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Victim of Bangkok gang may be elderly European

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: A scan of body parts found in a refrigerator during a raid last week on a building in Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Soi 56 suggests it was an elderly European man who was dismembered by an electric saw, Dr Udomsak Hoonwichit, of Chulalongkorn University’s faculty of medicine, said yesterday.

The deceased man’s DNA will be collected for identification and given to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for a check with its database, he said.

Udomsak and Central Institute of Forensic Science director Suphot Nakngernthong took the dismembered body for a virtual autopsy yesterday by CT scan to try to determine the time of death, the cause and possibly some clues about the killer.

That was carried out while other identification methods were used such as checking clothes and dental records, DNA sampling, and testing for traces of toxic elements or poison, Udomsak said. The results would also be sent to the FBI for a second check.

“The fact the body parts were frozen could affect the probe result, especially for the time of death,” he said. “The body is suspected to have been dismembered by a sharp electric saw and he was initially found to be an elderly European man.”

National police chief Pol General Chakthip Chaijinda said yesterday that the interrogation of three Western suspects arrested at the building for passport forgery and other charges helped police identify a possible motive for murder. But he declined to reveal that motive pending further investigation, plus victim identification and whether the deceased was involved with the gang.

He said police also contacted an unnamed embassy to see if the victim was a citizen of that country, as per a passport found in the building.

Gen Chakthip opined that the person who did this was cruel, to kill and dismember someone to conceal a crime.

He confirmed that the group was involved with forged passports. The suspected gang leader is a man in his 50s, identified as either Peter William Johnson from the US or Peter Andrew Colter from Northern Ireland.

The two other suspects – Gabel Aaron Thomas, 33, and James Douglas Eger, 66, are both American.

Gen Chakthip said police found 10 British, French and US passports in the raid. They were investigating whether there are more accomplices and have summoned a Thai woman, married to Colter, for questioning.

Gen Chakthip spoke while visiting Sgt-Major Kanchanapong Chedech at the Police General Hospital, where he was treated for gunshot wounds sustained during the raid last Friday.

— The Nation

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Thailand

Separate tragedies across the nation

Jack Burton

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Separate tragedies across the nation | The Thaiger
PHOTOS: Nation Thailand

Tragedy has struck around the nation in separate incidents. In the Hat Yai district of the southern Songkhla province, the bodies of the owners of the locally well known Nattharika Furniture were discovered this morning by a relative who had been instructed to show up at the shop at 6am. In an apparent suicide pact, 55 year old Somsak, and his 60 year old wife Nattharika Suwankijwat, were found lying dead in a blood soaked bed.

Police say Nattharika was embracing her husband and both bodies had a single gunshot wound to the head. The gun was found on the floor and officials found gunpowder residue on Somsak’s left hand. There was no sign of ransacking or struggle in the room. Somsak’s brother, who found the bodies, told officers his brother messaged him at 3am, asking him to visit the shop at 6. As the shop was silent when he arrived, the brother said he went upstairs to their bedroom and found the bodies.

He says his brother and sister-in-law may have committed suicide as they had been struggling with huge debts, and the situation became worse with the Covid-19 crisis.

Somsak’s mother also lives above the shop, while the couple’s 2 daughters live in Bangkok.

In the western province of Sa Keao, 200 kilometres east of Bangkok on the Cambodian border, 2 couples were devastated when they found that the children they had come to pick up from kindergarten had drowned because the school did not have enough teachers to supervise all the children. The incident took place yesterday and police were notified of the tragedy at 10am.

Officers arrived at the Ban Tha Tasi School to inspect the bodies of 2 young students, which had been fished out of the pond by local villagers. The children, identified as 3 year old Thanakorn and 4 year old Peerawat, were believed to have been dead for more than an hour. They were first and second grade students and their classes didn’t have a supervisor.

Ban Tha Tasi School’s management said that since the school has just reopened, they don’t have enough staff to watch over all the children. The bodies were found by an older child who had gone hunting for the pair and found them floating in the pond.

The parents say they are not angry and understand that their children must have been mischievous. The school has promised to be more cautious to prevent a similar tragedy.

Separate tragedies across the nation | News by The Thaiger

Also yesterday, animal rights group Watchdog Thailand’s Facebook page gave details of the gruesome killing of 2 Siberian huskies in Udon Thani’s Nong Sang district. According to the post, the owners came home from the temple on Tuesday to a grisly sight… the bodies of their 2 dogs with their heads smashed in, eyes gouged out and bodies slashed.

WDT say the owners believe the attacker’s goal was to only kill the dogs, as nothing in the house had been stolen or damaged. They also said the dogs were always kept in their kennel to ensure they didn’t go out and kill chickens owned by nearby locals.

WDT say they are monitoring the case and have urged the owners to report the case to police. It’s believed that one of the locals may believe the dogs hunted their chickens, so decided to kill them in revenge.

Earlier this month, WDT rescued more than 50 Thai Ridgeback dogs being held in wretched conditions, from an alleged puppy farm run by an elderly American man in Chiang Mai.

Separate tragedies across the nation | News by The Thaiger

Elsewhere, a 23 year old woman was arrested yesterday for allegedly leaving her newborn baby in the woods in Isaan’s Sakon Nakhon province. The woods were only 100 metres from her house in Khok Ang village in Na Phiang subdistrict.

On Monday local villagers found a newborn girl, still covered in blood and with the umbilical cord freshly cut, wrapped in an old rice sack. They rescued the baby and named her “Phansa”, as they found her on Buddhist Lent Day or “Khao Phansa Day”.

Police traced the abandoned baby to the house of the suspect and arrested the woman after seeing bloodstains on her clothes. Officials say the suspect had a high fever from infections caused by cutting herself with the scissors used to cut the umbilical cord, and not treating the wound properly. Police sent the suspect to a hospital for treatment and haven’t charged her at this stage.

The suspect’s neighbours told authorities the suspect was married and had 2 sons before divorcing her husband and leaving to work in Bangkok, while her children stayed with their grandmother. They say she came home during the Covid-19 crisis and looked pregnant, but told others she was just gaining weight.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Nation Thailand | Nation Thailand | Nation Thailand |

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Crime

Guinean man held for alleged rape of a minor in Bangkok

Jack Burton

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Guinean man held for alleged rape of a minor in Bangkok | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

A man from the western African nation of Guinea was arrested at a McDonald’s in Bangkok’s Bang Rak area for allegedly raping a 17 year old girl. 58 year old Mamady Keita, reportedly a ruby trader, is accused of luring the girl to a hotel in the Phya Thai area and assaulting her. The girl told police that she’d been raped by an African man who she had met the day before.

The victim told officers the man stopped her to ask for directions, then took her phone number and Line ID. He later he contacted her, offering a job and a new mobile phone. She claims Keita made an appointment with her and then took her to the motel, and that the room was paid for by money Keita took from her wallet.

Initial investigation showed that Keita works as a ruby trader in Bangkok’s Silom district and goes by the name “Michael”. Apparently, he’s been accused of a similar assault before. Police claim Keita allegedly watches his victims, approaches them, and even threatens them before taking them to a motel.

The man has allegedly confessed to the assault, and faces charges of abducting a minor, rape and theft.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Student activists gather in Bangkok to oppose emergency decree

Maya Taylor

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Student activists gather in Bangkok to oppose emergency decree | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Members of the Student Union of Thailand have come together to protest the government’s extended emergency decree, gathering outside Pathumwan police station in Bangkok. Officials extended the decree by another month after it was originally set to expire at the end of June. Now human rights activists and critics of the government have slammed the extension as politically motivated.

The latest protest comes after some students tore up a summons handed down to them for allegedly violating the decree on June 5. At that time, they were drawing attention to the disappearance of Wanchalearm Satsaksit, a Thai activist kidnapped in Cambodia, where he was living in exile.

The activists were later criminally charged for tying white bows around various monuments in Bangkok to draw attention to the plight of the missing activist, as they demanded answers from the Thai and Cambodian governments. The students also received a summons for unlawful assembly on June 24, when they came together to commemorate the 88th anniversary of democracy in Thailand.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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