A 26-year-old Canadian drug suspect wanted by the US government and recently arrested by Thai authorities was found hanged in his prison cell while waiting for extradition to the US.
A duty officer discovered the Alexandre Cazes, 26, during his morning patrol at the Narcotics Suppression Bureau Division 1 in the Lak Si district in Bangkok. Pol Maj Gen Surasak Kunnarong, the commander of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau Division 1, confirmed the incident in a press conference at 14:00 that day.
Deputy superintendent Pol Lt Col Suban Atiset, the lead investigator, told reporters that his duty officer found Mr Cazes at 07:00 while he was patrolling the detention room. He noticed a towel hanging from the toilet door of Mr Cazes’s cell.
“He could not see Mr Cazes himself even when he approached the cell,” said Pol Lt Col Suban describing the events leaving up to the discovery of the body. “He unlocked the door and found Mr Cazes lying dead in the toilet section of his cell.”
After notifying his superiors at the bureau and Thung Song Hong Police, located less than one kilometre away, investigators, forensic police and a medical examiner from Police General Hospital arrived to inspect the scene.
Investigator Pol Capt Saharat Luangsiritonsin said: “Mr Cazes was found lying in the tiled floor in the toilet area of his cell. This was partically blocked from the approaching corridor because of a wall about one metre high. The victim wore a grey t-shirt and black boxer shorts. A dark-blue towel was wrapped around his neck.”
Pol Capt Saharat told reporters that Mr Cazes had been alone in the cell at the time of the discovery. The towel along with other items in the cell were his personal belongings. He added, “At 07:00, he asked a female suspect, in a cell opposite, for the time. He was heard to enter the toilet area which is when he presumably hanged himself.
Rescue workers at the Ruamkatanyu Foundation sent the body to the General Police Hospital.
Mr Cazes was arrested and detained on July 5 at his house no. 514 in the Private House gated community on Phutta Monthon Sai 3 Rd in Sala Thammasop subdistrict, Thawi Watthana district. US authorities wanted Mr Cazes to face charges for his alleged involvement in the international drug trade when he was living in the United States.
On June 30, when police authorities in the US learned that Mr Cazes had fled to Thailand, they issued an indictment requesting that the Criminal Court in Bangkok issue a local warrant for his arrest (file number 502/5260). The US has a criminal law treaty with Thailand for the extradition of suspected felons.
On the day of his death, Mr Cazes was due to meet the public prosecutor to arrange his extradition to the US. According to Pol Maj Gen Surasak, Mr Cazes had been working in Thailand as a computer programmer for eight years. “He was married to a Thai woman. When we contacted her this morning with news of his death, she had no doubts about his suicide.”
Reports in the Thai media said Mr Cazes had made a fortune and been living a high-rolling luxury life in Thailand. A source at the Bangkok Post later claimed that police had impounded his Lamborghini cars and three houses worth about 400 million baht.
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