Taiwan murder 'accomplice' arrested in Kalasin

Taiwan murder 'accomplice' arrested in Kalasin

Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Puridet (centre), the Central Investigation Bureau commissioner, interrogates Thanawat Poomkhemthong, one of the alleged accomplices in the murder case in Taiwan, after he was arrested in Nong Kungsi district of Kalasin province on Sunday. (Crime Suppression Division photo)
Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Puridet (centre), the Central Investigation Bureau commissioner, interrogates Thanawat Poomkhemthong, one of the alleged accomplices in the murder case in Taiwan, after he was arrested in Nong Kungsi district of Kalasin province on Sunday. (Crime Suppression Division photo)

An alleged accomplice in the slaying of a Thai couple in Taiwan was arrested on a charge of premeditated murder on Sunday afternoon, a police source said.

Thanawat Poomkhemthong was detained by Crime Suppression Division police at a house in tambon Dong Mun of Nong Kungsi district of Kalasin province.

Earier on Sunday, a police source said the Criminal Court had issued warrants for the arrests of Mr Thanawat and another alleged accomplice, Samart Sae Lee.

The arrest warrants for Mr Samart and Mr Thanawat were sought after Santi Supa-apiradeepailin, the prime suspect, surrendered to police in Chiang Mai's Chiang Dao district on Friday.

Mr Santi was immediately taken to Bangkok.

During initial questioning later on Friday, Mr Santi denied killing Prasert Norat, 32, and his 35-year-old wife Potjanee, who was five months pregnant with twins, claiming it was the work of a Taiwanese mafia gang. Police continued interrogating him overnight.

On Saturday, Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Puridet, the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) commissioner, said Mr Santi reversed his statement and confessed that it was he and two other Thai nationals - Mr Samart and Mr Thanawat - who killed Prasert and Pojanee in Taiwan over a drug business conflict, and that the two suspects returned to Thailand on June 11.

Mr Santi is wanted in Taiwan for the murder of Prasert and his wife Potjanee.

The bodies of Prasert and Potjanee were found in their BMW X4 vehicle parked outside Taoyuan high-speed rail station near Taipei on June 12.

Mr Santi was seen in security camera footage when the three had an appointment on June 8. He drove their BMW to the train station in the early morning of June 9.

He flew to Thailand later on June 9, landing at Suvarnabhumi airport and immediately proceeded to Chiang Mai. Accompanied by his father, Mr Santi surrendered to police in Chiang Dao district on Friday. He was charged with premeditated murder.

On Saturday, the Criminal Court, as requested by police, ordered Mr Santi detained for 12 days pending a formal indictment.

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