Phuket murder suspect Stein Dokset already on trial for fraud

PHUKET: Norwegian expat Stein Havard Dokset, who this afternoon was charged with the murder of his ex-girlfriend Rungnapa Suktong, is already on trial for defrauding a Swedish man of more than 800,000 baht, the Phuket Gazette has learned.

Lt Col Boonlert Onklang, Deputy Superintendent at Chalong Police, told the Gazette that a formal complaint was filed with Chalong Police on August 4, 2009.

A Swedish man, who he identified only as “Jan”, filed the complaint, accusing Mr Dokset, a 50-year-old retired car dealer from Oslo, of defrauding him out of 68,000 Norwegian krone, reported at the time as valued at about 318,240 baht, Lt Col Boonlert said.

“Mr Jan said he asked Mr Dokset to look after the money because he knew Mr Dokset had a safe in his home. He also claimed he gave Mr Dokset 500,000 baht in cash to look after.

“But when the Swedish man asked for his money back, Mr Dokset said he did not have the money. Instead, he claimed that the man did not give the money to him,” he said.

However, on Tuesday – the day Mr Dokset was arrested for murder – Mr Dokset was in court to face the allegations against him.

“Two witnesses testified that Mr Jan did give the money to Mr Dokset,” Lt Col Boonlert said.

Lt Col Boonlert suggested the Gazette call Mr Jan and gave his phone number.

However, when called by the Gazette today, the man who answered the call said, “Sorry, I don’t want to say anything.”

In the raid on Mr Dokset’s luxury villa in Kata on Tuesday night, police found a small safe in the same downstairs bathroom where they discovered the grisly remains of what is believed to be the acid-burnt body of Mrs Rungnapa.

Police have yet to disclose whether or not the safe contained any money or valuables.

Additional reporting by Chutharat Plerin

— Atchaa Khamlo

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