Two suspects in daytime Pattaya motorbike taxi murder killed him for a verbal insult while drinking, say police

Two suspects who are accused of shooting a 47 year old motorbike taxi driver in Pattaya in broad daylight earlier this week, leading to his death, have been charged with murder.

Police later traced and arrested the two prime suspects, who were named as Mr. Manat Imamu, 39, and Niphon Panthong, 45, in Bangsaen while they were attempting to withdraw money from an ATM. The two men had previously left behind the motorbike, weapon and clothing used in the crime at a small apartment off of Soi five in Nongprue before fleeing, according to Pattaya Police.

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A re-enactment of the crime was conducted yesterday, in Pattaya, with the two suspects. A re-enactment is a critical part of Thai law to achieve a guilty verdict in court. This involved the two suspects showing Pattaya Police officers, including Chief Khemmarin Pissamai, how the crime unfolded. Police blocked off portions of the area behind Pattaya School 8, near Walking Street, for the procedure.

The Pattaya City Police Chief Colonel Khemmarin Pissamai told The Pattaya News that one of the suspects had allegedly admitted to the primary motive. According to Police Chief Khemmarin, the suspects had been part of a drinking circle with the victim, 47 year old Prathum Saartnak, earlier this week. Prathum had allegedly made several personal insults about one of the two suspects in front of the group of drinkers, causing the group to laugh at the suspect. Due to the loss of reputation from this incident, the suspects decided the only way to properly correct the issue was to murder the victim.

The two suspects have been charged with murder, illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, discharging a firearm in public and carrying a gun in public without a permit. They remain in police custody without bail at this time.

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