the man in order to demand the judge to acquit him.

Banyin told reporters while being escorted by police on Sunday that he was innocent.

The judge’s brother was kidnapped on February 4 by a group of men in front of the Bangkok South Criminal Court. He is now believed to have been murdered because one of the suspects said his body was dumped into a river in Nakhon Sawan province. A team of divers has searched for the body.

Another strong evidence is CCTV footage showing Banyin among the alleged abductors. Police said they also had an audio recording of Banyin’s voice.

In the ongoing case, Banyin was charged with falsifying documents and using the fake documents in the transfer to himself of about 300 million baht in shares from a wealthy construction contractor.

The Court is due to hand down a verdict in the share transfer case on March 20.

National Police Chief Pol General Chakthip Chaijindas, who has overseen the investigation in Nakhon Sawan, said he would hold a press conference on Banyin’s arrest on Tuesday.