KANCHANABURI: Five suspects arrested on Wednesday in connection to the murder of a 56-year-old employer have admitted to charges of murder and concealing the body after failing to completely destroy it by burning, police said on Thursday.
The suspects are Thai nationals Phuphathong Phathongphum, 36, Natthaphon Wiwatkunthon, 27, Montri Sunkham, 22, and two Myanmar citizens identified only as Soni, 25, and New Aung, 36, said Pol Col Phumin Phumphanmuang, chief of the Crime Suppression Division’s (CSD) Sub-Division 5.
They were charged with colluding in premeditated murder and concealing and destroying the victim’s body.
Police said Mr Phuphathong admitted to being the mastermind behind the murder of Nawaphong Satchathamphiwat. He and Soni were employees of the dead man, while the three other suspects were friends of Soni, said Pol Col Phumin.
On the day of the murder, Soni and New Aung visited the victim at his home in Sai Yok district. While Soni went into the house by pretending to ask for a meal, New Aung waited outside, said Pol Col Phumin.
Mr Phuphathong, who was also in the house at the time, bludgeoned Nawaphong repeatedly until he collapsed. He also stabbed the victim three times with a knife before New Aung came in and began hitting the victim, said Pol Col Phumin.
New Aung then drove the victim’s pickup truck to collect Mr Montri and Mr Natthaphon, who later helped carry the body to be burned in a cassava plantation about 10 kilometres away from the crime scene.
They used the victim’s own mattress, one used tyre and petrol to set the body alight. However, the fire failed to destroy the body, so they buried the partially burnt remains, said Pol Col Phumin.
He added that Soni had hacked off the victim’s head with a hoe before the body was buried.
Soni returned to the site three days later to dig up the head of the body and burn it before he scattered the remains in a river, in a funeral rite he remorsefully performed for the victim, said Pol Col Phumin.
Mr Phuphathong, meanwhile, admitted to having instructed Soni, his close aide, to kill Nawaphong, following a quarrel between Mr Phuphathong and the victim.
The men had argued after the victim discovered Mr Phuphathong had an affair with his wife, according to Pol Col Phumin.
Mr Phuphathong denied murdering his employer for his assets, said Pol Col Phumin, but admitting to having planned the murder for one month.
Soni told police he actually respected the victim but he claimed to have been brainwashed into believing that the victim was practising black magic, which caused the people in his family to become ill, said Pol Col Phumin.
Prior to the arrest of the five, Phesek Satchathamphiwat, 21, son of the victim, reported his father’s disappearance to police in August, saying he feared for his father’s life and he suspected Mr Phuphathong was out to harm him.
Mr Phesek also told police that Mr Phuphathong, who was hired in 2012 by his father to work at his farm, began an affair with his mother about a year ago.
Source : BangkokPost