UPDATE: Prime Suspect in Murder of Pattaya Ride-Sharing App Driver Arrested

Pattaya —

Pattaya law enforcement authorities have apprehended a prime suspect in the grisly murder of a ride-sharing app driver in Pattaya. The murder reportedly stemmed from the suspect not having enough money to pay for the ride fare, leading to an argument and ultimately, the killing.

First our previous story:

Chonburi police are actively investigating the case of a burned body found in a forest near Wat Tam Prathun in Chonburi’s Banglamung district on January 13th, 2024.

Now for our update:

On January 15th, 2024, Pattaya police confirmed the arrest of 23-year-old Thiraporn Somkham, also known as “Mr. Waa,” in the northern province of Phitsanulok. Thiraporn, a resident of Phitsanulok, fled to his hometown by boarding a bus from Bangkok’s Mochit 2 Bus Terminal. He was later apprehended at an unidentified hotel and is currently being held at the Nongprue police station in Chonburi for the murder of 31-year-old ride-sharing driver Thanathip Watthaisong.

Thiraporn’s arrest comes just days after authorities identified him as the prime suspect in Mr. Thanathip’s murder. The suspect allegedly stabbed the victim, a Bolt driver, in Pattaya’s Huay Yai district after he argued with the victim over a ride fare.

According to Pattaya police, Thiraporn stated that he had no money to pay the victim. This led to the two verbally altercating, and the suspect fatally stabbed the victim. He then transported the body in the victim’s white Toyota Yaris sedan to a desolate field near Pattaya, where he set it ablaze with a car tire in an attempt to cover up the crime.

The suspect also confessed to calling his mother, 51-year-old Elijah (family name withheld), to ask what he should do after stabbing the victim, before deciding to set the body on fire.

After the incident, the assailant took the deceased’s sedan and drove it to a convenience store on Pattaya-Naklua Road. This was where Thiraporn was clearly captured driving the deceased’s vehicle on the store’s CCTV cameras, leading to police being able to identify him along with his escape route.

The suspect later abandoned the car after damaging it. Some reports said he had sold the vehicle, but this was later proven incorrect. Pattaya police stated that they would also summon his mother and girlfriend for questioning to determine their possible involvement in the crime.

Both the mother and girlfriend, a minor, were apprehended overnight and are expected to be charged for various crimes relating to being an accomplice, helping dispose of a body, and assisting a criminal. As the girlfriend is a minor, however, juvenile charges will take place.


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Aim Tanakorn
The local news translator at The Pattaya News. Aim is a twenty-four year old who currently lives in Bangkok. Interested in English translation, story-telling, and entrepreneurship, he believes that hard-working is an indispensable component of every success in this world.