The family of the deceased German real estate broker, Hans Peter Mack, commended Thai police for swiftly cracking the case.
First our previous story:
Now for our update:
The Thailand deputy national police chief, Pol General Surachet Hakparn, revealed to Thai media on Saturday, July 15th, 2023, that the family of Hans Peter Mack recently contacted him to consult about the funeral arrangements of the victim.
He stated that the family was relieved knowing that all prime suspects had been arrested and that the victim’s stolen money had been recovered.
Regarding the progress of the investigation, Pol Gen Surachet revealed five suspects had been arrested or detained, with four of them still denying their involvement. The landlord of the house where Mack’s body was found had also cooperated in the investigation. The primary suspect and alleged ringleader is still believed to be Mr. Olaf Brinkmann, 52, from Germany, although he has denied all charges and refuses to speak to police except through his legal team. Brinkmann was charged with premeditated murder and could potentially face the death penalty.
Suspect Shahruek Uddin, 27, a Thai/Pakistani national, has been highly cooperative with Thai police and has claimed that Brinkmann threatened to murder his parents and kidnap his wife and sister if he didn’t help with Brinkmann’s plans to dispose of the body of Mr. Mack.
A lawyer’s assistant for Brinkmann has previously suggested that Shahruek was releasing incorrect information and suggested that Mack had possibly had a heart attack and the suspects panicked. Thai police appear to have dismissed this is a plausible explanation thus the premeditated murder charges.
Initially, Pol General Surachet suspected that the motive behind the crime was a desire for the victim’s money. However, the police are expanding an investigation to find other potential motives.
As for the victim, there is no evidence found to suggest his involvement in any illegal business activities. Furthermore, there have been no records of conflicts or disputes within his family or close circle, Pol Gen Surachet stated.
He added that he is looking into a claim that the suspects had been staying in Thailand by improperly using retirement visas.
According to the claim, the suspects entered the Kingdom on retirement visas that required holders to have at least 800,000 baht in their bank accounts. However, once they wanted to extend the visas, they sought a loan from a middleman to meet the visa requirement and subsequently returned the money to the middleman with interest.
Pol General Surachet stated that at least two suspects, namely Petra Christl Grundgrief and Olaf Thorsten Brinkmann, used this method to stay in Thailand.
Hakparn also stated that police would be investigating at-length motorcycle clubs that the suspects had ties to, mainly to ensure that the clubs were not involved in the murder of Mack and to ensure they were not participating in any criminal activities in Thailand. Their visas would also be scrutinized to ensure they were properly following all Thai laws and regulations, added Hakparn.