PHUKET TOWN: A senior policeman gave evidence in court today about the circumstances surrounding the arrests of four of the five people charged in connection with the 1997 murder of American businessman Danis Wayne Tong. On trial for the murder are Thais Manit Panme, Pratin Praktong, Prajuab Sukkong and Pairat Raksawong, and Belgian Hugo Vandervelde. Prosecution witness Pol Maj Sian Kaewthong, deputy inspector at Tha Chat Chai Police Station, told the court that he was in charge of a checkpoint at Tha Chat Chai, near the Sarasin bridge, on November 19, 1997. He said that at about 9 pm a vehicle heading in the direction of Thalang was stopped. In it were Manit, Pratin, Prajuab and Pairat. During a search of the vehicle police found two revolvers, two bulletproof vests, woolen ski masks, and a radio transceiver. Manit and Pratin were arrested and charged with illegal possession of weapons. They and the other two were also charged with unauthorized possession of bulletproof vests and the radio. Pol Maj Sian said that later, after receiving information that the four men were wanted by Chalong Police for questioning in connection with a murder case, he sent them to Chalong for further action. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for November 5.
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