A woman who was assaulted and reportedly left to die at a Samut Prakan golf course on Friday may not be related to the investigation into disgraced former Central Investigation Bureau chief Pongpat Chayapan's criminal ring, an informed source reported yesterday.
News of the brutal attack has circulating on Thai social media amid speculation that Chanita Kinnis, 38, might be a victim of attempted murder in relation to Pongpat's case, as she had told police she was close to Pongpat and facing possible asset seizures. Police now suspect she may have been assaulted because of a personal conflict.
Provincial Police Region 1 chief Lt-General Amnuay Nimmano said police were checking closed-circuit camera footage at a Ram-Indra mall where Chanita was allegedly abducted. He said the attacker was unlikely to be a professional assassin, as he had entered the course in a taxi, which required the driver to hand over his ID and walk past a guard.
Chanita was knocked unconscious and police found a mark on her neck indicating strangulation. It is believed that alleged murderer thought she was dead.
However, such speculation may not be correct, as police were told later by the taxi driver that Chanita appeared normal - wasn't unconscious or injured as she claimed.
Chanita was spotted by security guard Supoj Sae-lhor, 30, who told police the taxi entered the golf course at 6pm with two passengers inside.
After the taxi left, Supoj told police a man wearing sunglasses and a cap walked out of the area, and shortly after that he spotted Chanita crawling on the ground.
Chanita told Bang Bo police that she was close to Pongpat, who was jailed for operating a criminal ring and whose assets were seized by the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO). She said she was facing the same criminal action.
The Chon Buri native told police she had left her Ratchadaphisek home on Friday to discuss her case at the AMLO head office but stopped at the mall for a meal.
She said that when she got out of a taxi in front of the mall, a man held her at a gunpoint from behind and forced her into a black sedan. He tied her hands and covered her eyes, before hitting her on the head until she was unconscious.
Chanita said she was a daughter of the second wife of furniture factory owner Thanayos Pathumwassana, who was killed along with his third wife, two children and a maid in 2009, and claimed that she had received death threats since then.
Amnuay said police had not yet determined a motive for the crime or confirmed the veracity of her claim to be close to Pongpat and be the heir to the Pathumwassana family fortune.
Police were looking into the incident as a case of robbery because her diamond ring was stolen.