PHUKET TOWN: Three men from Trang were arrested on Wednesday for allegedly threatening the life of a 77-year-old woman who is a major land-owner in the Sam Kong area of Phuket Town. Somporn Paotong, 28, Wannarat Kamsoot, 26, and Soontorn Siripan, 24, were arrested at Nimit Circle on Ong Sim Pai Rd in Phuket Town as Somporn made a call from a public phone while the other two waited nearby in a car. Pol Col Chalit Thinthanee, superintendent of Phuket Town Police Station, said that investigators believe Somporn was initially hired to kill the woman, Siwhoon Sae-Ong, on his own, but had decided to enlist the help of Wannarat and Soontorn. But when the three gunmen arrived at Mrs Siwhoon’s house on Yaowarat Rd on Tuesday afternoon, they got cold feet. Instead of killing Mrs Siwhoon, they explained the situation to her and told her they would spare her life if she gave them 25,000 baht so they could repay the deposit they had received from the person who had contracted them to carry out the murder. Mrs Siwhoon replied that she had to consult her family first, and told them they should call her back the following day. The family, on hearing the news, contacted the police who put a tap on Mrs Siwhoon’s phone. When Somporn called back the following day, police were able to determine his location and arrested all three. Col Chalit said that after preliminary questioning, Somporn agreed that everything Mrs Siwhoon had alleged was true. Wannarat and Soontorn, however, denied any involvement in the scheme. Somporn also identified the man who contracted him to carry out the hit as Saman Jarnjit, a guard at a prawn farm. Saman, 55, was arrested later the same day. He confessed to hiring Somporn to kill Mrs Siwhoon. Col Chalit told the Gazette that questioning continues and that the reasons behind the murder contract remain unclear.
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