Arrest warrant issued for murder suspect who became an underage celebrity during investigation
Controversy swirls around the police raid on the luxury Pattaya mansion last week where a Chinese national shot 2 police officers, as the man and Chinese media claim the raid was “poorly executed”.
Senior Thai police officers say the raid was carried out in an appropriate manner, while the Chinese man says he panicked after being approached by suspicious men who were not clearly identified as police officers.
Chinese media claimed that proper procedures were not followed and that a search warrant was not obtained in advance. Video footage circulated online showing a group of men in civilian clothes walking through the back of the property, where the owner was relaxing by the pool before running away to lock himself in his home.
From the upstairs bedroom, he fired over 60 shots with a 9mm automatic pistol licensed from his Thai girlfriend. He also fired tear gas at the assault officers, and investigations later revealed that another Chinese in the house had a concealed weapon. 2 policemen were seriously injured, with a bullet in the stomach and a bullet in the leg, although the most recent information indicates that both will recover from a bullet.
The deputy spokesperson for the Royal Thai Police said the court issued a search warrant after reviewing evidence from a special operations squad, so that the police have prior knowledge of who may be in charge. interior and what to expect during a raid. He claims that the search procedure was followed with uniformed police officers and 4 police cars in the front of the property while the police entered from behind to prevent anyone from escaping.
The gunman in custody, a Chinese man known as Leo with a passport to the investment haven of St. Kitts and Nevis, claims he shot the intruders for fear of being kidnapped or injured without knowing that the people who stormed his property were police.
Police contradict his statement and claim that all officers had proper identification displayed during the raid and had already identified themselves with a gardener when they entered the property.
While Leo’s attorney contends the search was executed without a warrant and poorly executed, police maintain they followed proper procedures while investigating money laundering and illegal online gambling operations taking place. would take place in the luxury mansion.
His lawyer claims that Leo is not involved in any illegal business or organized crime, and that he is just a businessman who has made money in gold, property, Bitcoin, and is in Thailand to develop a luxury real estate market. Police say bulletproof vests found in the raid and the use of tear gas imply more nefarious activities.
Despite conflicting stories, one procedural failure is that no interpreter was present during the raid, a requirement for any search warrant for a foreign national as many cannot speak or read Thai, as was the case. with this Chinese.
The man expressed remorse for shooting at the police during the raid, but claims he was defending himself because, without knowing who the raiders were and what they were doing there, he sincerely believed he was on the point of being kidnapped. He cited the recent story of a Chinese couple who were kidnapped last year, sealed in suitcases and thrown into a river to drown.
Leo expressed his frustration with the poor conditions in which he was being held, with no clothes or access to a bath, and with the revocation of his visa. Police said he was being held not only on initial suspicions of money laundering and illegal online gambling, but also attempted murder, police bodily harm and unlawful use of a weapon. fire.
The Chinese media continue to argue in his favor by painting a negative picture of the handling of the raid by the Thai police.
SOURCE: Thai Examiner
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