A former casino operator was arrested and charged yesterday with masterminding the murder of a man whose information prompted police to raid and shut down his gambling den.
Somchai Jutikitdecha, aka “Longjoo Somchai,” 56, is accused of ordering the death of motorcycle taxi rider Prathum Sa-adnak, 47, who was shot dead in Pattaya on 28th July last year.
He was arrested by the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) at his two-rai residence on Rat Bamrung Road in tambon Noen Phra of Muang district about 6 am yesterday morning.
Assets estimated to be worth about 800 million baht, including a yacht, 4 sports cars and the house were also seized, Pol Maj Gen Jiraphob Bhuridet, deputy commissioner of the CIB said.
Police believe Somchai ordered the hit because he thought Prathum had told police about a gambling den he owned in the resort city and which was raided in February last year.
The initial investigation into the shooting saw police arrest suspected gunmen Manas Imnam, 39, and Niphon Panthong, 47 for the murder. They claimed during questioning that they had a personal conflict with the victim. However, the victim’s relatives disputed the story and complained to national police chief Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk.
Further inquiries revealed the gunmen were hired by two men identified as Suphan Mai-ngam, 53, and Thaworn Sarakul, 53, who were arrested on 9th December, police said.
Both men allegedly worked for Somchai and ran his casinos which were also linked to a number of COVID-19 infections in the east of the country last year.
Somchai’s 26-year-old son, Thana, was also arrested yesterday. He was charged with hosting gambling, and money laundering.