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On Friday afternoon four inmates, who were taken for trial at the Koh Samui provincial court, escaped custody after leaving the courtroom. The four managed to climb over a fence before running off through the neighbouring coconut plantation and disappeared into the mountain at the rear of the courthouse.
At 4.30pm police were despatched to search for them. Some 200 officials and rescue volunteers joined the hunt for the escapees who were identified as Paithoon Harnsuwan, Naruebet Paengthong, Pornanan Maneesri and Thanawat Boonthan. Mr Naruebet was facing a theft charge, the other three were on drug related charges. All had been taken into custody only days prior to the escape.
Checkpoints were set up around the island and three police teams searched local hideouts.
After several hours of searching footprints belonging to the escapees were found along with two brown prison uniforms in a bag at Bang Sao Thong waterfall. Two of the four were quickly apprehended close to the waterfall, their legs where still shackled and they were reported to have ‘looked exhausted’.
Mr Thanawat and Mr Paithoon were later arrested at an abandoned living quarters in tambon Mared. A friend who assisted them with a change of clothes was also arrested.
During interrogation Mr Paithoon claimed he had not planned an escape but decided to run for it when the other three hot footed it away from the court.
Photo Credit: Bangkok post