(CTN News) – Taiwan police arrested a second man earlier this month on suspicion of murdering a Thai couple – the woman pregnant with twins. With Santi and another Thai national, “Thanawat” admitted beating the couple to death with an iron rod.
Santi surrendered to the police in Chiang Dao, northern Thailand, on Friday. Santi was interrogated by the police all day Friday and Saturday. Santi, 35, admitted masterminding the murders, but denied killing the couple himself.
Two other Thai men acted as assassins, he said. Yesterday morning, the Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Thanawat Pookhemthong and Samart Sae Lee, the two alleged assassins.
The police arrested Thanawat, 42, yesterday in front of a house in Dong Mun district, Kalasin province, on suspicion of “joint premeditated murder”.
Thanawat admitted beating the couple to death with iron rods before stuffing their bodies into a BMW. According to Thanawat, he fled back to Thailand and hid in Kalasin province.
Thanawat said Santi planned the murders, bought the plane tickets and offered him and Samart 500,000 baht each to murder the couple. Before the murders, he gave them each 20,000 baht.
According to Thailand’s Central Investigation Bureau, Santi and two accomplices killed 35-year-old Potjanee Norat – pregnant with twins – and her husband Prasert Norat over a drug conflict.
The details of the conflict were not discussed with Santi despite thorough interrogation. His motives are not “convinced” by police.
Three suspects allegedly returned to Thailand on June 11, the day before the Thai couple’s bodies were found the next day outside a high-speed rail station in Taoyuan near Taipei.
Santi fled Thailand before police could catch him, but later contacted Thai police to say he “felt guilty” and wanted to turn himself in. Santi remains in police custody.