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Army not helping in manhunt


      Army not helping in

      ARMY chief Gen Surayuth Jalanont has not
      ordered any military assistance for police
      hunting fugitive amphetamine suspect
      Surachai Ngernthongfoo, who has
      reportedly fled to Burma, the Army
      spokesman said Monday. 

      Col Somkhuan Saengphattharanet added
      that such reports, which said that the
      general had directly ordered troops from
      both the 9th Infantry Division and special
      forces units to hunt down the suspect into
      Burmese soil, would affect Thailand's
      relations with that country. 

      He also asked the media to double check
      any report regarding the ongoing operation
      which may involve the military. ''Inaccurate
      news reports may result in the military's
      public image being stained, apart from that
      of the Army commander-in-chief,'' he

      Asked about the military's own intelligence
      report regarding Surachai's whereabouts,
      Somkhuan said it was still not known where
      the fugitive is hiding, citing a well-prepared
      getaway plan and abundant financial
      resources as the reasons. 

      Meanwhile, assistant police chief Pol Gen
      Noppadol Sapsomboon said arrest
      warrants would be issued in the next few
      days for two of Surachai's alleged

      Interior Minister Sanan Kachornprasart,
      asked to give a deadline for Surachai's
      arrest, said it was not known whether the
      suspect was still in Thailand, or under
      protection of a Karen minority group on
      Burmese soil. 

      He said he was considering asking for
      cooperation from the Burmese authorities
      to help locate the suspect or arrest him if
      the report regarding the Karen group was

      The Nation