Police arrest arson suspect in Phuket over a decade after crime, allegedly linked to Tuhao

Photo by Thai Rath.

Police arrested an arson suspect in Phuket on Wednesday, over a decade after he allegedly committed his crime. The suspect, 42 year old Surachai, was allegedly involved in attacking a security guard and setting fire to a snake farm in Phuket on April 23, 2012.

Surachai was allegedly involved with the well-known Chinese criminal ‘Tuhao,’ whose name has made headlines across Thai media recently.

On April 23, 2012, three suspects burnt a snake garden and attacked a security guard named Anuchit, who sustained severe injuries and is now disabled.

Two suspects were arrested before they admitted that they were allegedly hired by Chaiyanat “Tuhao” Kornchayanant and his wife.

Officers from the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) arrested Surachai in the Dusit district on Wednesday. The CIB said it had an arrest warrant issued by the Phuket Provincial Court for intention to kill by arson, The Phuket Express reported.

This news comes just a week after Tuhao and 40 accomplices were indicted in Bangkok on a wide variety of charges, including drug trafficking and money laundering.

Charges are based on a 332-page report submitted to attorney-general Naree Tantasathien summarising an investigation supervised by National Police Chief Pol. Gen. Damrongsak Kittiprapas.

They range from association with multinational criminal gangs through drug trafficking and money laundering to illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Many suspects have been charged with operating entertainment venues without permission, hiring foreigners without work permits, and providing shelter to illegal immigrants.

The investigation blew up when police raided a pub in the Yannawa district of Bangkok on October 26. The pub was connected to Tuhao, who reportedly holds majority stakes in 22 companies. Tuhao denied any link to drug use at the pub.

Six police officers have been dismissed so far amid an investigation into their alleged involvement in Chinese gangs and the illicit drugs trade. One of them is Pol Col Wanthanaree Kornchayanant, Chinese businessman Tuhao’s wife. Wanthanaree was a colonel in the foreign affairs division of the RTP and is the niece of deputy PM and former national police chief Pracha Promnok.

Crime NewsPhuket News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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