Thai man accused of triple murder was offered car, gold

Thai man accused of triple murder was offered car, gold

The man who allegedly killed three members of the Homchong family in Bangkok's Bang Khae district last week has confessed he was promised a car and a gold necklace with a Buddha amulet as payment for the killings, according to police.

Suspected gunman Sirichai Phermpoonsak surrendered to police on Sunday night. Police offered a Bt500,000 (S$19,400) reward for his arrest.

Colonel Wichai Homchong, 63, a military retiree, his wife Wanida, 57, a teacher, and their eldest son Pol Lieutenant Tammanat, 24, an investigator at Taling Chan Police Station, were shot dead at their home on April 3.

Sirichai allegedly claimed he didn't know surviving family member Kittinan Homchong, 22, who is suspected of playing a role in the triple murders, which reportedly stemmed from a conflict over family assets. Sirichai claimed he was sub-contracted to carry out the killings by two other men, Kittinan's close friend Sakrin Panthukul, 22, and Chalard Thiengtham, 53, the alleged driver of the getaway taxi.

After the crime, Sirichai laid low at a relative's Bangkok house, where police said he hid the murder weapon. He said he decided to surrender to police after learning Kittinan had hired him to kill his parents and elder brother.

Sirichai said he broke into the family home with another man, Surapong Chupan, 47, and shot all the victims dead with a gun he had bought a month earlier. "I'm sorry for what I have done. I didn't know [the full story]," he said, adding that he thought the killings were over the victims' failure to repay debts.

Sirichai yesterday re-enacted the crime at the family's home.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lt-General Camronwit Toopgrajank said Sirichai had a previous murder conviction in the Din Daeng area and had just been released from prison when he teamed up with Kittinan, Sakrin, Chalard and Surapong in the triple murder.

He said the motive was Kittinan's alleged anger over his father's criticism of his behaviour, academic performance and unemployment, as well as his father's comparing him to his elder brother. He also allegedly desired to take over the family's four-rai plot of land worth Bt100 million.

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