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Phuket police seeking survivor of assassination attempt



PHUKET: Police are seeking a half-Thai, half-French man recovering from a gunshot wound sustained in Phuket Town Sunday afternoon.

They expect to arrest his assailant soon.

Phuket City Police duty officer Anek Mongkol said he suspects the victim, 27-year-old Patong businessman Markudom Boulbet, may be intentionally avoiding police questioning.

Mr Boulbet was shot once in the right shoulder by a man on Sunday afternoon as he and his female companion were driving to pick up their children in Phuket Town.

As Mr Boulbet was passing the old Mazda showroom on Phang Nga Road, the shooter overtook Mr Boulbet’s car then dumped the motorbike in the middle of the lane, forcing Mr Boulbet to stop.

The man then rose to his feet and raised his gun at Mr Boulbet, said Lt Col Anek.

Mr Boulbet tried to run over the man, but was hit in the shoulder by one of four shots the man fired before fleeing the scene on foot.

Mr Boulbet reported the incident to police, who told him to come in for questioning after receiving medical treatment for the gunshot wound.

“So far I have been unable to contact Markudom. He doesn’t answer my calls and his girlfriend’s mobile phone is turned off,” Lt Col Anek said.

Mr Boulbet had a surgical appointment at a well-known private hospital today but failed to keep it, Lt Col Anek said.

Police say they know the identity of the assailant, who left his motorbike at the scene.

Lt Col Anek said the pair are presumed to be well-acquainted, possibly former friends who fell out over a business deal.

Both Mr Boulbet and his assailant have had brushes with the law before, he said.

Mr Boulbet was once imprisoned for illegal possession of a firearm, while his assailant had been convicted in a narcotics case, he said.

Mr Boulbet was punched in the face by the same man a few days before the encounter and had survived shooting attacks in the past, he said.

Phuket City Police Superintendent Col Chote Chitchai said, “Markudom and the man who shot him had a fight before Markudom was shot.

“We already know who shot him, but we have to wait for the arrest warrant to be issued.

“The man is still in Phuket and we will probably arrest him soon,” Col Chote said.

— Atchaa Khamlo


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