Alleged shooter Wittaya Thitapan, 30, along with Wittawas Laokane, 21, Ekapol Saetan, 26, and Teerapong Raksayart, 27, were arrested by Nongprue police a day after the body of Nat Suwankhum, 29, was found in a patch of eucalyptus trees in East Pattaya.
Police announce the quick arrest of 4 men accused of murder.
Investigators recovered the 11mm pistol believed to have killed Nat, along with 0.6 g. of crystal methamphetamines and 2 ya ba tablets.
Police alleged the assassination came at the orders of “Boy Ice” Sakhakul, an inmate at Ayutthaya Prison who still is managing a national drug-dealing ring. Investigators said Boy Ice hired Wittaya’s crew because Nat owed money for past drug purchases.
Nat’s widow, Sudjai Leklai, 22, said that before the death, Wittaya had telephoned and asked her husband to meet on Soi Sukhumvit 44. They drove together to the street where the suspects pushed Nat into a car and drove away, she said.
Police said the suspects confessed to killing Nat, taking him from the soi where they met on the premise they were going to sell him more drugs at Mabprachan. When they arrived at the lake, Wittawas threatened Nat with the handgun, but accidentally shot him in the leg. At that point, police said, Wittaya took the gun from Wittawas and shot Nat twice more, killing him with a shot to the eye.
Investigators admitted that both Wittaya and Ekpol already had been under investigation for illegal drug use and that a raid on their house had been planned, but was scheduled too late to save Nat.