Thai jail vermin were my friends: Swedish ex-con


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BANGKOK: — A Swede incarcerated in a Thai prison after a lack of money made him turn to drug smuggling, has written a book about his experiences in Thai prison, in an isolation cell with only rats and cockroaches for company.

“The rats, a bug and the cockroaches became my family. You may laugh at it today but that is how it was,” Jens Månvinge told daily Aftonbladet.

An acute lack of funds persuaded Månvinge to become a narcotics courier in the mid-90s but he was foiled in Thailand and sentenced to death, a penalty later changed to 30 years imprisonment. 

“It was the consequence that I had to face, but it was hard to know how to deal with that amount of time,” said Månvinge to the paper. 

Månvinge was taken to the Thai Klong-Prem prison, also known as the “Bangkok Hilton”, which is built to hold 6,000 prisoners but in reality holds twice that amount.

He told the paper that he survived his first time in the jail by planning his escape, but later changed his mind and aided a fellow prisoner’s flight to freedom. 

However, this support came at a severe cost as he was punished with two and a half months of isolation. This period of time he spent chained to the wall in a dirty cell, with only rats and bugs for company. 

However, the fact that the cell was infested was what saved him from going mad, according to Månvinge, who befriended his small cell mates. 

“They became my friends. I turned to them and felt a support, like you do from a pet. They meant the world to me,” Månvinge told Aftonbladet. 

He named the male rat Louisiana Joe and the female Big Mama, according to Aftonbladet. The bug was called Den Senila Skalbaggen (The Senile Bug).

“I couldn’t always see their eyes but I knew they were watching me. In that kind of situation, these things become important,“ he told the paper.

Månvinge spent six years in Thai prison before being transferred to a Swedish jail. 

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Dishonest cop sees sentence reduced from 1,765 years to 50

BANGKOK: — The Supreme Court on Wednesday sentenced a Bangkok policeman to a total of 1,765 years in prison for embezzling Bt512,342 in fines, but reduced that to the legal maximum jail term of 50 years.

The lawsuit stated Pol SgtKosol Jompol, 41, a former administrative Bueng Kum district policeman, had failed to pay the fines into state bank accounts but instead put the money into his own pocket on 353 occasions from February 10, 2003 to April 30, 2004.

The primary court had ruled on November 19, 2010 that Kosol was guilty and gave him a 1,765-year prison term, which was halved due to his useful confession and then reduced to the maximum jail term of 50 years along with an order to return Bt512,342 to the state.

After the Appeal Court upheld the ruling in September 2011, the defendant, who had been detained throughout the trial, appealed further for a reduced sentence. He claimed that he didn’t realise the consequences of his action, that he had no financial expertise, that he had to take care of his ailing mother and that he had already returned the embazzled money to the state.

However, the Supreme Court did not consider there were sufficient grounds for reducing the sentence, which the lower courts had appropriately passed, and thus upheld the ruling, which will see the former policeman stay in jail the maximum 50 years.

After hearing the verdict, Kosol appeared calm and without emotion. None of his family members was present for the verdict.

I reckon he is not going to be alive in any case when his sentence is served. Only in Thailand!

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