Woman with Pongpat ties assaulted and left for dead

Woman with Pongpat ties assaulted and left for dead

Lucky to be alive: Chanita Kinnis is transported to Bang Bo hospital in Samut Prakan after she was abducted, beaten and strangled. She believed the assailant wanted her dead. (Photo by Suthivit Chayuthvorakarn)
Lucky to be alive: Chanita Kinnis is transported to Bang Bo hospital in Samut Prakan after she was abducted, beaten and strangled. She believed the assailant wanted her dead. (Photo by Suthivit Chayuthvorakarn)

Mystery surrounds the abduction and assault of a woman with links to disgraced former Central Investigation Bureau chief Pongpat Chayapan.

Chanita Kinnis, 38, was grabbed by a man on Friday night in front of the Central Ram Intra department store in Bangkok and put into a taxi, which then drove to a golf course in Samut Prakan’s Bang Bo district where the assault took place.

The suspect, who police described as dark, young and between 165 and 170 centimetres tall, was seen by a security guard at the golf course who was helping police with their inquiries, said Provincial Police Region 1 commander Pol Lt Gen Amnuay Nimmano after meeting with investigators yesterday.

The security guard, Supoj Sae Lor, said he saw Ms Chanita, the suspect and the taxi driver as they drove to the back of the golf course near Assumption University. He later saw Ms Chanita as she crawled away from the scene seeking help.

Ms Chanita was found with her hands tied and bruising on her neck, which police believe was the result of being strangled.

Officers do not believe the taxi driver was involved in the assault as he drove away from the scene alone. Investigators have already identified the taxi's registration number and will summons the driver for questioning within two days, Pol Lt Gen Amnuay said.

Despite an account from Ms Chanit suggesting the attack was an ordered hit, police believe the attacker was "not a professional killer". The suspect had been seen by other people who could identify him and he did not check to see if his victim had died after the assault, Pol Lt Gen Amnuay said.

He “apparently wanted to rob the woman”, Pol Lt Gen Amnuay added, referring to Ms Chanita's two diamond rings which were missing after the assault.

Ms Chanita was admitted to Bang Bo hospital before being transferred to Phra Mongkut Klao hospital for further treatment.

According to her initial accounts to police, Ms Chanita was abducted while on her way to the Anti-Money Laundering Office, where she had an appointment with officials. She claimed that she heard her attacker talking on a phone with somebody who, she said, ordered him to kill her. She was strangled, hit on the head and left at the golf course.

Ms Chanita also told police she and her mother were associates of Pongpat, whose assets were seized by authorities after his involvement in a criminal network was uncovered. She said her assets were also frozen and she had gone to meet Amlo officials to talk about the case. She did not go into detail about her relationship with Pongpat, apart from saying that her mother had done business with him. 

A resident of Chon Buri’s Phanat Nikhom district, Ms Chanita is a daughter of Thanayos Pathumwassana, a wealthy furniture factory owner, and his second wife. Her father, along with his third wife and another three family members, were killed in 2009 and Ms Chanita has since received death threats.

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