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Phuket Police blame “business conflict’ for snake show arson attack



PHUKET: Phuket’s top police officer said a business conflict was the most likely motive for last week’s arson attack on a health store and snake show complex that left one security guard comatose in hospital.

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Chonasit Wattanavrangkul on Tuesday announced the news while inspecting the scene, at the Phuket Healthy Nutriment and Snake Show on Soi Ta-iad in Chalong.

“Our investigation has led us to rule out personal conflict as it seems the security guard, Anuchit Chaithongngarm, did not have any ongoing conflicts with others. The only motive left is a business conflict,” Maj Gen Chonasit said.

“Many Chinese tourists visit Phuket and there are many businesses like this opening here. This has led to excessive competition,” he added.

Police reviewed CCTV footage of the attack, carried out by four masked men, Maj Gen Chonasit said.

“We checked the security cameras and saw that the suspects arrived at the shop by car. We are checking other security cameras to see how they got away. We will have the suspects arrested as soon as possible,” Maj Gen Chonasit said.

Meanwhile, 25-year-old security guard Mr Anuchit remains comatose in hospital.

Mr Anuchit, knocked unconscious by his attackers, regained his senses long enough to escape his attacker’s bonds and raise the alarm, but subsequently lapsed into a coma.

“He is still in a coma at the ICU [intensive care unit] at Vachira Phuket Hospital,” Kongpol Phanuek, chief engineer at Phuket Healthy Nutriment, told the Gazette this morning.

“He is in a stable condition, but he is not showing any signs of improvement,” he added.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong


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