Murder mastermind arrested, confesses – police
PHUKET: Winaporn Ratakarn, the mastermind behind the shooting murder on Saturday (June 9) of a 55-year-old woman, was arrested this afternoon (June 12) at her home in Pa Khlok. She has confessed, police say.
Tuesday 12 June 2012, 09:49PM
Sumittra Namfuk was shot in the head with a .22 caliber gun as she sat watching television at her home on Soi Rakchart U-Thit, Thungtong.
That same day, three men suspected to have carried out the murder were arrested as they attempted to leave Phuket through the Tha Chat Chai Checkpoint in their pick-up truck, which had been identified from CCTV footage. (See earlier story here)
The three – Aroon Pantarn, 28, who organised the murder, gunman Sawit Jongrak, 28, and driver Sanguan Poongen, 26 – later admitted to their parts in the killing.
They named Winaporn, 46, as the person behind the hit.
After questioning her today, police said that Winaporn had admitted that she had asked a relative, Sirawat Ratakarn, 44, said to be a former village headman, to arrange the shooting.
Police also arrested Sirawat at his house on Koh Yao Noi and brought him to Phuket. He has so far denied any involvement.
Ms Winaporn told police that she and Ms Sumittra had previously been close friends.
But their relationship was wrecked when Ms Winaporn went to pick Summitra up recently from her house in Thungtong and found her in the arms of Ms Winaporn’s British boyfriend.
Her fury at finding her best friend with her boyfriend motivated the murder, Ms Winaporn told police.
She contacted her relative, Sirawat, who, she alleged, contacted Aroon to arrange a contract hit. She is believed to have paid around B100,000 to the various parties to the contract.
Police are still questioning Sirawat. An official press conference about the case is expected to be held tomorrow.