Actress to be questioned over cyanide purchase
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Actress to be questioned over cyanide purchase

Sararat: Continues to deny all charges. (Screen capture)
Sararat: Continues to deny all charges. (Screen capture)

Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn is preparing to summon for questioning an actress who bought cyanide from the same batch as that of suspected serial killer Sararat "Aem" Rangsiwuthaporn.

Pol Gen Surachate said on Thursay that the actress, whose name was withheld, was found on a list of 100 buyers who purchased from the same batch as Ms Sararat.

"Police may summon the actress next Monday or Tuesday to question what she needed cyanide for," he said during a briefing.

Police will also expand their investigation into whether the sale of the batch of cyanide was illegal and will check if Industrial Works Department officials were involved with any illegal sales, he said.

Meanwhile, Nakhon Pathom Provincial Court allowed the temporary release of Ms Sararat's ex-husband, Pol Lt Col Withoon Rangsiwuthaporn. He will be released on bail with a surety of 100,000 baht and must wear an EM bracelet.

Pol Lt Col Withoon, deputy superintendent of Suan Phueng station in Ratchaburi, was fired from the force and arrested on Wednesday. He was charged with receiving stolen property, jointly forging official documents and using those documents.

The court deliberated that up until now, no evidence confirmed his association with any alleged murders, and it appears he did not have the intention of interfering with evidence or witnesses.

Pol Gen Surachate said that all of Ms Sararat's 15 alleged victims -- 14 of whom died and one who survived -- had been poisoned.

Money was the main motive for the alleged killings, Pol Gen Surachate said.

"Aem had poisoned all 15 victims with cyanide placed in drinking water, food or medicines in the form of capsules," he said. "Financial problems were the motive for carrying out the cyanide murders. Aem was failing financially. She had huge debts from credit cards."

Pol Lt Col Withoon has confessed to two charges concerning the case, added Pol Gen Surachate.

Ms Sararat, 36, dubbed "Aem Cyanide", was arrested on April 25 at the government complex on Chaeng Watthana Road in Bangkok on a warrant issued by the Criminal Court. She is currently four months pregnant.

The arrest followed a complaint filed by the mother and elder sister of Siriporn "Koy" Khanwong, 32, of Kanchanaburi. Siriporn collapsed and died beside the Mae Klong river in Ban Pong district of Ratchaburi, where she had gone with Ms Sararat to release fish for merit-making on April 14. Cyanide was found in her body.

Investigators believe Ms Sararat mixed cyanide in Siriporn's food, causing her death. She allegedly also stole from the victim.

National police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas said there were now 15 reported cases linked to Ms Sararat. Of the 14 dead victims, 12 were women, and two were men.

A meeting of all parties involved in the investigation had agreed to transfer all 14 cases to the Crime Suppression Division, with Pol Gen Surachate as the head of the investigation team, said the national police chief.

"Although there were no witnesses who saw Ms Sararat putting cyanide in food or drinking water for the victims to consume, police investigators had sufficient circumstantial evidence, witnesses and forensic evidence to prosecute her in all cases," said Pol Gen Damrongsak.

Pol Gen Surachate on Thursday questioned Ms Sararat at the Central Women's Correctional Institution in Bangkok. Pol Lt Col Withoon was also taken to meet Ms Sararat, who still denies all the charges. Pol Gen Surachate said the suspect wanted to meet a female relative before she gave police a full testimony. Police will take the relative to meet her at the prison on Friday.

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