Phao Siriyanon – “The worst man in the whole history of modern Thailand”

Phao Siriyanon's legacy - The Nation, January 20, 2003
Wild article, written under the pseudonym Chang Noi (little elephant--his website is here), about 1950's era police chief Phao Siriyanon: To encourage the police to rid Thailand of drugs within three months, the prime minister quoted the 1950s police chief, Phao Siriyanon: "There is nothing under the sun that the Thai police cannot do." The achievements for which Phao and his police force have gone down in history are assassinating MPs and smuggling drugs....In 1955 the police made a record capture of 20 tonnes of opium, and Phao himself collected a massive reward on behalf of an informer. When asked to display the haul, Phao said it had been thrown in the sea. The public disbelief almost undid him.... In 1957 Phao lost power and fled to Switzerland. A couple of his "knights" went with him. A newspaperman went to visit. Phao was living in high style, with even an English chauffeur. In an interview he confessed to most of the political killings. He explained that he had "wanted to be a big man" and that he had been acting on orders of his boss (Phibun). The newspaperman subtitled his book of these confessions "the iron man of Asia". A New York Times writer preferred "a superlative crook". A senior Thai diplomat of the time called him "the worst man in the whole history of modern Thailand".
[The "superlative crook" quote was by New York Times writer, C.L. Sulzberger.]
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