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Indonesia deports ‘most wanted’ Thai fugitive

Indonesia deports 'most wanted' Thai fugitive
Source: Video Screenshot

Indonesia deported one of Thailand’s “most wanted” fugitives on Tuesday to face murder and drugs charges in his home country, a police official said, after he escaped custody last year.

Chaowalit Thongduang, a 37-year-old also known by the moniker “Pang Na Node”, was arrested by police on the Indonesian resort island of Bali last week.

He was escorted to the capital Jakarta’s international airport under guard by ten police officers, national police official Krishna Murti said in a statement Tuesday.

The fugitive was then deported on a “special plane provided by the Thai govt,” Krishna added in a WhatsApp message to AFP.

Thai narcotics control authorities say Chaowalit is wanted on multiple charges including murder and drug-related offenses.

Chaowalit entered the westernmost Indonesian province of Aceh in December 2023 after a 17-hour journey by a speed boat from Thailand before travelling to Bali, according to Indonesian police.

He had escaped from a hospital in southern Nakhon Si Thammarat province where he was receiving medical treatment while serving a 20-year sentence.

In December, the Bangkok Post reported that he had been sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment in an attempted murder case dating back to 2019.

Hundreds of police officers were mobilised to recapture him, in an operation reported to have cost around 10 million baht ($273,654).

The head of Indonesia’s criminal investigation agency, Wahyu Widada, said police seized several pieces of evidence during Chaowalit’s arrest, including a fake identity card and birth certificate under the name of Sulaiman, which he was allegedly using.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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