Former mayor still sought on murder charge

PHUKET: The former mayor of Patong, Dr Anan Ananthanawat, is still being sought by police three months after a warrant was issued for his arrest on charges of involvement in the murder of an ex-policeman. On October 21 last year, five men were arrested for their part in the killing of ex-Pol Sub-Lt Weerapol Panrod, who was shot dead in broad daylight in Phuket Town in December 1998. Under questioning, all five implicated Dr Anan in the murder. The warrant for his arrest was issued the following day. Pol Lt Col Paween Pongsirin, Deputy Superintendent of Investigation at Phuket Town Police Station, told the Gazatte that Dr Anan contacted Phuket police by phone early in November. Col Paween said Dr Anan was then at his residence in Chonburi province and told police that he would come back to Phuket to answer questions as soon as he had finished his business there. “We had several telephone conversations. In one, he asked if he could expect to be bailed out, and, if so, for how much. We told him no. Then we lost contact.” In coordination with Chonburi Provincial Police Headquarters, police from Phuket went to Dr Anan’s house with the arrest warrant but found the house empty. “There were some of his relatives in the same area, but they said they had not seen him for years,” said Col Paween. “Phuket police are still following up on the case. Several days ago, I contacted officers in Bangkok requesting their assistance as we’d heard he had been seen in that area,” said Col Paween. He would not be more specific on where Dr Anan had been spotted. “We really want to have him for investigation. He has been quiet since the beginning of the case. I believe he is trying to escape because this is a serious offense, and we’ve got a very strong case. This might scare him off.” A court hearing is scheduled for late March at which the five accused, currently in custody, will appear to answer charges. According to Col Paween, that hearing will go ahead with or without Dr Anan.

Phuket News

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Legacy Phuket Gazette

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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