Seven suspects linked to Peera case

SONGKHLA: Police revealed Thursday that seven people were linked to the murder of Songkhla municipality mayor Peera Tantiserane, six of whom are members of a hitman team and the person who hired them.

A local politician was included in the group of suspects, according to police investigators in charge of the case. 

Police said the suspects used five vehicles, three of which have been seized by officers, in the plot to assassinate Peera in Songkhla municipality last Wednesday.

Officers are collecting evidence to seek warrants for the arrest of all suspects. Warrants have already been issued for two suspects and a third warrant is likely to be granted for another of the assassins in the next few days.    

Police on Thursday carried out targeted search operations in Songkhla’s Rattaphum district and Tha Sala district of Nakhon Si Thammarat province in which the suspects are believed to have links, especially with the M16 and carbine rifles used in the shooting.

Police have yet to identify the mastermind of Peera’s assassination. However, officers had been instructed to keep under surveillance a local political figure to prevent him from fleeing the country while they obtain more evidence. 

Warrants have been issued for two men suspected of being involved in the assassination -- Paisal Nupan, 47, and Niwat Ratkaew, 46.

Mr Paisal turned himself in to authorities last Saturday, a few hours after the warrant was issued for his arrest. 

Mr Niwat is believed to have fled Songkhla two days before his warrant was released on Tuesday, police said.

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Writer: Wichayant Boonchote
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