Foreigner's assassins 'are hiding in Phuket'
Phuket: The Royal Thai Police is stepping up its hunt for gunmen who shot dead a foreign national in Muang district on Friday night.
Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk, chief of the national police, arrived on this resort island yesterday to supervise the investigation into the killing of Jimi Singh Sandhu, who was gunned down at a beachfront villa at Rawai beach.
Police said the attackers were hiding in Phuket, and officers are now tracking them by checking CCTV footage in the province.
The victim was previously identified as Mandeep Singh, as found in his passport, according to reports. However, Canadian authorities said he had been stripped of his Canadian nationality after being found involved in criminal activity, police said.
Police said the killing likely stemmed from conflicts between rival gangs and two suspects, likely foreign nationals, are being sought, noting they were captured on a security camera following the attack.
According to police, the victim, known as "Slice", was believed to be a member of an Indian criminal gang operating in Canada, involved in the drug trade, human trafficking and other violent crimes.
Police said the victim stayed at the villa 15 days per month, paying 100,000 baht a month to rent the place. He drove to and from the villa several times a day and was frequently visited by two foreign women, they said.
In the villa, police found brand name handbags worth hundreds of millions of baht, three Apple mobile phones and a rented red MG car. They also found many footprints in an empty house near the villa.
Pol Col Kritsana Pattanacharoen, deputy police spokesman, yesterday said officers were working closely with Canadian authorities on the investigation.
He said the initial probe showed that the gunmen used two types of guns: 9mm and .38mm pistols. The attackers were likely to be foreign nationals, he noted.
He said the victim entered Thailand on Jan 27 via a private plane and noted that police have not ruled out any motives behind the killing.
Pol Lt Gen Ampol Buaraporn, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 8, said the victim likely migrated from India to Canada when he was a child.
He said the victim was also wanted by Indian authorities for alleged drug trafficking.