1 dead, injured in motorbike-taxi turf war


The head of a Naklua motorbike-taxi crew is suspected of beating one man to death and injuring another in a dispute over business turf.

Samran Phianketkit, 42, died at the taxi stand on Soi Potisan 8 Sept. 21. Somyos Ketmanee, 43, sustained minor injuries in a fight at a nearby snooker parlor. A driver, identified only as “Udd”, is wanted in the attacks.

Taxi driver Pairat Rungruang, 46, said the incident stemmed from Udd, who operates another stand in front of the CP Freshmart in Naklua, was trying to take over the Soi Potisan area. After several arguments, he came to the stand with backup looking for Somyos and found only Samran, who works at a nearby hotel and was only there to meet a driver friend.

Udd interrogated Samran, asking where Somyos was, and when he didn’t get an answer, Udd beat the bystander to death with a club, Pairait said.

The suspect and fellow thugs then went into the snooker parlor where they found Somyos, who they beat up, Pairat told police.

Police said they have probable identifications on all the attackers and expect to make an arrest.