Jakkrit Nutad, 45, from Nakhon Sri Thammarat, was riding home when two men following him pulled alongside and opened fire at about 9pm, said Patong Police Superintendent Col Arayapan Pukbuakao.
“Both men pulled out guns at opened fire on Mr Jakkrit, then sped off toward Kamala,” said Col Arayapan.
Mr Jakkrit died en route to Patong Hospital.
Police found 11 spent 11mm cartridges at the scene. However, Col Arayapan said police found 21 wounds on Mr Jakkrit’s body.
Police believe the killing may have been motivated by a land dispute over Mr Jakkrit encroaching on private land in a street off Phra Baramee Road.
“The issue was being mediated through the court and they were going to settle the dispute soon,” Col Arayapan said.
“Another possible motive is that Mr Jakkrit had borrowed a couple of hundred thousand baht from a man in Yala province. Apparently the man had threatened Mr Jakkrit over repayments,” he added.
Police are continuing their investigation and checking police CCTV cameras along the road to try to identify the gunmen.
“If we come up with clear descriptions we will ask other police stations to keep an eye out for the men,” Col Arayapan said.
The connection of Mr Jakkrit’s murder with yet another land dispute in Phuket has prompted Governor Tri to call for police to step up gun control.
“I have ordered the police to handle this case carefully and to arrest the man who committed this crime,” said Governor Tri.
“I have also ordered the police at Tah Chat Chai checkpoint [leading to the mainland] to step up their inspections of people passing through the checkpoint. Anybody found in possession of a weapon must present their license to the police when asked.
“If they don’t have enough officers at the checkpoint, I am happy to provide them with more officers so they can do this,” he added.
The murder of Mr Jakkrit last night follows the assassination of Wisut “Ae Inside” Tangwitthayaporn in broad daylight on Thursday. Both murders are believed to be over illegal occupation of Phuket land.
— Warisa Temram
Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.
Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.
Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.