Canoe Manager Shot Outside Office

PHUKET TOWN: Police are hunting for two suspects in connection with the shooting earlier today of Panwong Hirunchai, the Day Trip Operation Manager for Sea Canoe Thailand’s Phang Nga-based operations. According to Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Somjai Sirikul, the 39-year-old manager was shot as he arrived at Sea Canoe’s offices on Yaowarat Road at 10:20 a.m. The gunman, described by police as a Thai male approximately 160 centimeters in height, fired three shots into the victim, striking him in the left leg, left arm and abdomen. Pol Col Somjai said the gunman fled the scene on a black Honda Dream motorbike driven by another Thai male who was waiting in the soi adjacent to the Sea Canoe office. Khun Panwong, 39, was rushed to Bangkok Phuket Hospital by Nakhorn Pongam, a canoe guide who witnessed the shooting. The victim was admitted to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit and is undergoing surgery as this report is posted. The guide told police he had yelled out to warn Khun Panwong after spotting a man in the driveway taking aim at his colleague who had just moments earlier stepped out of his car in the office’s carport. The witness said the gunman fired one shot at a distance of approximately 20 meters and then stepped forward and fired two more. All three rounds struck the victim. Police also questioned the guide as to a possible motive for the shooting. He told them he believed that it could be related to conflicts which have surfaced recently between local canoe operators who conduct tours of the island caves of Phang Nga Bay and the entity that holds the concession for bird’s nests on those islands.

Phuket News

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