A man wanted by police for shooting and killing his estranged wife’s lover in a Spa Tub at a resort in northeastern Thailand has been apprehended in northern Thailand.
He was apprehended at a road checkpoint by Police in Lampang province.
Crime Suppression police on Friday announced the arrest of Mr. Rungroj Thianyoi, 40, a wealthy businessman at Mahachai market in Samut Sakhon province.
He was wanted for the murder of Mr. Yutthaphan Phuang-ngam, 27, his estranged wife’s lover at a resort in Khon Kaen on Sept 7.
Thursday morning, a housekeeper discovered the dead man in the blood-stained water of a large curtained-off hot tub outside a bungalow room. He and the killer’s 39-year-old ex-wife, Ms. Benjamat Phukham, had checked-in together. The estranged wife was missing.
According to Crime Suppression Police, the suspect took Ms Benjamat with him at gunpoint as he fled in her vehicle. They learned that he and his ex-wife hostage were heading North so they set up checkpoints along the route.
Their vehicle was stopped in northern Thailand’s Lampang province and arrested.
At the time of the arrest Ms Benjamat was sitting in the vehicles front passenger seat, unharmed. Police found a 9mm handgun and 47 rounds of ammunition in the car.
Mr Rungroj was taken to the Lampang police station where he was formally charged with murder and illegal possession of a firearm.
According to Pol Col Wiwat Jitsophakul, superintendent of CSD sub-division 3, Mr Rungroj was headed for Chiang Mai when he was arrested.
He said the ex-husband admitted to shooting his ex-wife’s lover three times in the hot tub. However, there was a conflict between his and Ms Benjamat’s statements about the motive that led to the shooting.
Rungroj claims Ms Benjamat asked him to shoot the man over finances. According to her, Mr Rungroj followed her to the resort out of jealousy. He had hunted her down after a relative allegedly told him she was Khon Kaen.
According to her, she and Mr Rungroj had a lot of conflicts and their relationship ended about a month ago and she returned to her family in Khon Kaen.
There she met her new boyfriend, Mr. Yutthaphan. They had gone together to the resort in Khon Kaen, where her ex-husband found them and shot her lover three times while they were both in the hot tub.
Police were told by the resort’s owner, who declined to be named, that Ms. Benjamat booked the room on Sept 1 and checked in on Wednesday. The victim and she arrived in a Honda Civic.
When the suspect discovered they were at the resort, he tried to book a room, but none were available. Room finally became available and booked took it.
According to the resort owner, Mr Rungroj arrived on a motorcycle on Wednesday and checked into room 4.
At around 8pm on Wednesday, other guests informed resort staff that three shots had been fired in the resort. When the resort owner’s daughter-in-law checked, she saw Mr Rungroj holding onto Ms Benjamat, leaving the resort.
Mr. Rungroj allegedly told the woman that he and Ms. Benjamat were going out and would come back later. He then put her in the passenger seat and drove off.
A housekeeper discovered the dead man the next morning when she came to clean the room. The victim had been shot three times, and was lying dead in the hot tub.
Police in Khon Kaen said that the suspect had earlier checked into another resort a kilometer from the crime scene while driving a Mercedes Benz with Bangkok plates. An employee of the resort loaned him a motorcycle.
In his conversation with the employee, he mentioned that he was looking for his wife. He said she was staying at a resort but he did not know which one. He showed the employee a photo of her on his phone and told him he planned to meet her there.
Source: Bangkok Post
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