Four other suspects, including the gunman and the getaway driver, remain at large, Kathu Police Deputy Chief Investigator Lt Col Amponwat Seangreung told The Phuket News.
Mr Sakol, 58, was found dead in the cab of his tuk-tuk at about 3am last Tuesday in front of the Phuket Villa housing estate on Phra Phuket Kaew Rd in Kathu. The tuk-tuk had come under repeated fire at close range. (See story here.)
Wattana “Dam” Nawakeaw, 38, was taken into custody after a warrant for his arrest was issued on Friday (Oct 28), Col Amponwat said.
“The warrant was issued on evidence presented by Kathu Police showing the involvement of two of six suspects involved the crime. The evidence included CCTV footage and witness statements,” he said.
Wattana faces charges of conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to illegally obtaining a firearm, and conspiracy to bringing a gun into a public area without permission, Col Amponwat noted.
The second suspect, a 17-year-old who police named only as “Tong”, was arrested at a rental room on Sakdidet Rd on Friday (Oct 28), he said.
The teenager faces the same charges, Col Amponwat added.
“Wattana has denied all charges, but Tong has admitted to all the charges against him,” Col Amponwat said.
Col Amponwat explained that Mr Sakol, 58, had been engaged in conflicts over operating tuk-tuks in Patong for a long time.
“Mr Sakol also had previously filed a complaint with police that Mr Wattana was using illegal tuk-tuks to serve tourists in Patong,” Col Amponwat explained.
“Mr Wattana was arrested in September this year,” he added.
“We believe that this inspired Mr Wattana to plan to murder Mr Sakol with Tong,” Col Amponwat said.
“Police are still looking for four other suspects – the gunman, the getaway driver and two other suspects wanted for their involvement in the crime.
“We know that these four suspects have fled the province already, but we have warrants of arrest issued for them and we are working with other police to bring them in,” Col Amponwat added.