According to Thailand’s Deputy National Police Chief Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, transnational criminal gangs in Thailand face a massive crackdown following the arrest of suspects in the murder of a German businessman in the city.
Late Tuesday night, Pol Gen Surachate convened an emergency meeting of Chon Buri province’s local police forces, including Pattaya Tourist Police, Pattaya Immigration Police, and Chon Buri Provincial Police, to discuss the arrest of suspects in the gruesome murder of Hans Peter Walter Mack, 62, last week.
On Monday night, investigators who had been following up leads based on security camera video discovered Mack’s dismembered body in a freezer inside a residence in tambon Nong Prue of Bang Lamung district. His family hadn’t seen him since July 4.
Following the conference, Pol Gen Surachate stated that two German nationals, Olaf Thorsten Brinkmann, 52, and Petra Christl Grundgreif, 54, had been detained by Nong Prue police on Tuesday. They were charged with theft and murder conspiracy.
Zahrouk Kareem Uddin, a Pakistani man with Thai nationality, was arrested on Wednesday in Kanchanaburi province, according to a police source.
Furthermore, Nicole Frevel, 52, a German national, has been charged with relocating Mack’s body to conceal his death. She lives in the house where the freezer was kept.
Nong Prue police head Pol Col Thawee Kudthalaeng confirmed that officers have requested pre-trial custody for all suspects from the Pattaya Provincial Court. Mr Brinkmann had declined to speak with investigators, alleging that he needed to be accompanied at all times by his lawyer.
According to Pol Gen Surachate, police are looking into whether any Thai suspects are supporting Mr Brinkmann’s “Outlaw” criminal organisation.
“These transnational criminal gangs are led by foreigners who live in the Bang Lamung district’s tambon Nong Prue.” Any foreigner who want to conduct business in the Pattaya area must make contact with these mafias. “Police have been directed to crack down on them,” said Pol Gen Surachate.
He further stated that those implicated in such crimes will have their tourist passports cancelled and will eventually be deported.
According to Pol Gen Surachate, the cause for the murder could have been a quarrel between Mack and the suspects. The Outlaw gang has a reputation in Thailand for extorting money from foreign businessmen.
Meanwhile, Thai and Chinese police have agreed to increase cooperation in cases involving Chinese criminal suspects fleeing to Thailand to evade arrest in China.
Immigration Bureau (IB) personnel visited China recently, led by Pol Lt Gen Pakpoompipat Sajjapan, to discuss international crimes involving Chinese individuals.
From Saturday to Wednesday, Pol Lt Gen Pakpoompipat, who received the order from national police commander Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas, travelled to Kunming for consultations with China’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS), Yunan province’s Public Security Department, and other agencies.
Pol Maj Gen Phanthana Nutchanart, deputy chief of the IB, stated that negotiations with Chinese officials are taking place in response to numerous complaints of Chinese criminals migrating to Thailand and Chinese committing crimes in Thailand.
The IB communicated information with Chinese authorities regarding Chinese offenders in order to increase cooperation between the two countries and to prevent criminal elements from fleeing to Thailand and committing new crimes.
According to Pol Maj Gen Phanthana, the discussion panels decided to share information about arrest warrants for Chinese suspects who flee to Thailand or have some relationship with the country.
The Chinese authorities also pledged to transmit a list of their most wanted suspects to the Thailand IB so that it might track them down and import that information into the IB’s notification system for future action.
According to Pol Maj Gen Phanthana, the panel would also collect reports on international fugitives for future deliberations.