Phuket reporter's alleged assassin arrested
PHUKET: The man who allegedly pulled the trigger in the assassination of Phuket reporter Wisut “Ae inside” Tangwittayaporn, a year ago almost to the day, was arrested in Cha-am, Phetburi, at 7 am today (January 13).
Sunday 13 January 2013, 09:47PM
Tossapon Katekeaw, also known as Sanya “Noo” Klinchum, was arrested after police received information that he was hiding out in the seaside district just north of Hua Hin. He is currently being held in police cells in Cha-am.
It was revealed that he was also wanted for the shooting of Kra Aromdee in Cha-am on August 1, 2004.
Mr Wisut was shot on the edge of Phuket Town on January 12 last year. The gunman put four closely-grouped shots through the windshield of his car, hitting him in the chest, throat and right shoulder.
His wife Jiraporn, who was in the passenger seat was unharmed but Mr Wisut died of his wounds just hours later.
After the murder the gunman got on the back of a motorbike and was driven away. The motorbike driver, Noppadon “Pae” Praisri, 41, from Petchburi, was swiftly tracked down, and was arrested four days later.
He named the shooter and said the man who arranged the hit for the buyer was called “Boy”.
There was considerable speculation about who might have paid for the hit - as a result of his reporting, some investigative, some scurrilous, Mr Wisut had many enemies.
On January 21, however, police decided they knew who had paid for the assassination. They named him as Assadakorn “Pod” Seedokbuab, 48, director of KPP Cable TV and a vice-chairman of the Phuket Chamber of Commerce.
Assadakorn surrendered to police on February 16. He denied ordering the hit, saying that he and Mr Wisut were the best of friends. “We had a tight relationship. I can’t think of any reasons why I would want to kill him.”
He said he had even provided financial aid to Mr Wisut when the journalist flew to Bangkok to support the Red Shirt protests in 2010.
However, the then-Superintendent of Phuket City Police, Col Chote Chitchai, said police had strong evidence pointing to Assadakorn’s involvement in the murder of Ae Inside.
Despite police objections, Assadakorn was later released on bail of B3.4 million
One man remains at large - Somkuan “Boy” Pandee, 48, the man who supposedly organised the hit on Mr Wisut and provided the weapon. Tossapon told police that he did not know why Mr Wisut was to be shot; he just received the go-ahead and carried out the murder.
Somkuan is therefore the link, as yet missing, between the assassination team and the buyer.