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Phuket police extend manhunt for accomplice in slaying of Swede

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PHUKET: Police have stressed to the Phuket Gazette that they have not identified the alleged accomplice of Tommy Viktor Soderlund, the man being sought for the murder of Swedish national Maksim Schantz last night.

Phuket City Police Deputy Superintendent Jumroon Playdoung told the Gazette that local media reports identifying a 36-year-old Swedish man as Soderlund’s accomplice in the brutal stabbing death are incorrect.

The Swede in question was arrested along with Soderland and five others in a raid on the Viking Internet shop in Pattaya in February this year.

The arrested Europeans allegedly used the internet cafe to make calls to victims in Norway and Sweden, duping them into wiring money to the gang’s bank accounts.

They allegedly swindled victims into wiring as much as 10 million baht, Gazette partner newspaper The Nation reported.

Arrested in the February raid were Norwegians Espen Forberg, 41, Sebastian Gjertsen, 21, Martin Grisvold Garathun, 21 and Marie Juhl Falchenberg, 20, along with Swedes Ulf Carl Johan Hellbacken, 36, Anders Erik Engzell, 30 and the prime suspect in yesterday’s murder, Tommy Viktor Soderlund.

Col Jumroon stressed that none of these men have been identified by anyone as a suspected accomplice to Soderland in the slaying.

Police are now on their way to show witnesses copies of the gang’s passport photos in the hope of someone recognizing the accomplice among them, Col Jumroon said.

 

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