3 Thais arrested for Bolt driver murder in Pattaya after fare dispute

Photo via Matichon and Channel 8

Police arrested a Thai man, his mother and his girlfriend for the murder of a Bolt driver in Pattaya. One of the suspects claimed he stabbed the victim to death because he could not pay the taxi fare.

Locals discovered the dead body of a 31 year old Thai man, Thanathip Waedthaisong, in the forest along the route to Tham Khao Prahun Temple on a mountain in Pattaya on the evening of January 13. Parts of Thanathip’s body were badly burned but an identity card found on him helped officers from Huay Yai Police Station identify the man.

Thanathip’s 23 year old wife, Rattiya, told officers she lost contact with her husband two days before his body was found. Her husband worked as a driver for the Bolt ride-hailing application, and they lived separately for a month.

Rattiya revealed that she sent Thanathip a message via the LINE application on January 11 but he did not reply. Before he disappeared, Thanathip told Rattiya that he was going on a trip with some friends. She could not think of a motive for the murder and did not know if her husband had a conflict with anyone before.

Officers discovered Thanathip’s car, a white Toyota Yaris with a registration number ขข 7103, on the Pattaya-Naklua Road. The car had crashed into a motorcycle near Soi Naklua 17. A Thai man aged about 25 to 30 years old and a Thai woman got out of Thanathip’s car to pay compensation to the motorcyclist and left the scene.

Thanathip’s car was last seen on the Bang Phra expressway, which leads to Bangkok.

Fare dispute

Police tracked the Thai man and woman in the car until they successfully arrested the man, later identified as 23 year old Theeraphan Somkham, at his home in the northern province of Phitsanuloak yesterday, January 15.

Theeraphan was seen driving Thanathip’s car from Pattaya to Bangkok before taking a bus from the Mor Chit 2 Terminal to his home in Phitsanuloak to avoid arrest. Theeraphan’s arrest led to the arrest of his 17 year old girlfriend and his mother who were involved in the crime.

Theeraphan admitted to the murder and confessed that he and his girlfriend, Ta, used the Bolt service provided by Thanathip. When they arrived at their destination in Pattaya, Teeraphan did not have money to pay the fare, so Thanathip became angry and scolded him.

During the heated argument, Theeraphan stabbed Thanathip in the chest, killing him instantly, and made a call to his 51 year old mother Eliya Abdulahi, to help destroy the body. He, his girlfriend, and his mother took the body to the forest near the Tham Khao Prahun Temple and set fire to the body hoping to destroy the evidence. However, a downpour of rain shattered their plan.

Thanathip’s partly burned body was later found by locals, leading to the arrest of the three suspects.

The couple faces three charges including:

  • Section 339 of the Criminal Law: committing robbery resulting in the death of another person. The punishment is the death penalty or life imprisonment.
  • Section 366/3 of the Criminal Law: damaging, moving, or depreciating a dead body of another person. The punishment is imprisonment of up to three years, a fine of up to 60,000 baht, or both.
  • Section 199 of the Criminal Law: illegally burying, hiding, moving, or damaging a dead body or parts of a corpse to hide the cause of the death. The punishment is imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to 2,000 baht, or both.

Theeraphan’s mother, Eliya, was charged under Section 366/3 for helping her son hide the dead body.

Crime NewsPattaya NewsThailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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