Police have arrested two more suspects in connection with the murder of two Russian women in Pattaya city, Chon Buri, and are investigating whether the men were members of any transnational criminal organisation.
According to Pattaya police chief Suthin Sappuang, police yesterday arrested Monthol Boonmee, 30, and Tinakorn Meeklee, 21.
Both are residents of Bang Lamung district of the eastern province.
Monthol is the owner of the motorcycle that Anuchit Lamlert, the 24-year-old suspected gunman, used to approach Tatiana Tsimfer, 30, and Liubov Svirkova, 25, on Jomtien beach where he killed them on Feb 24. Tinakorn is suspected of hiding Anuchit's pistol after the killing.
Police plan to charge Monthol and Tinakorn for abetting the crime because they were well aware of Anuchit's robbery record and plans. Pol Col Suthin said that it was still not clear who had masterminded the murders.
Pol Lt-Gen Asawin Khwanmuang, chief of Provincial Police Bureau 2 that supervises the East, said that police were checking the backgrounds of the murder victims who came from Moscow.
He said police were fed a lot of information through the Russian consulate in Thailand, and a Russian witness had said that one of the murdered women had had a conflict with her husband before she left for her relaxation trip to Thailand, bangkokpost.com reports.
A man arrested for the murders of two female Russian tourists in Thailand insisted that he was not a part of any crime syndicate following a re-enactment of the crime Sunday morning.
"I was robbing them and there is no one else involved," said Anuchit Lamlert, who was arrested Thursday and has confessed to the murders of Tatyana Tsimfer, 30, and Lyubov Svirkova, 25.
The victims' bodies were found Feb. 24, shot and slumped in lounge chairs on a beach in Pattaya, about 110 kilometers southeast of Bangkok.
Sunday morning's public re-enactment of the crime followed standard Thai police procedure, and was covered by most Thai television stations. The brutal killings shocked Thailand and have been dominating news headlines for the past week, as well as being the subject of intense interest in Russia.
Anuchit told police that the motive for the killings was robbery and that he killed the pair because he was "afraid they would remember [his] face" after they saw him and started crying out for help.
Police believe he may be lying, however.
"There are inconsistencies between his confession and the evidence," a Thai national police official said during a visit to Pattaya to interrogate the suspect Saturday. "I believe the murder may be linked to a criminal organization and there may be other people behind it."
Local police said they regarded robbery as the most likely motive.
About 100 onlookers, including a handful of foreign tourists, watched as the handcuffed suspect acted out his version of the crime, the AP reports.
Prepared by Alexander Timoshik
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