7th most wanted hitman arrested

Thailand's seventh most wanted gunman, who is a former policeman, was arrested after he was spotted in Nakhon Ratchasima province on Thursday, police said.

Suppol Kingkum, 56, was detained on an arrest warrant issued by Udon Thani Provincial Court in March 2009. A 100,000 baht reward was placed on his head, police said.

A villager, who wanted the bounty, informed the police that he saw the wanted man in front of a store in tambon Nongbua Sala which later led to the man’s arrest.

Pol Maj Gen Supisarn Pakdeenaruenart said Mr Suppol was charged with conspiracy in the murder of Prasit Sawiloe, 31, the owner of an aluminium and glass cutting shop, in Maha Sarakham province in February 2009. He also allegedly took part in hiding the body in a forest in Udon Thani province.

Mr Suppol told police he was a former police officer with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was dismissed from the force in 1998 because of a drug conviction.

On the day of the killing, Pol Sen Sgt Maj Pongsatorn (last name not given) asked him to take part in the murder of Prasit. He received 3,000 baht but denied that he killed the victim.

He told police he later fled to Phuket and worked on construction.

Police said Mr Suppol was one of the most wanted gunmen in the northeastern region. He was often linked to groups of mercenaries who were hired to kill political figures. Police will conduct further investigations to find if he was connected to any other cases.

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