PATTAYA – August 28, 2012 [PDN]; at 12:30 a.m., a report of a fatal shooting of a fishing boat crewman was reported to Pol. Lt. Col. Rattapak Sophap, investigating officer, Sattahip police station, Chonburi province.
He rushed to the scene with Pol. Col. Chonnapat Nawalak, Superintendent, Sattahip police station; Pol. Lt. Col. Prakorb Saengpring, Deputy Superintendent; Pol. Lt. Col. Niphon Pomsanarm, Deputy Superintendent; the detective police team; and rescue officers of the Sawangrojjanathammasathan Sattahip foundation.
At the scene, police found many crew members gathered at the orange-white colored fishing boat, named “Sirijinda,” approximatedly 15 Wa long, parked at the port Moo 4 Tambon Bang Sarey, Amphur Sattahip, Chonburi province.
On the upper deck of the boat, police found the body of Mr. Don, age 35, nationality Burmese. He was lying face down in a pool of blood, shirtless, and wearing only blue pants.
There was a gunshot wound near his left ear from a gun of unknown caliber. The bullet had splattered some of his brain outside his skull. Police did not find the bullet collar or any evidence left by the gunman.
Police took photographs at the incident for evidence before letting the rescue officer take the corpse to perform an autopsy at Sattahip hospital.
Police questioned the master of the boat, Mr. Chairat Promsiri, age 48. He said he had hired Mr. Don as a crewmember for one month. In that time, Mr. Don had worked peacefully with other crewmen without any quarrels.
Before the shooting, the boat was parked at the port and the crew was allowed to travel on shore. However, Mr. Don was assigned the duty to take care of the boat. Mr. Chairat then went to stay with his family at his house, leaving Mr. Don alone on the boat.
Mr. Thana Peamphol, age 38, a witness, told police that he had left his house to go fishing at the end of the bridge, which was not far from the docked boat.
Then he saw a man with long hair ride up in a black Yamaha Feno motorbike. The man parked his bike about 20 meters from the boat. The dark-skinned man was about 30 years old, and was wearing a black shirt.
The man walked up to the boat in a suspicious manner, Mr. Thana said. He then heard the man talking to the victim, and later heard them arguing. Then Mr. Thana heard the loud noise of a gunshot. Afterwards, the gunman walked back to his motorbike and rode away.
The investigating officer was commanded to call every witness to investigate further, and also check CCTV footage from nearby areas to see whether the gunman could be spotted along his escape route.
The police assumed two causes for the murder: either a betrayal doing illegal business, or personal revenge.
A later investigation by police has turned up evidence as to the identity and whereabouts of the gunman. But police could not yet reveal details as it may have an impact on the case. However, they expect to make an arrest soon.