Second escapee recaptured in Phetchaburi

Tawatchai Maliyam, seated, is detained for questioning at Ban Laem police station in Phetchaburi. He was recaptured on Monday after he and another inmate escaped from the provincial prison during last month’s flooding.(Photo: Chaiwat Satyaem)

PHETCHABURI: The second of two inmates who escaped from the provincial prison during last month’s flooding was recaptured on Monday, four days after the other escapee was caught.

Police and prison officials arrested Tawatchai Maliyam, 33, of Phetchaburi, at his wife’s house in tambon Ban Laem, Ban Laem district, of this central province about 1.30am on Monday.

After being tipped off that Tawatchai planned to meet his wife, authorities lay in wait near the house. He was caught when he showed up.

Tawatchai told police that after escaping he swam the flood-swollen Phetchaburi River, landing at Wat Kuti. He then walked to his house in tambon Tharaeng, also in Ban Laem district, hoping to find food. However police had followed him and he was forcd to flee.

He then waded his way through heavily-flooded rice fields, heading to his wife’s house, where he was arrested.

Tawatchai now faces an additional charge of escaping from detention, police said.

On Nov 29, police arrested the other escapee, Ekachai Klueabkaeo, a 36-year-old native of Phrae province, in a forest in tambon Tha Mai Ruak, Tha Yang district.

Ekachai was being held pending trial for motorcycle theft. Tawatchai was awaiting trial on drug abuse charges.

They escaped from Phetchaburi prison on Nov 24 when inmates were ordered to make sandbags to protect the compound, which was surrounded by floodwater 70 centimetres deep.

The two climbed up a pile of sand and escaped over the prison wall, which was topped with barbed wire. 

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