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Ko Noi killers sentenced

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Ko Noi killers sentenced | Thaiger

PHUKET: Two former police officers were sentenced at Phuket Provincial Court February 28 for their part in the assassination of well-known businessman Preecha “Ko Noi” Kraitas, who was shot dead on March 14, 2006.

According to a report released by Phuket Provincial Court, Wanchana Polpalangkul, who pleaded not guilty to all charges, was sentenced to death for conspiracy to murder for organizing the hit.

Pongsak Kosiratanapibal, who pleaded guilty to all charges, was sentenced to life imprisonment for accessory to murder for identifying K. Preecha to gunman Samrerng Klaising.

Petchaburi native Samrerng was arrested at a wedding in Petchaburi’s Baan Laem District March 9, 2007, only to go missing and remain at large after being granted bail.

K. Preecha, who owned Fisherman’s Way housing estate and Phuket Shooting Range in Rawai, was driving his Jeep Cherokee along Wiset Rd with his wife and nine-year-old son at about 11 pm when Samrerng and a driver pulled up alongside them in a red sedan.
Samrerng opened fire and hit K. Preecha twice in the head with two 9mm bullets.

K. Preecha’s vehicle collided with a minivan, then careened off the road, scraped along a wall and crashed into a tree.

K. Preecha died the following day at Phuket International Hospital. His wife and son escaped without serious injury.

The driver of the sedan has never been identified.

In Mach 2006, police said they believe Samrerng and the driver were hiding in Central Thailand.

Wanchana and Pongsak, who were formerly attached to the Phuket Elite Special Operations Unit, were arrested on March 18, 2006 by a group of police led by the deputy chief of the Bangkok-based Central Investigations Division.

Pongsak, who allegedly cracked after more than four hours of questioning by police, confessed to having pointed out the target to Samrerng prior to the hit.

Wanchana and Pongsak were released on bail and suspended from duty pending trial.

Police initially said they thought the motive for killing may have been related to a business deal, although this has never been confirmed.

Jurairat Kraitas, K. Preecha’s wife, 37, declined to comment citing that the case must now go through the Courts of Appeal.

 

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

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