Heinous crime: Rama III gambling den gunfight

Heinous crime: Rama III gambling den gunfight

Forensic experts arrive to collect evidence at a gambling den in Bangkok's Yannawa district after the deadly shooting in which four people were killed. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Forensic experts arrive to collect evidence at a gambling den in Bangkok's Yannawa district after the deadly shooting in which four people were killed. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

A deadly shooting at a gambling den in Bangkok on Aug 3, in which four people were killed, opened a can of worms for police, even though the accused gunman turned himself in to face charges.

Niphit Srisuwan, better known as "Boy Ban Khrua", 61, surrendered shortly after the Bangkok South Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest for the shooting.

According to his statement, Mr Niphit shot and killed Thavorn Seesod, the gunman who had slain three other people at the casino on Rama III Road, and then fled the premises. One of Mr Thavorn's three victims was Pol Maj Watthanaset Samniangprasert, an interrogation inspector at Samae Dam police station, in Bang Bon district.

Although the circumstances surrounding the shooting were unclear, it was reported that a Chinese gambler had gone in with a gun and demanded his money back. Pol Maj Watthanaset intervened and a gunfight ensued, with Mr Thavorn firing the first shot.

The fact one of the victims was an off-duty police officer was enough to attract attention but the intrigue deepened when it emerged that CCTV cameras at the premises had been hastily dismantled before police arrived.

The cameras were found later, along with gambling equipment and computer hard drives -- they had been taken to a house just 10 metres from the crime scene. A total of three hard drives, three CD recorders, eight surveillance cameras, six gambling tables and other gaming equipment were confiscated.

According to police, however, the footage of the shooting was too damaged to be of any use. Following the deadly shooting, the Metropolitan Police Bureau ordered the transfers of five senior police officers to inactive posts.

The lasting impression in the public mind was the links between those who removed gambling equipment and the illegal gambling business that operated there.


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