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CHIANG RAI, NORTHERN THAILAND – Three female suspects wanted for the grisly murder of a karaoke bar girl the city of Khon Kaen have been arrested and handed over to the Thai authorities.
The three suspects — Preeyanuch “Preaw” Nonwangchai, 24, Kawita “Earn” Ratchada, 25, and Apiwan “Jae” Sattayabundit, 28, who allegedly killed 22-year-old Warisara Klinjui in Khon Kaen on May 23 — were handed over to the Thai authorities on Saturday night in the middle of the first bridge across the Sai River between the immigration offices of Burma and Thailand.
The handover was made shortly after 9pm after Lt Col Aung Mien U, the Burmese co-chairman of the Thailand-Myanmar Border Township Committee (TBC), and Pol Lt Col Ten Win, chief of the Tachilek police station, sent an urgent message to Col Kidakorn Chantra, commander of the 3rd Cavalry Task Force of the Pha Muang Force and the Thai co-chairman of the TBC.
On receiving the message, Col Kidakorn ordered Thai authorities led by Pol Col Ekkorn Bussababodin, chief of the Chiang Rai immigration office, Pol Col Songkrit Ontakhrai, the Mae Sai police chief, and Thai TBC members to receive the suspects from the Burmese authorities.
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A large number of people including tourists witnessed the handover on the Thai side of the Sai River.
The bridge was closed after the handover and reopened as usual at 6.30am on Sunday.
Col Kidakorn said the three suspects would first be detained and interrogated at the Chiang Rai immigration office.
Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn Prousoontorn, commissioner of the Immigration Police Bureau, confirmed the three suspects had been handed over to the Thai authorities and they confessed to the murder during last night’s questioning session.
He said he would fly to Chiang Rai at 7am on Sunday to take the suspects to Bangkok.
Pol Col Pakphum Pissamai, the police chief of Khao Suan Kwang district in Khon Kaen, said he would also fly to Chiang Rai to see the suspects and accompany them to the Immigration Police Bureau in Bangkok, where a press conference would be held.
After the news conference, the suspects would be flown to Khon Kaen for questioning and a re-enactment of crime.
This article was first published in the Bangkok Post on 4 June 2017.