The Phuket Provincial Court issued a warrant for Bullman’s arrest after he failed to present himself in court on Sept 2.
Bullman faces charges of manslaughter over the death of Mr Bajaj at the Centara Grand Resort on Aug 21.
The now-fugitive Bullman, 53, admitted to choking Mr Bajaj with a restraint hold amid a fight that started over Bullman making too much noise at his hotel room, but he maintained that killing Mr Bajaj was accidental. (See story here.)
“We are looking for him. We are doing our job now,” Karon Chief Police Col Prawit Sutthirueangarun told The Phuket News.
“We know that he is no longer staying at the hotel, but we have no clue where he is,” he added.
The hunt for Bullman now includes all local police and immigration officers, explained Maj Techin Deethongon of the Karon Police.
“We have also requested the assistance of Region 8 Police as we do not have enough officers,” he said.
Maj Techin today told The Phuket News that the search for Bullman began on Sept 3, the same day that he told The Phuket News that he was not worried that the Norwegian would skip bail and flee the island.
Asked whether he thought Bullman would flee before trial, Maj Techin on Sept 3 said, “I don’t think so. He is still around Phuket. His passport is still being held. The Phuket Provincial Court is now the authority responsible for him.” (See story here.)
Asked to clarify how both statements could be true, Maj Techin today said, “Yes, I said that. I didn’t think that he would run away.”
Of note, Bullmam was released on bail by the Phuket Provincial Court after he was arraigned, despite a formal request by Karon Police to deny him the opportunity to be freed on bail. (See story here.)
Although the bail amount has not been made public, Norwegian media in their initial reports noted that that the amount was 60,000 kroner (about B200,000). (See story here.)
At the time of his disappearance, Bullman faced a charge of trespass by an act of violence, which if he is found guilty of will incur a sentence of up to five years in jail or a fine of up to B10,000, or both.
He had also been charged with manslaughter, defined under the Thai Criminal Code as causing the death of a person by inflicting injury upon the body of such person without intent to cause death.
If apprehended, and guilty of manslaughter, Mr Bullman is to face a punishment of three to 15 years imprisonment.