SURAT THANI: A Spanish man in police custody has denied any involvement in the disappearance of his Colombian friend, following the gruesome discovery of human body parts at a landfill on Koh Phangan, the southern island popular for its Full Moon parties.
Daniel Sancho Bronchalo, 29, was taken to the Koh Phangan police station on Friday for questioning in connection with the disappearance of Edwin Arrieta Arteaga, 44, a Colombian national.
Mr Sancho had gone to the Koh Phangan police station on Thursday night to report that Mr Arrieta was missing. This came after news spread that some human body parts had been found.
Trash collectors on Thursday discovered body parts, including a sawed-off pelvis and intestines weighing around five kilogrammes, inside a fertiliser sack at a garbage dump in Moo 4 of Koh Phangan.
More body parts were found on Friday in a black plastic bag at the same location. The bag contained two legs, a black T-shirt, a pair of shorts and a pair of red boxer shorts.
Police, who went to the scene along with forensic officers and medical staff from Koh Phangan Hospital, suspected the body parts might belong to the Colombian man. They then brought in Mr Sancho for questioning led by Pol Lt Col Surapong Thanomjit, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 8.
According to the investigation, the two men knew each other from earlier encounters and had arranged to travel to Koh Phangan and meet up there. Mr Arrieta had booked a room at hotel on the island from July 31 to Aug 3. Mr Sancho arrived at the hotel on July 31 and checked into the room before Mr Arrieta arrived.
Mr Sancho said he went to pick up his friend at a pier on Koh Phangan at around 3pm on Wednesday. They then went to a restaurant and later visited Rin beach near the hotel where they were staying. Mr Sancho told police that Mr Arrieta disappeared after midnight on Wednesday. He said he did not know where the Colombian man went.
The initial investigation showed that Mr Sancho was staying in the hotel room that Mr Arrieta booked. He had also booked a room at another hotel near Salad beach for Tuesday and Wednesday, said Pol Lt Col Surapong.
He took the Colombian man to a restaurant near the other hotel he had booked. After Wednesday night, nobody saw Mr Arrieta.
The investigation found that the Spanish man had bought a knife, rubber gloves, a kitchen sponge, a cleaning pad, a bottle of cleaning agent and garbage bags at a convenience store on Tuesday evening.
Police inspected his room and found that a refrigerator, a bathroom and a kitchen sink had been washed. Bloodstains, tissue, fat and hair were found in the room’s drain. Samples were taken for forensic testing, according to Pol Lt Gen Surapong.
Daniel Sancho, 29, of Spain, is being questioned in connection with the death of his friend. (Photo supplied/Wassayos Ngamkham)
The body parts discovered on Koh Phangan are believed to be from Edwin Arrieta, a Colombian national. (Photo supplied/Wassayos Ngamkham)