Bangkok casino shooter insists he acted alone: police

PHOTO: Nation Thailand

A man who confessed to killing a gunman, who had already shot dead 3 people at an illegal Bangkok gambling den on Monday night, insists he acted alone, police announced today. Authorities took 61 year old Phiphit Srisuwan, alias “Boy Baan Khrua” to the Bangkok South Criminal Court to seek his detention in connection with the fatal shooting in a building off Rama III Road.

Officers opposed bail, saying he poses a flight risk or might interfere with evidence if released. Phiphit stands charged with murder, illegal possession of firearms, carrying a firearm in public and unlawful use of a firearm. Police say he’s confessed to all charges.

The court approved his detention from today until August 19 and he was taken to Bangkok Remand Prison. Suspects can be detained for up to 7 12 day periods, or 84 days, before an indictment must be made. A source said nobody attended the hearing to apply for bail for his temporary release.

Phiphit’s case has captured public attention because one of the victims of the gunman he’s accused of killing was a policeman. The initial police response was to question whether the venue where the shootings occurred was actually a “gambling den”. The fact that all the security cameras on the premises were hastily dismantled before police arrived added to the intrigue.

Before being brought to the court, the 61 year old suspect was taken for a reenactment on the ground floor of the 4 storey commercial building in Soi 66 off Rama III Road in Yannawa district. The chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau went to Thung Mahamek station at around 8am to interrogate hiim before he was taken for the crime reenactment.

Phiphit surrendered to police last night (some media reported that he turned himself in on Thursday) to answer a charge of killing 51 year old Thavorn Seesod. During interrogation, Phiphit confessed to firing shots at Thavorn as he was gambling at the venue. He claimed Thavorn had already shot dead police officer Watthanaset Samnianprasert, who was also gambling there. Phiphit then fired more shots at Thavorn before fleeing.

Police are now focusing on the security cameras, recordings and gambling equipment they recovered, after it was hastily removed from the gambling den on Monday night. The equipment was found yesterday in a 3 storey shophouse opposite the building housing the casino. So far they have made 1 arrest in connection with attempts to destroy evidence. 46 year old Thanabul Sarnluek, of Bang Khun Thian district, was taken to court this morning and released on 200,000 baht bail posted by his relatives.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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