CHERNG TALAY: In an exclusive interview with the Phuket Gazette, Chanthana Chaowanich has explained the sequence of events the night her husband, well-known businessman Suriya Chaowanich, 49, was assassinated.
K. Chanthana, 34, from Bangkok, was with K. Suriya at their home in Baan Bang Jo on the night of September 12.
“I was not feeling well, and was lying down in our bedroom upstairs. K. Suriya was watching TV [in the same bedroom],” she said.
“I was half asleep and heard the gunshot, but [at that time] I wasn’t sure whether the sound came from a gun or a firecracker. The air conditioning and the TV were both on, so I couldn’t hear anything from outside clearly.
“I came downstairs five to 10 minutes later to call him to come to bed and I found him lying on the floor [of the sala],” K. Chanthana said.
Thalang Police Superintendent Col Chinnarat Rittakananond had earlier explained to the Gazette that K. Suriya’s body was found lying face down in a sala, which is separated from the main house. On the sala table were a teapot and three teacups.
“I know nothing about the killers because I didn’t see anything. K. Suriya always answered the door himself, and because he was in the property business, people were always coming round to offer their land for sale.”
“That night I was very confused and shocked. I called the police at Cherng Talay police station and my staff. The police have called me in for questioning twice already. I don’t know why he was killed, or whether it involved his business or his private life. I simply can’t say; I have no idea why,” she said.
“I’m his legally registered wife, but his sons are from his previous marriage. I have no children and lived with K. Suriya for about eight years,” she said.
“I used to ask him what he was thinking about because sometimes he looked quite serious, but he always told me not to worry about it,” she said.
Pol Lt Col Chamroon Plaiduang told the Gazette, “We have questioned nearly 20 witnesses but we still do not have any leads. This case will take a long time to investigate, and we have yet to investigate his land deals. And as K. Suriya’s murder was reported to the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) in Bangkok, they will join in our investigation.”
Col Chamroon said that police believe the most likely motives [for the murder] were business deals and K. Suriya’s estate, which remains to be inherited. “K. Suriya had many businesses, and we have to investigate them all. We have investigated all the major details [in the case], but we still have the finer details to check,” Lt Chamroon said.
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