Migrant slayings probe steps up

Migrant slayings probe steps up

Surat Thani: The Surat Thani police chief has ordered investigators to accelerate their probe into the murder of three Myanmar migrants, including a 13-year-old boy, in Chai Buri district.

The crime happened about 9pm on Jan 23 in a rubber plantation in tambon Sai Thong where the migrants worked.

Neighbours said they heard about 14-15 gunshots at that time, and when they went to check, they found their bodies, shot from close range in their head, neck and chest.

One victim was found outside a house and the other two in the house.

The victims are identified as Kyaw Htoo, 30; San Min, 22; and Chit Phu, 13. The three were relatives from Thanphyuzayet township in Mon state. San Min and Chit Phu are brothers.

Surat Thani Police chief Pol Maj Gen Apichart Boonsriroj has told investigators to speed up their work.

He said an initial report indicated the murders might be connected with other criminal cases in the area. However, the officer refused to give further details.

According to Pol Col Songkram Wanna, Chai Buri district police chief, witnesses said they saw four Thais arrive at the plantation about 9pm. Then they heard 14-15 gunshots.

"After hearing the gunshots, I called to my employer. My employer came to me and then he went to  Kyaw Htoo's house. A few minutes later, my employer called me and said my friend and other two migrants were dead," a witness said.

"I've known Kyaw Htoo for many years and we were close friends. He is a very cool guy, and he did not have any enemies," the witness said.

On Wednesday, the Foundation for Education and Development (FED) and the local migrant community organised funeral services at a temple.

A group of four plainclothes policemen, who introduced themselves as investigators, arrived at the ceremony and asked about the victims and relatives, a source said.

"They said the perpetrators were possibly Thais," the source said.

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