Aem Cyanide's lawyer faces police charges

Aem Cyanide's lawyer faces police charges

Suspected of helping alleged serial killer destroy evidence

Lawyer Thannicha Aeksuwannawat, representing alleged serial killer Sararat
Lawyer Thannicha Aeksuwannawat, representing alleged serial killer Sararat "Aem" Rangsiwuthaporn, speaks to reporters on May 5. (Capture from Police TV)

Police will summons a lawyer representing alleged serial killer Sararat "Aem" Rangsiwuthaporn to hear a charge of helping her client destroy or conceal evidence of her crimes.

Pol Col Anek Taosuparp, deputy commander of the Crime Suppression Division (CSD), said on Tuesday that investigators had tried several times to contact Ms Sararat's lawyer, Thannicha Aeksuwannawat, but to no avail.

So, they would obtain a first summons warrant for her. She would be asked to meet investigators on May 29 or  May 30, the CSD deputy commander said.

If she failed to show up, a second summons would be issued, Pol Col Anek said. If she did not respond, police could seek a warrant for her arrest.

Last week, deputy national police chief Pol Gen Surachae Hakparn said police would apply for court arrest warrants for Ms Sararat's associates.

Police visited the accused poisoner at the Central Women's Correctional Institution in Bangkok on May 15 and questioned her further about possible accomplices.

Ms Sararat, 36, dubbed "Aem Cyanide" by social media, was arrested on April 25 at the government complex on Chaeng Watthana Road in Bangkok. She was four months pregnant. Her 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. The list of her alleged victims has continued to grow.

Pol Gen Surachate believed a serious gambling addiction could have been a factor that pushed Ms Sararat to murder 14 people, using cyanide. 

An analysis of the 78 million baht which had passed through bank accounts owned by the accused suggested she had a bad gambling habit, Pol Gen Surachate said on May 19.

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

Interviewed on TV Channel 3 on Tuesday, Pol Gen Surachate confirmed he had wanted an arrest warrant for the lawyer, but the court suggested a summons be issued instead. 

Families of four alleged victims of "Aem Cyanide" attend the cremation of Siriporn "Koy" Khanwong, another victim, at a temple in Kanchanaburi on May 10. (Photo: Piyarat Chongcharoen)

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