By The Nation
Phuket police have launched a manhunt for a Norwegian tourist accused of murdering a British national at the Centara Grand Resort in Karon Beach early on Wednesday (September 4) after he failed to keep his appointment at the provincial court.
UK national, Amitpal Singh Bajaj, 34, was celebrating his 10th wedding anniversary with his wife, a Singaporean national, and their child, when the crime took place.
According to police reports, the Sikh man was staying in a room adjacent to that of Roger Bullman, 54, a Norwegian bodyguard from Oslo.
The two got into an altercation when Bajaj confronted the Norwegian for making too much noise when his wife and child wanted to sleep, according to Major Ekkachai Siri of Phuket Tourist Police.
After questioning Bullman, police pieced the events together, saying the fatal incident took place at around 4am after hotel security had visited Bullman’s room twice to ask him to keep the noise down. Bullman was allegedly drunk at the time.
In his account to police, the Norwegian said that after Bajaj protested about his noisy singing, the two got into an argument and the Briton allegedly attacked him with a knife. The Norwegian, who police said is also a martial arts expert, reportedly got the Briton in a chokehold. According to police, the Norwegian denied any intention to kill the UK man, who was asphyxiated.
Bullman, who faced a manslaughter charge, had been released on a bail guarantee of Bt200,000 by the provincial court.
An arrest warrant was issued for the Norwegian on Thursday (September 5) after he failed to turn up in court. Police have issued a lookout notice for him, while expressing confidence that he could not flee the country as his passport has been confiscated.
According to sources, the accused insisted on being represented by a Norwegian lawyer.
If found guilty of manslaughter, he could face three to 15 years in prison.