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Phuket bank stabbing witnesses confirm murder-suicide



PHUKET: The two women present in the Bank of Ayudhya meeting room yesterday watched when Phonthakorn Teerabenjakul, 51, pulled out a knife and stabbed Piboon Vachwanichsanong, 71, to death, and then killed himself, police say (story here).

“The women saw the whole thing,” Phuket City Police Inspector Yongyuth Kongmalai told the Phuket Gazette today.

“They said there was no fight between the two men. Mr Phonthakorn pulled out a knife and stabbed Mr Piboon several times, and then stabbed himself several times,” Col Yongyuth said.

Mr Phonthakorn, a local real estate investor, had borrowed money from Mr Piboon, a well-known Phuket businessman and the treasurer of Tah Rue shrine, using a land title as collateral, said Col Yongyuth.

When Mr Phonthakorn was unable to repay the loan, the two had tried unsuccessfully to negotiate a settlement.

The murder-suicide occurred as they met with the bank’s branch manager, Sophon Udomsab, and two women who were interested in buying Mr Phonthakorn’s land.

Police have charged the dead Mr Phonthakorn for the murder of Mr Piboon.

“We don’t have the authority to cancel the case,” said Col Yongyuth.

“We are waiting to question the bank manager, relatives of both parties and other eye witnesses. We also need to wait for the medical examination report from Vachira Phuket Hospital before we can transfer the file to the prosecutor,” he said.

“The prosecutor has the authority to cancel the case, since the man charged for the murder is dead,” he added.

“Right now we are just focusing on the murder case. If our commander orders it, we can also investigate the details of the business deal. For now, that is not our responsibility and is left up to the two families to deal with themselves,” he said.

— Irfarn Jamdukor


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