PHUKET TOWN: A restaurant owner, who was also a bookmaker specializing in gambling on soccer matches, was murdered on Tuesday morning outside his restaurant on Phuket Rd. The victim, Supachart “James” Panumassakul, 36, from Phuket, owned the Khrua New James restaurant, opposite the Imperial hotel on Phuket Rd. A witness told police that she was waiting for a friend on the opposite side of the road when she saw K. Supachart talking on a mobile phone in front of his restaurant. She then heard a gunshot and saw a man run toward Rassada Rd. K. Supachart’s friend in the restaurant also heard the shot, ran outside and rushed him to the Bangkok Phuket Hospital. Pol Maj Pin Inmak of Phuket Town Police Station, responding to a call from the hospital, arrived to find that the victim was already dead from a single gunshot to the head. Investigating officers went to the scene in front of the Mailbox ETC office, 15 meters away from K. Supachart’s restaurant. They found a 9-mm shell on the road. The victim’s wife, Sumon Intaranon, told investigators that before the murder she heard K. Supachart’s mobile phone ring and saw him go outside to talk. She said that she believed the gunman had made the call to lure him out into the street. She said that K. Supachart was a bookmaker specializing in soccer matches and added that some gamblers who were clients of other, powerful bookmakers had been coming to place bets with him. Maj Pin told the Gazette, “We still do not know why K. Supachart was murdered. The gunman remains at large.”
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