The news comes as the parents of the wife, 29-year-old Zhang Jia, report that her husband, Zhang Yifan, 31, from Tianjin, had taken out life insurance policies amounting to more than B142 million in the months leading up to the family holiday in Phuket.
Zhang Yifan was taken into custody on Nov 2 after he confessed to police that he lost control of his temper and drowned his wife in a hotel pool at a “luxury private hotel” in Kamala, Capt Ekkachai Siri of the Phuket Tourist Police told The Phuket News today (Dec 13).
"He is now in Phuket Prison waiting for his prosecution in court to conclude,” Capt Ekkachai said.
Police originally questioned Zhang on Oct 29 while investigating Zhang Jia’s death.
“Police were responding to a report that his wife drowned in the hotel pool and was later pronounced dead at Patong Hospital,” Capt Ekkachai said.
Zhang was allowed to leave Thailand on Oct 30 in order to take the couple’s 20-month-old daughter home. Zhang returned to Phuket to collect his wife’s body, Capt Ekkachai explained.
“But Kamala Police suspicious of the circumstances of Zhang Jia’s death brought him back in questioning on Nov 2,” he said.
That was when Zhang confessed to the killing.
“Zhang confessed that he hurt his wife and she died after he pushed and held her head in the pool while both of them were arguing. He was charged with inflicting injury on another person causing death,” Capt Ekkachai confirmed.
Zhang Jia’s parents have since claimed that in the months leading up to the holiday to Phuket, Zhang had taken out more than a dozen life insurance policies on his wife totalling more than 30 million yuan (about B142.66 million) – with Zhang as the sole beneficiary, reports the English-language Shangai.ist. (See story here.)
The Shanghai.ist report, posted yesterday (Dec 12), cites the news breaking in the Chinese-language The Paper on Monday (Dec 10). (See The Paper report here.)
The parents also claim that 158GB of porn was found on Zhang’s computer.
Capt Ekkachai today said that police had no knowledge of the insurance policies, or the porn, said the report.
“Zhang said nothing about insurance during questioning. He just said that he lost control while arguing with his wife, hence police never investigated it,” he said.
Regarding the porn allegedly found on Zhang’s computer, Capt Ekkachai confirmed, “We had no knowledge about his either, hence we did not investigate it.”
Additional reporting by Nattinee Kittisitto