Police are preparing to wrap up their investigation into suspected serial killer Sararat “Aem Cyanide” Rangsiwuthaporn and submit their report to prosecutors next week.
Investigators had found evidence to implicate Ms Sararat in the cyanide poisonings, deputy national police chief Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn said on Friday. They had examined purchase records for more than 700 bottles of cyanide and found that “Aem Cyanide” had purchased one bottle.
A total of 11 deaths took place not long after the deadly chemical was in her hands, Pol Gen Surachate said at the Royal Thai Police Office.
“Now, Aem’s story is completely over because we found that she was the one who ordered the cyanide. Everything is connected,” he said.
Ms Sararat, 36, was arrested on April 25 at the Chaeng Watthana Government Complex in Bangkok. She was four months pregnant at the time. Her arrest followed a complaint filed by the mother and 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. All told, she faces 14 charges of murder and one charge of attempted murder.
Pol Gen Surachate said he 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 that had passed through bank accounts held by the accused suggested she had a bad gambling habit, the deputy chief said on May 19.
On Saturday, the investigation team will start collating all the details in its report. It will then coordinate with the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) to submit the report into 15 cases against Ms Sararat next week, said Pol Gen Surachate.
After that, investigators will turn their attention to cases against factories and those who purchased cyanide from them. They are also looking into whether officials at the Department of Industrial Works, which regulates the factories, were complicit.
Other charges of violating the Consumer Protection Act are also possible, he added.
“I assure that the investigation report will be concluded next week,” he said. “The investigative report is now almost 100% complete. I will coordinate with the director-general of the OAG to hold a joint meeting and submit the report.”
According to Pol Gen Surachate, Sararat purchased cyanide online two years ago, based on evidence of money transfers for the purchase. Both the buyer and the company that sold the chemical would face charges.
He brushed off a threat by the suspect’s lawyer to file a defamation complaint against him, saying he and his team handled their task in a straightforward manner and never slandered anyone.
The lawyer, Thannicha Aeksuwannawat, made the threat last week after reporting to police to answer charges of assisting her client in destroying or concealing evidence of a crime.
She denied all the charges and said she would file defamation suits against certain police officers and media outlets.