It has been reported by Euro Weekly News that Spanish police have arrested Shane Looker, the prime suspect in the murder of Nana Plaza bar girl Laxami “Pook” Manochat back in 2014.
Many, including myself, had thought the case had gone cold and the 47-year-old Brit had got away with murder with no updates since he pleaded his innocence in February 2015, three months after he fled Thailand.
Lead detective in the case at the time Pol Lt-Gen Werapong Chuenpagdee held a press conference in January 2015 stating that an arrest warrant had been issued by Kanchanaburi provincial court for Looker and the Royal Thai Police would seek assistance from Interpol to arrest the British suspect.
Looker, originally from Stoke, England, was the last known person to be seen with Ms Manochat on November 2nd. Police have DNA evidence connecting him to her murder.
On 9th November 2014 it was reported the cut up body of a woman had been found in a suitcase thrown into the Mae Klong River in Kanchanaburi. The body in the suitcase was linked to a missing Soi 4 bar worker from Si Saket on Nov 16th. Police issued CCTV images of the victim leaving Nana Plaza, where she worked as a dancer in the Rainbow 4 go-go bar, with a well-built white man.
Over the course of the next few weeks video footage and new photos were released with fresh appeals for information as police had few leads in the case.
At the beginning of December there were several tip offs to this site that included Looker’s full name, nationality, his address in Hua Hin, a photo of his passport from the immigration system and where he was in hiding, all of which were passed on to Pol Lt-Gen Werapong.
In mid December a search warrant was issued for a property at Tippawan 5 in Hua Hin believed to be the residence of Looker. During the search police discovered the shorts and t-shirt he’d been wearing on the night of November 1st when he was captured on CCTV.
DNA samples taken from several items including nail clippers and a toothbrush matched DNA found in the victim’s nails.
The investigation also led police to a store where Looker had purchased rocks similar to those discovered in the suitcase with the body.
Looker fled Thailand into Malaysia via the Padang Besar border crossing by train on November 24th and headed to Ibiza where he was arrested at a garage on Thursday.
He has been jailed pending extradition proceedings.
Photo Credit: ultimahora.es
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.