Phuket Police: “Business deal’ prime motive for Butti murder

PHUKET: Police believe a business deal was the prime motive for the murder of Luciano Butti, 61, who was gunned down in Phuket on Tuesday night.

However, officers are also investigating Mr Butti’s ongoing divorce proceedings.

Mr Butti was to appear in court for divorce proceedings yesterday, Lt Col Phisit Cheunphet of Thalang Police told the Phuket Gazette today.

Mr Butti, who ran a bungalow rental business on Phi Phi Island, arrived on Phuket on Tuesday and saw his lawyer in Kathu from 5pm to 7pm that day.

During his meeting, he received a phone call. The lawyer told police he heard Mr Butti say in English, “I am busy right now. I cannot talk.”

Police are investigating that phone call as officers believe Mr Butti was lured to Pa Khlok by his killer specifically so he would ride along the dimly-lit road where he could be ambushed, Lt Col Phisit said.

Mr Butti was gunned down while riding a rented motorbike along the Heroines’ Monument-Pa Khlok Road at about 10pm.

His body was found at the side of the road 200 meters from the entrance to Bang Pae Waterfall.

Lt Col Phisit said CCTV footage viewed by officers showed Mr Butti visiting Ao Por Grand Marina after 7pm.

He was attacked while riding toward the Heroines’ Monument.

Mr Butti was shot four times: in the chest, right collarbone, abdomen and left wrist.

Three 11mm bullet casings and three unspent 11mm bullets were found at the scene.

Police found 22,100 baht in cash in Mr Butti’s shorts, but not in a wallet.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan

Phuket News
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