A professional hitman on the police's most wanted list was arrested yesterday in Khon Kaen province after seven years on the run.
Jom Imkaew, 63, from Chiang Mai's Chai Prakan district, ranked ninth on the police's list of 75 most wanted hitmen. Police had put a 100,000-baht bounty on his head.
He allegedly confessed to his crimes. Police said he told them he had been responsible for at least 70 murders in the North from when he was aged between 21 and 50, with his victims mostly thugs and drug traffickers.
Mr Jom's record showed he was arrested in 1980 for the murder of a village head in Chiang Mai's Fang district.
He was given the death sentence, but received a royal pardon and was released from jail in 1992.
Two years later, he returned to jail in a weapons case and was released in March 2006. Shortly afterwards, Mr Jom and another male suspect identified only as San were allegedly involved in the killing of a couple at a noodle shop in Chiang Mai province's Chiang Dao district.
After that, he fled to work as a hired hand in tambon Tha Phra in Muang district of Khon Kaen.
The suspect admitted the charges against him and said he was willing to face punishment.
Police Region 4 chief Anuchai Lekbamrung said police had gone to tambon Tha Phra to crack down on drug traffickers but found Mr Jom in a house in the area. Because he behaved suspiciously, officers asked for his ID card and found he was on the list of 75 most wanted hitmen.
Police said Mr Jom also confirmed he was the hitman on the list, and since he had confessed to all charges, he would be handed over to Chiang Dao police station in Chiang Mai for further action.