PHETCHABURI: A Thai neighbour charged with murdering a Swedish man in Cha-am claimed the victim had insulted him and his family many times, police said on Saturday.
Pratheep Sangsiri, 42, a resident of tambon Rai Mai Pattana in Cha-am district, was arrested on a road in his community on murder charges on Saturday. Seized from the suspect was an 11mm pistol. A shotgun and ammunition were later seized from his house. Police also said he tested positive for use of methamphetamine.
Mr Pratheep was accused of shooting dead his 64-year-old Swedish neighbour, Lars Donald Qvarfordt.
The Swede, a former police dog handler, was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds at his house on the morning of July 18. The house is part of Kennel Scandinavia -- a boarding facility for dogs, cats and birds with a dog-training centre.
Pol Lt Gen Charnthep Sesawet, chief of Provincial Police Region 7, said investigators found car tyre skid marks on a road near the dog-raising facility of Samrarn Ruengsiri, about 50 metres from the victim’s house.
Ms Samrarn, a former wife of the victim, told police she heard three loud bangs from her ex-husband’s home at around 9.30am on July 17 and saw a pickup truck driving past her house. Police traced the pickup truck and found it belonged to Mr Pratheep.
Police said that during the interrogation, the suspect confessed he carried out the shooting in a fit of anger over the victim’s allegedly repeated insulting remarks, slandering of him and his family members.
Armed with a shotgun, he drove his pickup to the Swede’s house on July 17. When he arrived, he saw the victim walking around. He fired one shot, hitting the victim’s body, and the wounded Swedish man ran to hide in his house, said the suspect.
Mr Pratheep then went to the back of the house and saw the victim carrying a pistol. He then fired one more shot at the man. As the man fell, the suspect walked up to him and fired another shot in the head before fleeing.
When he arrived back at his own house, he hid the shotgun, police said.
Police had earlier looked into personal and business conflicts as possible motives for the killing.
Pol Lt Gen Charnthep said the slain Swedish man had lived in the house for eight years. He had been married to Ms Samrarn but they divorced in 2009. After the divorce, Ms Samrarn started a similar business in the same community and he reportedly was at odds with her.
Two years later, the Swede married another Thai woman, Prassanee. Three months before he was gunned down, he had a fight with his wife, who later moved elsewhere.
In February last year, police said, the victim had filed an assault complaint against a neighbour who was not Mr Pratheep.