Accused hitman in Pattaya murder of NZ bodybuilder arrested

Accused hitman in Pattaya murder of NZ bodybuilder arrested

Police arrest Yiamwut Julapong on Monday in Khao Kho district of Phetchabun for the murder of New Zealand bodybuilder Stephen Miller in April 2006. (Photo supplied/Wassayos Ngamkham)
Police arrest Yiamwut Julapong on Monday in Khao Kho district of Phetchabun for the murder of New Zealand bodybuilder Stephen Miller in April 2006. (Photo supplied/Wassayos Ngamkham)

The alleged hitman in the murder of a New Zealand man in Pattaya in 2006 has been arrested.

Yiamwut Julapong, alias Pokpong, 40, was detained on Monday at Moo 5 village in tambon Thung Samo in Khao Kho district of Phetchabun province by Crime Suppression Division police led by Pol Col Neti Wongkularb, commander of the CSD Sub-Division 5.

He was wanted under an arrest warrant issued by the Pattaya Court on April 22, 2006, on charges of murder and illegal possession and carrying a gun in public without proper reason.

Mr Yiamwut is accused of conspiring with Jintana Wichachai and Varathip Kasawong to kill Stephen Miller, a New Zealand businessman and bodybuilder who was Jintana's boyfriend.

Miller was shot dead while riding his motorbike near a golf driving range on Pattaya Sai 3 road in Bang Lamung district, Chon Buri province, on April 20, 2006.

Police investigator said Jintana and Miller lived as husband and wife.

Miller allegedly produced unapproved steroids for sale and export with Jintana helping him send the packages to foreign clients and collect the money from the illegal sales.

Jintana confessed to conspiring in his murder. She claimed that Miller frequently assaulted her and had threatened to take back the valuables he had given to her. She thought he was going to walk out on her, became very dissatisfied and decided to kill him.

Reports in New Zealand media at the time described him as a caring man, and that he and Jintana had been together for five months.

Jintana asked Mr Yiamwut and Varathip for help, and the three planned Miller's murder.

Jintana and Varathip were later arrested. They said it was Mr Yiamwut who shot Miller dead. The payment was reported to have been a gold necklace.

Reports in Thai media at the time suggested she also had a Thai husband.

The police investigation led to the arrest of Mr Yiamwut on Monday.

Mr Yiamwut denied any involvement in the murder.

He was handed over to Pattaya police for legal proceedings.

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