Women may have escaped to areas out of myanmar govt’s control: official
AUTHORITIES ARE looking into the assets of a 24-year-old suspect who is being sought in connection with the gruesome murder and dismemberment of another woman in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen, said Sirinya Sitthichai, secretary-general of the Office of Narcotics Control Board.
Priyanuch Nonwangchai, 24, is believed to have fled to Myanmar after allegedly murdering Warisara Klinjui, 22, and cutting her into four pieces to fit into two buckets that were buried in a field in Khao Suan Kwang district. Accompanying her were Kawita Rachada, 26, and Apiwan Satayabundit, 28.
Sirinya said Priyanuch’s family’s assets would be investigated. A preliminary investigation found that Priyanuch’s brother and husband had been arrested for possession of drugs and had connections with drug gangs. Priyanuch’s name had also been listed in a database tracking drugs suspects, Sirinya said.
He added that the investigation showed that the suspects appeared to be small-time drug buyers and users but they boasted of a luxury lifestyle on Facebook.
In their search for the three suspects, Thai anti-drug personnel have cooperated with their Myanmar counterparts, the Safe Mekong Coordination Centre and the militaries and police of both nations.
He said that if the suspects could not be found, they had probably escaped into areas inside Myanmar controlled by non-state militias where even Myanmar authorities cannot enter.
A provincial court has issued arrest warrants for five suspects: Priyanuch, Kawita, Apiwan, Wasin Namprom, 22, and Jidarat Promkun, 21. Wasin and Jidarat are already in police custody.
Wasin claimed that Priyanuch killed Warisara and cut her into pieces while he was only the driver. Jidarat has denied any involvement in the killing, claiming Priyanuch asked her to sell the victim’s mobile phone and valuables.
Meanwhile, a source has claimed that Myanmar police have said they know the whereabouts of the three suspects still at large.
Myanmar authorities also have a description of a local man who was seen assisting the women after they crossed the border checkpoint from Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district to Tachilek town in Myanmar on May 25.
Myanmar authorities told Pol Colonel Ekkorn Bussababordin, commander of the Chiang Rai Immigration Police, that they already knew the women’s location and would arrest them.
They said a man had been seen picking them up from a dormitory residence near their new workplace, an entertainment venue in Tachilek.
Following a meeting on Wednesday, Khon Kaen police chief Pol Maj-General Promnatthakhet Hamkhampai dismissed social media speculation that Priyanuch might have been acting on the orders of a transnational drug gang.
Those rumours reported that the gang was supposedly seeking vengeance after Warisara gave police information that led to many arrests last year, including of Priyanuch’s husband.
He said the women had been only selling drugs locally, not across borders.