DNA samples sought of over Thai 100 policemen

Bangkok, Oct 30 (IANS) A team investigating the murder of a Japanese tourist in Thailand’s Sukhothai province in 2007, will collect DNA samples and fingerprints of over 100 border patrol policemen who underwent training at a camp near the crime scene, the media reported on Friday.

On November 25, 2007, Tomoko Kawashita, 27, was found stabbed to death near Wat Saphan Hin in the Sukhothai Historical Park, The Nation online reported.

The border police officers have since been transferred to other provinces, including Chiang Mai, Nan, Phetchabun and Trat, while some have retired or passed away.

However, Jaramporn Suramanee, special cases adviser at the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), instructed the team to collect samples from all the officers. They will also collect samples from the relatives of the deceased border police officers.

The DSI officials and forensic experts on Thursday visited the province to collect the samples and fingerprints from 34 border patrol police officers. The team also collected fingerprints from 30 other border patrol police officers (whose DNA samples had been collected before) as they volunteered to undergo further examination to express their sincerity and innocence.

Jaramporn said investigators were looking into who might have been in the area at the time of the murder, which occurred during the Loy Krathong Festival. He said none of the people who submitted DNA samples and fingerprint collection were suspects in the case and that the idea was to rule them out as possible suspects.

Local police investigated and collected DNA samples before passing the case to the public prosecutor in line with legal procedure, Jaramporn said. The police suspended interrogations but still continued the probe, he said.

in 2013, the victim’s family called for a speedy investigation into the murder, which prompted the DSI to treat it as a special case. Investigators have collected samples from 200 people, none of whom match the evidence collected from the scene and victim.

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