Muslim Cleric shooting investigations may reveal local guns-for-hire network

PHUKET: Police are hunting for one man while another has surrendered himself, both allegedly involved in a ‘network’ that ordered an attack on a Muslim cleric in Koh Kaew last month.

The cleric, Weerachat Kahapana, chased down and injured his shooters after getting shot at (story here).

Two suspects, Thanachai Choothong, 24, and Wisuth Yokyong, 23, were apprehended after the shooting, and have been in police custody since the incident on August 4.

“We have been interrogating Mr Thanachai and Mr Wisuth for several days in order to find out who hired them to shoot Mr Weerachat,” said Col Sermphan Sirikong, deputy commander of the Phuket Provincial Police. “We have issued an arrest warrant for a man linked to the shooting.”

Earlier, the two men named as Lamom Ratderm and Nattaphat Songna were still at large. However, Mr Lamom surrendered to the police this morning at about 10:30. Police are still searching for Mr Nattaphat, and say they are both being charged with hiring others to perform an illegal act, attempted murder, and supporting attempted murder.

Mr Weerachat, 49, is a cleric at the Bang Pae mosque and also the vice president of the Phuket Islamic Committee. He has asked police to find the person responsible for the attacks.

“I saw the men when I left my house that day and they looked suspicious,” Mr Weerachat told the Phuket Gazette. “I had received a threat once before at my house. They clearly want to kill me, so I would like to cooperate with the police to help arrest everyone involved – especially the leader of this network.”

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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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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