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Pattaya Daily News

10 June 2010 :: 15:06:37 pm 24645

Regional Police Break Open Influential Pattaya Murder Case

Following the murder of an influential Thai man and the kidnap and rape of his female companion, Region 2 police announced the successful apprehension of two suspects and a concealment of illegal firearms on Wednesday.
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Chon-Buri, the 9th of June 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Mr. Nopphon Sowannee [26], a Masters student at the King Mongkot Institute of Technology, was brazenly murdered, execution style, in Nong Yai, Chon-Buri by a gang of Thai men. Following the murder the gang of men stole his possessions including a black Toyota Fortuner and other items worth approximately 5,000 baht. Mr. Sowannee is the nephew of Mr. Banyat Banthatthan (politician) and Dr. Malinee Sukwetchaworrakit (Deputy Governor of Bangkok).

An extensive police investigation at the behest of Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban (Head of the Department of Special Investigations) regional police forces were able to track down and arrest two suspects involved with the murder which also involve the kidnapping and rape of an unnamed woman who had been in the company of the deceased before they were accosted by the gang.

Initially police arrested Mr. Thanat Thadathanachot [35] after a tipoff that one of the suspects had fled to Khon Kaen using the stolen vehicle of Mr. Sowannee. Mr. Thadathanachot was apprehended driving the stolen Toyota Fortuner whilst a search of the vehicle uncovered an M16 assault rifle, 2 AK47 assault rifles, a mobile phone style taser and approximately 7 bullets. Also on Mr. Thadathanachot’s possession was a pawnshop ticket pertaining to various other items which had been stolen from the victim valuing approximately 2,000 baht.

Under interrogation Mr. Thadathanachot confessed to being the gang leader and a member of the Red Shirt group of Laem Chabang. He explained that he and 4 other men had colluded to rob a cash transportation vehicle from the Krung Thai Bank in order to get money which they had all been short of following the recent 2-month long protests which they had travelled to Bangkok to take part in. Mr. Sowannee had been murdered as the gang had required a car to commit the robbery whilst the firearms in his possession were allegedly purchased from within the Red Shirt group.

Mr. Thadathanachot proceeded to lead police to the arrest of his co-conspirator Mr. Thanom Kethom [42] a security guard working in Laem Chabang. Mr. Kethom admitted to having been involved in the offenses, stating in line with Mr. Thadathanachot, that the gang had planned to rob a cash transport pickup from Krung Thai Bank, Klong 4, Pathumthani and had robbed and murdered Mr. Sowannee for his vehicle.

The gang had allegedly preyed on Mr. Sowannee at random before approaching him when he stopped at a motel in Samut Prakan with an unnamed Thai woman. Tasering Mr. Sowannee and detaining the woman the gang drove to a house in Borvin, Sriracha. Whilst at the premises the gang proceeded to rape and assault the woman before taking Mr. Sowannee to Nong Yai to execute him in a rubber plantation. The woman was then released in Pathumthani before the gang decided to split up temporarily in order to avoid apprehension over the crimes.

At present investigations are continuing in an attempt to apprehend the remaining 3 suspects involved in the violent gang, one of which is the shooter responsible for the death of Mr. Sowannee. The two arrested men have been detained in custody awaiting further judicial proceedings to commence.

Reporter : Yanwarrut   Photo : Yanwarrut   Category : Crime News

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