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Murder brings curfew for Myanmar workers in Patong

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Patong police announced today that Myanmar workers living in Patong will be arrested if they are found outside of their camps after 10pm.

The curfew is in response to the murder of a Thai man by a group of Myanmar nationals early Tuesday morning in Patong.

“Construction operators typically keep the passports of their workers. If we stop workers out of their camps after 10pm, we will charge them with not being in possession of a passport and deport them from the country,” said Patong Police Superintendent Col Chiraphat Pochanaphan.

Saksit Photong was leaving the Baan Mon night fair in Patong at about 2am on Tuesday when he was attacked by 11 men on Phisit Gorani Road (map here).

CCTV cameras in the area captured the attack and the footage has already led to the arrest of six of the men.

CCTV cameras captured the attack in the middle of the busy Patong street, leading to the arrest of six men. Video: Patong Police

In the video footage, Mr Saksit is seen getting on a motorbike, turning it around and driving off down a well-lit street. Clearly pictured in the video are several other motorcyclists, pedestrians and people sitting by the side of the road.

One man among the gang abruptly stops Mr Saksit and strikes him. Mr Saksit gets off the bike and tries to flee, but is pursued by the man and several others who rush to join the attack.

The men hit and kick Mr Saksit and one of them stabs him three times with a sharp tool before they run off.

After the main group flees, other men can be seen running up to hit or kick the fallen Mr Saksit before racing off.

Police examined the CCTV footage and spent almost three days searching for the suspects.

“They all lived in different places, which made it time-consuming to find them,” said Lt Col Sutthichai Thianpho of the Patong Police.

The first suspect arrested was Aron, 20, who was picked up at a worker’s camp near the Patong beach road last night.

After that, police quickly rounded up Mac, 19, at a camp in Thung Thong; Ongteng, 19 and Pepsi, 21, in Karon; Aod, 22, in Palai; and Miewtoon, 23, near Phuket Villa 3 in Wichit, Lt Col Suttichai said.

“We found the murder weapon, still with blood on it, at Mac’s house,” he said.

“All of them confessed. Mac started it by stopping Mr Saksit and stabbing him, but all six have been charged with gang murder, even though they told us they do not know each other.”

The men told police they acted out of revenge.

“They said that two days before the attack, one of them had been hit in the back with a bottle of beer at the Baan Mon night fair and they wanted payback,” Lt Col Suttichai said.

“The one who was hit by the bottle was not seriously injured.”

Police continue to search for the five other men involved in the attack, but believe they may have left Phuket.

The 10pm curfew for Myanmar workers will continue until further notice, Patong police chief Chiraphat said.

— Saran Mitrarat

 

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