Hitman arrested over 14 year old cold-case murder in Pattaya of NZ businessman

An arrest has been made in a 14 year old Pattaya cold case following the arrest of a Thai man who allegedly murdered a New Zealander in 2006. 40 year old Yiamwut Julapong, aka. Pokpong, is now in custody in Phetchabun province after a raid led by Crime Suppression Division. ‘Pokpong’ was wanted under an arrest warrant issued by Pattaya Court back in April 2006, on charges of murder and illegal possession of carrying a gun in public.

He is accused of conspiring with Jintana Wichachai and Varathip Kasawong to kill NZ businessman and bodybuilder Stephen Miller. Mr. Miller was Ms. Wichachai’s husband, according to police reports at the time (the reports claim the couple were living together as husband and wife for 5 months). He was shot dead while riding his motorbike on the way to the gym near a golf driving range in Bang Lamung district on April 20, 2006.

Mr. Miller had been a well-known bodybuilder at the Sparta Health and Fitness Centre in Napier, New Zealand, before leaving for Thailand in 2003.

According to Bangkok Post, Mr. Miller allegedly produced unapproved steroids for sale and export with Ms. Wichachai helping him send the packages to foreign customers and collect the money from the illegal sales. In her statement at the time of her arrest, she said they dated for about 5 months but Mr. Miller “did not treat her well”. She described him as a “butterfly” and said he had tried to take back gifts he had given her, including a car and land.

She confessed to conspiring in his murder. She told the courts that Mr. Miller “frequently assaulted her and had threatened to take back the valuables he had given to her”. She thought he was going to walk out on her, became very dissatisfied and decided kill him.

Mr. Yiamwut and Varathip were approached to “help”. The 3 planned Mr. Miller’s murder.

Jintana and Varathip were later arrested. Reports in Thai media at the time suggested she also had a Thai husband. They both pointed the finger at Mr Yiamwut, claiming he was the person who shot Mr. Miller dead. Thai media reported that the payment for the hit was a gold necklace.

Mr Yiamwut has denied any involvement in the crime and is being sent back to Pattaya for further prosecution.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Crime NewsPattaya News

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