Police chief in Phuket to investigate Indian gangster's murder

Police chief in Phuket to investigate Indian gangster's murder

Footprints were found in and around this empty house near the villa at Rawai beach in Phuket where a foreigner of Indian descent was shot and killed last Friday. (Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran)
Footprints were found in and around this empty house near the villa at Rawai beach in Phuket where a foreigner of Indian descent was shot and killed last Friday. (Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran)

PHUKET: National police chief Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk arrived in Phuket on Monday morning to supervise the investigation into the murder of an Indian gangster at a rented villa at Rawai beach in Muang district of this island province on Friday night.

He was accompanied by assistant police chief Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn.

They met immediately with Pol Lt Gen Ampon Buarabporn, the Provincial Police Region 8 commissioner, Pol Maj Gen Sermpan Sirikong, the Phuket police chief, and Pol Maj Gen Kris Warit, commander of Tourist Police Division 3.

The murder occurred about 10.30pm on Friday in the car park of the villa, near the Beachfront Hotel Phuket complex.

The victim was initially identified by a passport found with him as Singh Mandeep, a Canadian of Indian descent. He was also carrying a driver’s licence bearing the name of another Canadian of Indian descent. He died in a hail of bullets fired by two hooded gunmen.

He was in fact Jimi Singh Sandhu, his true identity verified by Canadian police from fingerprints, said Pol Maj Gen Khemarin Hatsasiri, chief of the police foreign affairs division and deputy spokesman for the RTP. 

A check revealed the fingerprints matched those of a criminal suspect wanted by Canadian authorities, who had issued an alert that the man was believed to have fled to Thailand using a fake passport, Pol Maj Gen Khemarin said.

Reports said he was an active member of an Indian criminal gang operating in Canada called United Nations and involved in the drug  trade, human-trafficking and other violent crime. He was known by the nickname "Slice" and had been stripped of Canadian nationality.

Police were still trying to find out what nationality he was holding when he was slain. 

Police had learned that Sandhu had stayed at the villa 15 days a month, paying a monthly rental of 100,000 baht. He drove in and out of the villa about 10 times a day and was frequently visited by two foreign women.

In the villa, police found brandname handbags worth hundreds of millions of baht and three Apple mobile phones. There was also a rented red MG car.

In an empty house near the villa, many footprints were found. There were also some footprints in the sand by the house.

Two foreign men seen on a security camera recording taken in the area were suspected of involvement in the murder.

At provincial police headquarters, on Monday, a man was called in for questioning about his acquaintance with Sandhu, whom he knew as Mandeep. The man said he met Mandeep at Nai Han beach, where he was a member of a fitness centre. Mandeep attended the centre five times a week, he said.

He did not know that Mandeep had used a fake passport to apply for membership of the fitness centre.

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