Bangkok (AP) — Police in northern Thailand said Tuesday they have discovered the buried bodies of a missing British expatriate and his Thai wife, and have arrested the woman’s brother for allegedly ordering their murder.
Col. Manas Kerdsukho, the police commander for Phrae province, said the bodies of 64-year-old retired petroleum engineer Alan Hogg and his 61-year-old wife Nhot Suddaen were discovered on the property of their home. They had to be dug up by earth-moving equipment.
He said the killers had been traced after stealing the couple’s pickup truck, and that they had confessed after their arrest to being hired by Nhot’s brother to kill them.
Police then arrested the brother, who they said confessed to ordering the killing over a family dispute.
“He killed his own sister,” Manas said.
The victims, who had been together for 30 years, had been dead for about a week, according to police.
Manas said Hogg was shot with a shotgun and Nhot died after being bludgeoned on the back of the head, shattering her skull.
The police officer said an issue that likely contributed to the murders was that Hogg would often buy assets using the names of his Thai family members, including his wife’s brother, who wanted to sell some of those assets. Because of legal restrictions on foreign ownership of land and companies, foreigners living in Thailand often have assets in the names of Thai relatives or associates.
“The deceased had a lot of money. And some of his assets are still in the suspect’s name,” Manas said.
The deceased couple had traveled back and forth between Thailand and the United Kingdom for a long time, but settled in Thailand in 2014, Manas said, adding that they have a daughter who lives in England.