NARATHIWAT: Five men have been arrested over the gangland murder of four men whose bodies were found in Waeng district on Feb 21.
The arrested suspects were Mahama Suwan-ayi, Asri Cheko, Esan Chenawae and Methawat Arun, all of Waeng district, and Nathawut Wae-abdullah, of Sukhirin district, Pol Maj Gen Anurut Im-ab, the Narathiwat police superintendent, said on Tuesday.
The hunt continued for two other suspects.
Pol Maj Gen Anurut said the five were involved in the murder of four men at a house in an oil palm plantation at Ban Koso, Moo 1 village, tambon Waeng, on Feb 21.
The four slain men were Muhammad Areeya Rohmad, 38, of Narathiwat's Sukhirin district, Niheng Prapeh, 27, of Sungai Kolok district, Asawee Muelee, 19, of Sukhirin district, and Museng Yako, 33, of Sukhirin district.
Pol Maj Gen Anurut said it was alleged that Mr Mahama, Mr Asri and Mr Esan had killed the four men, using a 9mm pistol and a shotgun.
Mr Methawat, Mr Nathawut and the two other suspects still at large put the bodies of Muhammad, Niheng and Asawee in the boot of a car and drove to Jue Rae lake at Moo 1 village in tambon Mae Taeng. The car with the bodies still in the boot was driven into the lake and abandoned.
The four returned to the house at the oil palm plantation. They then took the body of Museng in Mr Methawat's pickup to the Kolok river near Ire Pase, the Moo 7 village in tambon Kholo, Waeng district, and dumped the body in the river, according to police.
Pol Maj Gen Anurut alleged that the five suspects confessed to involvement in the murders. Forensic examination of the spent 9mm cartridges, blood stains and fingerprints collected from the scene provided sufficient evidence against them, he said.
The motive was believed to be a conflict between gang members.
The investigation into the murders and search for the remaining suspects was continuing.