New Year’s Eve pub murder rocks Phuket

PHUKET: A simmering dispute between two Patong business owners turned deadly on New Year’s Eve when one gunned down his rival outside a well-known Phuket pub just before dawn yesterday.

The shooting was reported to Patong Police by 15-year-old Rachain Noonpakdee, said a report in today’s Siangtai Daily newspaper.

Rachain said that one of the “big brothers”, 35-year-old Wirote “Baomee” Duangjan, was shot twice in the stomach by a man he identified only as Phi Kosit (“big brother Kosit”).

Police rushed to the scene, outside a well-known pub at the southern end of Phang Muang Sai Kor Road, named in the report by its old nickname Soi Tun (“Dead End Street”).

Arriving at the scene police found only bloodstains and broken shards of glass.

Mr Wirote had already been rushed to Patong Hospital for emergency treatment. From there he was later transferred to the better-equipped Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket Town, where he died.

Initial investigation by police revealed that the two men were very well-acquainted. They were both employed by the same unnamed business tycoon to oversee parts of his operations in the tourist town, which on the night of the slaying was packed with foreign tourists celebrating the New Year.

Police believe the shooting was motivated by a conflict over which of the two would run which businesses controlled by their common patron.

Relatives of the late Mr Wirote have claimed his body, which will be cremated at his home in Chawang District, Nakhon Sri Thammarat.

At last report police were applying for an arrest warrant for the shooter, who they said they were familiar with because he already has a criminal record.

Phuket News

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