Monday, September 16, 2019

Five suspects arrested over Hat Yai gang shootout

Jan 24. 2018
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By Santiparp Ramasut
The Nation

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Five suspects have been taken into police custody in relation to a shooting incident in downtown Hat Yai in Songkhla province early on Monday morning that followed an apparent quarrel between two gangs’ leaders, who used to be best friends, over a woman, Provincial Police Region 9commissioner said on Wednesday.

Pol Lt-General Ronnasilp Phusara said the five apprehended suspects were Kriengsak “Sak Phasuk” Thirachai, 35, and Ratchapol Ratchai, 21, from the “Sak Phasuk gang”, and Suchet “Aun Siangteung” Suwanwong, 32, Thanapoil Chaisan, 35, and Ekkarat Nopparat, 24, from the “Aun Siangteung gang”. 

Police probe found that Kriengsak and Suchet used to be best friends until Suchet’s ex-girlfriend started a romantic relationship with Kriengsak, resulting in a rivalry and subsequent move in which one gang declared war on the other on a Facebook Live broadcast, Ronnasilp said. 

The five men – facing three charges of attempted murder, carrying and firing guns in public, and illegal gun possession – would be brought to apply for court-issued detention order later and police would object their bail release, he added. 

Some of them might face additional charges of giving false information to police as they were suspected of willingly confessing to cover for others, he said. 

Ronnasilp said police had seized two pistols along with 18 bullets, clothes the suspects wore on the day and three cars involved.

One elusive suspect only known by the nickname “Tu” was still being sought. Police also said they would inquire further as they suspected that more people were in the cars involved in the shooting.

The shooting, which police later concluded to have involved three cars, saw gang members spray nearly 20 bullets at each other, as they crossed Jootee Anusorn Road in front of the Hansa JB Hotel at about 12.30am on Monday before speeding off in different directions. The shooting also damaged four other nearby cars. 

No one appeared to have been injured, as bystanders quickly ducked and hit the ground or sought cover.


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