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Competing for customers at heart of Phuket market slayings

Competing for customers at heart of Phuket market slayings

PHUKET: Escalating arguments over customers and setting the price of shrimps being sold sparked the shootings at a main fresh market in Phuket Town that left two people dead and three injured.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Monday 10 January 2022, 06:21PM

Region 8 Police Deputy Commanders Maj Gen Wankai Ekaphonphit and Maj Gen Naphanwut Liamsanguan explained the motive for the shootings at a press conference held at Phuket City Police Station in Phuket Town today (Jan 10).

The press conference was held as the arrested ‒ and now confessed ‒ killer, Maneenop Meethong, was escorted to a meeting room on the second floor, where he was questioned by Region 8 Police Commander Lt Gen Amphol Buarabphon.

Maneenop was arrested in his hometown of Hat Yai, in Songkhla province, on Saturday. He was brought back to Phuket to face charges yesterday, the officers reconfirmed.

Maneenop has confessed to fatally shooting Sarayuth Thinsathan, 47, and Toi Limpananurak, 53, and injuring three other people at the Phuket City Municipality Fresh Market 2* on Ong Sim Phai Rd in the heart of Phuket Town at about 10am on Friday (Jan 7).

Maneenop, registered as living in Rassada, and the five people he shot were all shrimp vendors at the market.

The vendors had shrimp stalls next to each other for many years. Often there were conflicting problems with setting the price of products and undercutting each other, the officers explained.

Frustration over customers moving from one stall to the next on a regular basis led to the vendors getting angry at each other, they added.

On the day of the shooting an argument broke out between the vendors and the Maneenop’s wife, resulting in Maneenop going home to fetch his revolver and return to shoot the five other vendors.

Maneenop fired “five to six times” before fleeing the scene in his black Toyota Fortuner, the officers continued

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Maneenop, today confirmed as 49 years old (not 47 as previously told to the press), parked his car near the Laem Hin Pier in Rassada and boarded a passenger boat to the Bang Mad seafood raft off the east coast.

From there he hired a passenger boat to take him to Klong Muang Beach Pier in Krabi. During that part of the journey Maneenop threw his gun into the bay.

On arriving in Krabi, Maneenop made his way to the Krabi Bus Terminal, where he boarded a passenger van to Hat Yai, Songkhla. Officers tracked him down and arrested him at 6pm Saturday, the officers said.

Maneenop has admitted to all charges against him in light of the witnesses and CCTV footage police had as evidence, the officers said.

Maneenop has been charged with murder, illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and illegally carrying a firearm in a public area.

Region 8 Police Commander Lt Gen Amphol, who today received flowers from relatives of the two people slain in the attack, said he will pursue legal proceedings to the utmost.

“The relatives do not need to worry that the gunman [sic] will be released on bail and return to attack them. Everyone will be in good police care,” he said.

The officers today gave no update on the condition of the survivors of the shooting: Ms Aporn Thansathan, 52; Kriengkrai Limpananurak, 56; and his son Pornchai.

* Not Phuket City Municipality Fresh Market 1 on Ranong Rd, as originally reported. The error is regretted.

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Fascinated | 10 January 2022 - 22:46:24

'Grown' men, teenage tempers, no concept of a free market economy and guns- never a good mix. With harder times ahead unfortunately this is not the last time tempers will flare leading to loss of life.


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