PATTAYA – Andreas Ringvall the alleged murderer of a New Zealand man stabbed to death in Pattaya following an argument over a dog is on the run after he was allowed to leave Thailand.
Police arrested 40-year-old Swede Andreas Ringvall and charged him with the murder of Robert Hollick, 43, who was stabbed with a knife three times in his neck and back during a bar fight in the coastal resort city in August 2012.
Mr Ringvall’s girlfriend Dao Pholutsa, 26, was also arrested when the couple were captured by local people after the stabbing and handed over to police.
Ms Dao told police that Hollick started the fight. She said they tried to back off but Hollick continued to attack Mr Ringvall.
Witnesses told police a different story. They said Mr Ringvall quarrelled with Hollick after Ms Dao played with Hollick’s pet dog in the bar. Mr Ringvall sent his girlfriend back to his room, then returned to the bar and attacked Hollick with a knife, witnesses said.
Mr Hollick’s mother, Anne Hollick, has learnt that Mr Ringvall has been on the run since October when he was allowed to return to Sweden for “family reasons”, according to a report by Stuff.co.nz.
New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry confirmed to Mrs Hollick on Tuesday that Ringvall was missing after he skipped a scheduled court appearance in November.
“I was a little angry that they should treat, not me, but New Zealand this way as though we were so insignificant they could do this without informing the New Zealand Government or whoever they’re supposed to inform,” Mrs Hollick said.
A New Zealand foreign ministry spokeswoman confirmed that the Pattaya Court had granted Ringvall permission to leave Thailand.
He had failed to return and an arrest warrant had been issued by the Thai authorities, she said.
Greg Pitt, managing partner at Thailand law firm Mackenzie Smith, told Stuff.co.nz that it would be highly unusual for someone accused of murder to be granted permission to leave Thailand.
“I think perhaps a brown paper envelope [filled with cash] would have been passed in some way, which is not uncommon,” he said.
“He probably had enough cash – and it has to be cash – to get him out of this.”