Gambling habit 'factor' in serial murders
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Gambling habit 'factor' in serial murders

Sararat: Lost B1m in a day
Sararat: Lost B1m in a day

A serious gambling addiction could have been a factor that pushed Sararat "Aem" Rangsiwuthaporn to murder 14 people using cyanide, the police said after investigating the suspect's money trail.

Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn said on Thursday that an analysis of the 78 million baht which passed through bank accounts owned by the suspect, who has been dubbed "Aem Cyanide" by netizens on social media, suggested she had a gambling habit.

Some of the money was found to have been transferred to proxy accounts which were set up to receive cash transfers from gamblers, Pol Gen Surachate said, noting her supposed victims had transferred large amounts of cash to Ms Sararat's account prior to their passing.

An investigation into her financial activities revealed that on one particular day, Ms Sararat lost almost one million baht to gambling, which could explain why the suspect often appeared to be in dire need of money to her relatives and friends.

When asked about the source of the cyanide used to poison the victims, Pol Gen Surachate said investigators have narrowed down the list of possible suppliers to about 10.

The police have ruled out the possibility that Ms Sararat's late boyfriend, Sutthisak "Dae" Phoonkhwan, may have supplied her with the cyanide, said Pol Gen Surachate.

He said the police are closing in on one of Ms Sararat's aides, who investigators believe may have been complicit in the killings.

The deputy national police chief said the examination of over 400 items collected from various crime scenes linked to Ms Sararat is being carried out by the police's forensic team with the assistance of Weerachai Phutdhawong, an associate professor of chemistry at Kasetsart University.

The results will be included in the police's final report, said Pol Gen Surachate.

Ms Sararat was arrested on April 25 when she was four months pregnant. Her arrest followed a complaint filed by the mother and elder sister of Siriporn "Koy" Khanwong, 32, of Kanchanaburi, who is one of the 14 victims.

Siriporn collapsed and died on the banks of Mae Klong River in Ban Pong district of Ratchaburi, where she had just released fish for merit-making on April 14 with Ms Sararat.

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