‘Aem Cyanide’ accomplices sought

‘Aem Cyanide’ accomplices sought

Police believe accused serial killer had help; cyanide regulations being tightened

Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, deputy national police chief, provides an update on the investigation into suspected serial murder cases on Saturday. (Photo: Wassayos Ngamkham)
Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, deputy national police chief, provides an update on the investigation into suspected serial murder cases on Saturday. (Photo: Wassayos Ngamkham)

Police now believe that suspected serial killer Sararat “Aem” Rangsiwuthaporn had help when purchasing cyanide and they will seek arrest warrants for any accomplices, according to deputy national police chief Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn.

Ms Sararat purchased cyanide using other people’s names in order to avoid leaving traces, he said on Saturday. However, based on the evidence so far, police are not certain if her policeman ex-husband was involved.

“We will have to look into the evidence before charging one or two accomplices in murder,” he said.

Ms Sararat was arrested in Bangkok on April 25 and charged with one murder. Investigators have since linked her to 15 poisonings, 14 of which resulted in deaths.

The Crime Suppression Division (CSD) has now taken charge of the investigation but one case, involving the death of Monthathip “Sai” Khao-in in 2017, is still being looked into by Thong Lor police. Officers will request an arrest warrant soon.

“We have been informed of a few suspicious deaths. Officers are investigating if they are related to Ms Sararat,” Pol Gen Surachate said.

Ms Sararat, who is four months pregnant, has been detained at the Central Women’s Correctional Institution in Bangkok. Her lawyer said on Friday that her client had denied all the charges and stated that she only wished to testify before a court.

Although the suspect has not confessed, Pol Gen Surachate said investigators are certain that the evidence they have in hand is sufficient to prove her guilty.

Pol Col Piyapong Wongketjai, superintendent of the Ban Pong police station in Ratchaburi, said officers searched Ms Sararat’s house in Tha Maka district of Kanchanaburi on Friday.

They found a black Honda Jazz without a licence plate, documents and memory cards. All of the evidence was sent to the police forensic office in Kanchanaburi.

Pol Col Piyapong said that investigators had also questioned friends and family of Siriporn “Koy” Khanwong, who collapsed and died beside the Mae Klong river in Ban Pong, where she had gone with Ms Sararat to release fish for merit-making on April 14. Cyanide was found in her body.

In a related development, Pol Gen Surachate said a meeting was planned on Monday to review evidence collection as well as revised regulations on the use of cyanide.

Jullapong Thaveesri, director-general of the Department of Industrial Works, said importers of cyanide would be ordered to document all purchases from both wholesale and retail buyers to prevent misuse.

He said Thailand has 14 cyanide importers who sell the chemical substance to factories, individual buyers and retailers.

The department will invite all 14 importers to acknowledge the new conditions including more detailed purchase records specifying the purpose of purchase and the amount of cyanide purchased.

All records must be sent to the department and to the Royal Thai Police every three months. If officials find any suspicious use of cyanide, the importer will be suspended.

The new regulations will take effect next week, said Mr Jullapong.

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