CHIANG RAI – A Mae Sai Kamnan (Village head) who allegedly killed two Thai workers in Japan 21 years ago and jumped bail following his arrest in Chiang Rai last year has been apprehended in the province.
Mr. Buntha Chanthaphun, kamnan of tambon Ban Dai of Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district, was arrested Tuesday at a house in the tambon.
Pol Col Charoonkiat Pankaew, chief of the Crime Suppression Division (CSD)’s Sub-Division 4, said Mr Buntha was hired by three Thai men to murder Prayut Ngandi and Rati Duankhruea in Ibaraki prefecture, northeast of Tokyo, on March 24, 1996.
The trio who allegedly hired the killer were identified as Saksamut Yangmang, Mangkon Sutthaduk and Chatri Khrueangsanuk. The three, who were arrested by Japanese police, allegedly said they hired Mr Buntha to carry out the murder as they believed the two victims stole money from them. The men were said to have stolen the cash from vending machines in Japan.
Following the killing, Mr Buntha flew back to Thailand and held up in Chiang Rai, where he was arrested on Jan 15 last year.
He was later granted court bail with 700,000 baht in surety but still served as tambon chief. However, he failed to report to the court as requested, prompting the court and the Japanese embassy in Thailand to contact the Crime Suppression Division.