A key member of the investigation team responsible for the case of the assassination attempt against the core leader of the People’s Alliance for Democracy said the arrest warrant of a third suspect was based on solid evidence. Meanwhile, authorities seized a car owned by one of the two fugitive suspects from the house of his mother-in-law.
The investigation team responsible for the case of the assassination attempt against core leader of the People’s Alliance for Democracy Sondhi Limthongkul raid the house of Somsuan Srichareonying, mother in law of fugitive suspect Police Corporal Worawut Mungsanti and seized a vehicle in the house.
The Crime Detection Division will take charge of examining the car. Investigators noted that the registration number of the car on the insurance sticker does not match that on its licence plates.
Somsuan said Worawut abandoned the car at her home when the arrest warrant was issued and fled with his 22-year-old wife Ubon Kornkularb. She has lost contact with the couple ever since.
Investigators have also discovered that Somsuan’s house is under the court’s confiscation order for connection with narcotic cases several years ago.
Meanwhile, assistant national police chief Police Lieutenant General Asawin Kwanmuang said yesterday’s arrest warrant for Sergeant Somchai Bunnag from the 3rd Special Warfare Center in Lop Buri Province was based on solid evidence gathered over the past weeks.
Asawin said an eye-witness confirmed Sergeant Somchai was among the gunmen who opened fire on Sondhi’s car. He said the police are still gathering evidence for the issuance of arrest warrants against at least three more suspects.
Investigators raided several places in Bangkok and the provinces early this morning, including Worawut’s house, and their findings were presented to an afternoon meeting of the investigation team.
The investigation team advised all suspects to turn themselves in as Police General Asawin is ready to guarantee them justice and they can contact him directly via his mobile phone at 081-947-2828.
Another Warrant out for 3rd Suspect in Sondhi Case
The investigating officers in the case of the attempted assassination of PAD leader, Sondhi Limthongkul, acquired another arrest warrant for the third suspect.
The investigation team in the Sondhi case revealed that they acquired an arrest warrant from the Criminal Court for Sergeant Somchai Bunnag who serves in the third Special Force Regiment at Erawan base in Lop Buri province.
Five serious charges has been filed against him and if he is found guilty of these charges he will likely be given at least a 20 year sentence.
The charges include conspiring to commit a premeditated murder, unauthorized possession of firearms and explosives in a residential area without good reason, discharging a firearm in public places and criminal association.
Sergeant Somchai, the latest suspect to be implicated in the attempt on Sondhi’s life, serves in the same unit as Sergeant Major Panya Srihera, another suspect in this case.
The police said phone call logs revealed that Somchai was involved in the attempted assassination. They also discovered that Sergeant Somchai has been in hiding since the arrest warrant for Sergeant Major Panya was issued. This morning the deputy national police chief, General Thani Sombunsap will have a meeting with the investigation team to discuss the handling of this case.
The first suspect implicated in this case was Police Corporal Worawut Mungsanthi. Both the first and second suspects have yet to turn themselves in to police.
Recently Police Corporal Worawut sent a letter asking for justice to Police General Thani while the lawyer for the second suspect, Sergeant Major Panya submitted a lawsuit against Police General Thani and his team for wrongfully issuing a warrant and misconduct in framing him for criminal offense. However, the court dismissed his request.
Panya’s lawyer, Bunyat Jityen, has sought an appeal by the Supreme Court to overturn the dismissal by the Criminal Court. Bunyat disclosed that his client was at a Buddhist ceremony in Trat province at the time when the attempted assassination took place as Panya co-hosted the ceremony. Banyat has enclosed two photographs as evidence to confirm that Panya was indeed in Trat when the assassination attempt took place with his appeal submission. The court will rule in this matter within three days.
SONDHI’S ATTACK : DSI to probe Chevrolet’s owner
The Department of Special Investigation has set up a team to look into the Chevrolet Safina sedan seized from the mother-in-law of a suspect in the assassination attempt on People’s Alliance for Democracy leader Sondhi Limthongkul, after it was found with a fake licence plate.
Narat Sawettanant, DSI deputy director-general, said yesterday that the car carried a Bangkok licence plate even though it was registered in Chiang Mai to Channarong Muser, a drug suspect arrested by the DSI on March 20.
This car was among five vehicles confiscated along with Bt117 million worth of Channarong’s assets.
The DSI then employed the five cars for civil service work.
The Narcotics Control Board approved the official use of the cars in June but they were still in the process of being listed in the DSI’s seized vehicle management system so that they could be given civil service licence plates.
It was believed that the Sondhi case suspect, Pol Lance Corporal Worawuth Mungsanti, who was a Narcotic Suppression Police officer seconded to the DSI, might have started using the car in the meantime, Narat said.
The DSI would give full cooperation to police investigators and its chief, Tawee Sodsong, had already assigned a fact-finding committee on Tuesday to determine how Worawuth got hold of the car and whether it was a violation of regulations, he added.
By Piyanuch Thamnukasetchai
Published on August 13, 2009
Forensic Probe Underway for Car Seized in Sondhi Case
The car in the possession of a suspect in the attempted murder case of Sondhi Limthongkul has been sent for further investigation at the Scientific Crime Detection Division.
The Department of Special Investigation has admitted that the car was confiscated in a drug case and has been kept for official use. The Scientific Crime Detection Division, or SCDD, will examine the Chevrolet Zafira seized from the mother-in-law of Police Sergeant Worawut Moongsanti, a suspect in the assassination attempt against People’s Alliance for Democracy leader Sondhi Limthongkul.
However, SCDD Commander Police Major General Suraphon Pinitchob said he could not say exactly how long the process will take.
Meanwhile, Commander of the 5th Metropolitan Police Division, Police Colonel Kajornsak Pansakhon, chief investigator in Sondhi’s case, said the result could be expected very soon, considering the significance of the case.
In the meantime, Police General Narat Sawetanant, deputy director-general of the Department of Special Investigation, or DSI, revealed that the car was confiscated by the agency in a drug bust in March, along with five other cars and other properties worth a total of 117 million baht.
He added that the Office of the Narcotics Control Board gave permission to the DSI in June, allowing it to keep five of the seized cars for official use.
Narat stressed that he has set up a fact-finding team to investigate how the car came into the possession of Worawut. He expects results in two weeks.
He insisted that the DSI give full cooperation to the investigation team on Sondhi’s case.
TAN, 13 August 2009