A warder at Nakhon Si Thammarat prison was shot dead yesterday after he refused to cooperate with a drug gang, police said.
Od Sae Pua, 49, was shot and killed on a road in Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Phra Phom district.
He had left the prison early yesterday morning and was riding his motorcycle home when he was attacked.
Police said at least two men on a motorcycle followed Od and fired at him. He died at the scene.
Od was going home to get supplies of groceries to be sold in a small shop he ran inside the prison compound.
Nakhon Si Thammarat police chief Ronnapong Saikaew said Od was murdered because he refused to help a drug dealer smuggle crystal methamphetamine into the prison.
Pol Maj Gen Ronnapong said Od alerted the police to the smuggling plan, which angered the drug gang.
Last week, the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) said five drug inmates at the Nakhon Si Thammarat prison control the distribution of more than 350 million baht in drug money with possible collusion by some prison staff.
Pol Maj Gen Ronnapong said the killing has demoralised other warders.
Investigating the drug problems at the prison will be harder now that staff may be afraid to speak to police after Od’s murder, the police chief said.
He said police will provide escorts for warders who later might be armed for self-defence.
Od’s daughter Atchara Sae Pua, 25, said her father had no conflict with anyone and made an honest living working at the prison and earning a supplementary income from the grocery shop.
Several days before his murder, her father told her he was being threatened by a drug dealer for not cooperating with the gang.
Her father also complained of dangerous working conditions as the drug network inside the prison did not fear the law.