Activist’s alleged killer arrested

THALANG: Bancha Noppawong, 34, from Songkhla, was arrested yesterday evening on a charge of murdering environmental activist Jurin Rachapol in Pa Khlok on January 30. K. Jurin died after being shot three times while searching for cashew leaves in a forest near to the Wachara Prawn Farm in Pa Khlok. Contrary to earlier assertions by an official that Bancha had fled to Bangkok, he was arrested during a raid by 10 police officers on the Wachara Farm, where he was employed. He is now in custody at the Thalang Police Station. At a press conference earlier yesterday, Phuket Provincial Governor Pongpayome Vasaputi said that a warrant for Bancha’s arrest had been issued after an employee of the Wachara Prawn Farm told police he had seen the alleged killer running away from the scene of the murder. This is the second time in four months that Bancha has been arrested on serious charges. In October he was arrested after another Pa Khlok activist, Siripoj Cheechang, was knocked off his motorbike by a pick-up truck, whose driver made a U-turn and then ran over him as he lay in the road. K. Siripoj survived the attempt on his life. Bancha was arrested on charges of attempted murder and reckless driving. He was released on bail in November after being held in custody for about a month. The Pa Khlok activists have been contesting the establishment of the prawn farm amid protected mangrove forest.

Phuket News
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