Five teens held for gangland execution
PHUKET: Five teenagers are being held by police and two more are still being hunted over the savage gangland execution of a 15-year-old youth on Koh Sireh. Khajornkiat Tongdeesuk was tied up, gagged and beaten before being taken to Naamsai beach early on Saturday where his killer fired a shotgun into his head. Police allege that another 15-year-old known as “M” fired the shotgun, apparently in reprisal for a previous attempt by Khajornkiat to shoot him. Those being held are aged 14 to 18 and officers say they have all confessed. A hectic chase preceded the murder. Phuket Town Police Station Superintendent Pol Col Paween Pongsirin told the Gazette that seven teenagers in a white van first captured “Lek”, a friend of Khajornkiat’s, and forced him to reveal where Khajornkiat was planning to go that night. Two teenagers then left the group. Col Paween said, “From 2 am to 3 am, five people in the van cruised around Phuket Town until they spotted the victim. He was on his motorbike with his girlfriend on the back, out riding with five friends who were also on motorbikes.” The van pursued Khajornkiat to the Sapam Chinese Shrine, in Tambon Koh Kaew on Thepkrasattri Rd. During the chase his friends rode off in different directions. With the van closing, Khajornkiat stopped his motorbike and ran, Col Paween said, but was soon caught. As he was being bundled into the van, his girlfriend managed to run away to inform police. “The gang tied Khajornkiat’s hands with cloth and gagged him,” Col Paween said. “They beat him up in the van. Then they stopped the van in Koh Kaew, where ‘Ab’, one of the gangsters, lived.” The other gang members dispersed as Ab and M lifted Khajornkiat out of the van onto a motorcycle for the ride to Naamsai beach. When the motorcycle arrived there, Col Paween said, M shot Khajornkiat in the head. Then M and Ab fled. Police, alerted to the murder, rounded up M and four other members of the gang that same day. Two others, including Ab, are still on the loose. Police believe they still have the murder weapon. The oldest gang member, 18-year-old Wichai “Gain” Saisamut, is being held at Phuket Town Police Station and will be transferred to Phuket Provincial Prison shortly. The other four gang members, too young to be named, are being held without bail at the Phuket Juvenile Observation and Protection Center. Col Paween said that M had been arrested in September for illegal possession of a firearm but was subsequently freed on bail.
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