Three more suspects — two men and a woman — have been arrested separately in Bangkok and Prachuap Khiri Khan for allegedly selling bullets to a 14-year-old boy who went on a shooting rampage inside Siam Paragon shopping mall earlier this week.
Pol Lt Gen Thiti Saengsawang, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau and a team of Yan Nawa police investigators arrested one of the suspects at a house on Phetkasem Soi 94 in Bang Khae district on Saturday.
The suspect, identified as Phassornkorn “Nikki” Thianthanwit, 27, was wanted on a warrant issued by the Bangkok South Criminal Court on Friday for colluding in the unauthorised sale of ammunition.
Authorities seized two firearms — a Glock automatic pistol and a Smith & Wesson revolver — along with 2,765 rounds of various types of bullets, three mobile phones, empty parcels and packing materials.
Officers arrest Phassornkorn “Nikki” Thianthanwit at his house in Bangkok and display seized items, including firearms and ammunition on Saturday.
The two other suspects, Wutthiphong Phetmanee and Suthida Paenghom, were apprehended in Bang Saphan Noi district of Prachuap Khiri Khan.
Mr Wutthiphong was arrested behind a house, while Ms Suthida surrendered to police at Bang Saphan Noi station. Both were wanted on warrants issued by the Bangkok South Criminal Court.
During questioning, Mr Wutthiphong told police that he was hired to open a Government Saving Bank account with 1,000 baht. Ms Suthida said she had opened a Krungthai Bank account six years ago to receive a child welfare allowance. She said her husband later used her account to receive money transfers from other people.
Police question suspect Suthida Paenghom after her arrest in Bang Saphan Noi district of Prachuap Khiri Khan on Saturday. (Photo supplied/Wassayos Ngamkham)
On Thursday, three men were arrested separately in Yala and Bangkok for allegedly selling firearms and ammunition to the young mall shooter.
Suwananhong Phramkhanajarn, 45, and his 22-year-old son Akkharawit Jaithong were arrested at a house in the southern border province of Yala. Piyabut Pianpithak, 31, was arrested in Bangkok.
The Bangkok South Criminal Court on Saturday approved a police request to detain the three for a further 12 days and denied them bail, noting the offences carried a high penalty. Police said the trio were a flight risk.
Under the law a suspect can be detained for seven 12-day periods, or 84 days in total, before police have to formally press charges or release them.
Mr Suwananhong and his son faced arrest warrants for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and selling firearms and ammunition without permission. Seized from his house were 209 rounds of ammunition for blank guns, 33 metal parts, two bank passbooks, nine magazines and other items.
Only Mr Piyabut admitted to having sold a gun and ammunition to the teenager. However, police said they had evidence, including money transfer slips and other items, to prosecute the two other men.
The arrests followed a police investigation linking the suspects to the sale of bullets used in the deadly shooting at Siam Paragon, where two women from China and Myanmar were killed and five others were injured. The young gunman was arrested shortly afterward and is now undergoing psychiatric treatment.
Suspect’s father attends funeral
In another development, the father of the teen suspect on Friday night attended the funeral rite for the 31-year woman from Myanmar, known as Monin, who worked in a store at the mall.
Arriving at Wat Phasuk Maneechak in Nonthaburi, he apologised to the victim’s employer and gave financial assistance to the family of the victim. He said tearfully that he was shocked and extremely sad about the events that had occurred.
The parents of the boy earlier in the day released a letter to the public, written by his father, expressing their “deepest apologies” for the tragedy. They said they were cooperating fully with authorities in the justice process.
The three suspects arrested on Thursday on charges of selling firearms and ammunition to the teen shooting suspect appear at a police news conference. (Photo supplied/Wassayos NgamKham)