Police today released photos of a Spanish national they believe was involved in the kidnap and murder of his fellow countryman David Bernat whose dismembered body was found in the Chao Phraya river earlier this week.
At a press conference held on Friday afternoon, the lead investigator on the case Pol Gen Panya Mamen together with the RTP Spokesman Dechnarong Sutticharnbancha told reporters Artur Segarra, 36, from Barcelona is still at large and wanted for questioning.
The murder suspect was captured by security cameras at an ATM in Wang Noi district of Ayutthaya province on Thursday as he made a cash withdrawal leading investigators to believe he is still in the country.
Pol Gen Panya said border checkpoints were on high alert with officers posted at the Aranyaprathet Immigration Checkpoint on the Cambodian being extra vigilant as he’d used this crossing several times recently.
Police believe Segarra had been living close to a boxing camp in the Lardprao area of the city. He had also been captured on security cameras in the company of a Thai prostitute on Sukhumvit Soi 4.
His visa expired on December 10th after making 13 trips in and out the country, according to police.
Mr Bernat had been missing since January 20th, the day after he arrived in Thailand, and it’s believed he was killed between January 25-27 after being kidnapped, forced to transfer millions of baht through online banking transactions before being murdered.
It’s believed Segarra did not act alone and was part of a foreign gang who had some degree of help from locals.
During a search of the dead mans Nana apartment officers found several bank books and discovered several transactions via internet banking to the Kbank account of Artur Segarra.
The latest transaction was over 100,000 US dollars withdrawn from his Singapore account.
It was also revealed the suspect had used Mr Bernat’s bank card to withdraw cash from several ATM machines in Bangkok earlier in the week and at Rojana Industrial Park in Ayutthaya yesterday.
Mr Bernat had made over 250 trips to Thailand in the past decade on business last entering on January 19th from Iran on Mahan Air.
Police said yesterday they were confident of making arrests within 48 hours and from the latest update there is nothing to suggest they won’t have Segarra in cuffs within that time frame.
Chemical Engineer Caught Running ‘E’ And Meth Lab In Nonthaburi
A chemical engineer who turned to producing Ecstacy pills and crystal meth at his condo in Nonthaburi was arrested this morning by officers from the Narcotics Suppression Bureau.
The Saturday morning raid on a building in Bang Kruai District, Nonthaburi was led by Police General Manu Makemok, Deputy Commissioner General, Royal Thai Police and Police Lieutenant General Montree Yimyaem, commissioner of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau.
Inside the apartment, the prime suspect, 42-year-old suspect Patiwet “Heisenberg” Suwankiri was apprehended.
Drug production equipment and chemical precursors were seized along with 20,000 Ecstacy tablets and 50 grams of crystal meth.
Police General Manu said that the Narcotics Suppression Bureau got a tip that there was a group of pill producers who sold E tablets to entertainment venues in Bangkok.
A surveillance operation was set up and pinpointed Prayoon Thapinna as the dealer. He was taken in for questioning and soon after he folded like a deckchair telling cops who “Heisenberg” was.
During questioning “Heisenberg” was evasive saying he sold the drugs to tourists and that he imported the chemical precursors from online dealers.
Police dismissed both explanations as tourism in Thailand is virtually non-existent due to Covid-19 and the chemicals and tools needed to produce the E and meth have been on a banned list for many years.
He did admit to producing the drugs in his apartment saying he used the knowledge from when he studied chemical engineering
Investigators are working to find more people involved in the operation as the set-up was capable of producing around 3,000 tablets per day.
Photo Credit: 77kaoded
CCSA Overturn BMA Order To Reopen Parks, Other Businesses
The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has overturned the plan by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to allow five types of businesses and venues, including public parks and beauty salons, to open June 1.
Following the BMA Communicable Disease Committee meeting on Monday it was announceed that restrictions on traditional Thai massage parlours, museums, public parks, botanical gardens, learning centres, spas, nail and beauty salons and tattoo parlours would be lifted.
The news was welcomed by many with business owners getting to work in preperation for the sudden rreopening.
Then came the infamous flip-flop by the government when it was reported the CCSA had put the plan on hold for at least a further 14 days.
No reason was given for the sudden change.
Public Parks In Bangkok Reopening Jun 1
This order was later overturned by the CCSA and the plan has been put on hold for at least a further 14 days.
Following a meeting of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration Communicable Disease Committee today, it has been announced that public parks in the capital can reopen from June 1.
The committee, chaired by Governor Aswin, also lifted restrictions on traditional Thai massage parlours, museums, botanical gardens, learning centres, spas, nail and beauty salons and tattoo parlours.
Other establishments currently shuttered are to remain closed until at least June 14, 2021.
The news comes despite the capital reporting over 1,300 Covid-cases on Monday, however, the current crop of clusters are in migrant worker camps and wet markets.
While most welcomed the news that parks will reopen allowing outdoor exercise again, dozens in the expat community continued to grumble that gyms and fitness centres will remain closed.