Motorbike taxi rider shot dead
PATONG: Police have launched a murder investigation after a motorcycle taxi rider was shot dead on Patong Hill last night. A blood-stained red Honda Dream and three spent shells from a 11mm pistol marked the spot on the Bonsai Curve on Phra Barami Rd to which police were called at 1:35 am. At Wachira Phuket Hospital an autopsy on the victim – named by police as Preecha Ochart, 33 – revealed he had been shot once in the left chest and twice in the right leg. His wife, Suranya Meerai, 24, told police that K. Preecha had dropped her at their home, a townhouse near the Bangwad Dam in Kathu, and then said he was going to pick up friends from Trang who had just arrived in Patong. About an hour later, she received a call from the hospital telling her that he was dead. Police said they had information that, two days ago, K. Preecha was involved in a violent argument with the son of a man from whom he had borrowed a large sum of money on behalf of a friend. The friend had since left for another part of Thailand.
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