Thai doctor convicted of murdering migrant worker arrested in Burma

Thai doctor convicted of murdering migrant worker arrested in Burma

A former Police General Hospital doctor, Police Colonel Supat Laohawattana, who was handed a death sentence for murdering his Burmese migrant farm worker, has been arrested in Burma, reports say.

Supat fled before a Phetchaburi court delivered its judgement in the case on 1 May 2015.

He and his two sons, Ake and Akara, were charged with the murder of a Burmese worker.

The court sentenced Supat, in his absence, and Ake to death. Akara was sentenced to life, but the sentence was commuted to 25 years and three months in prison as he was only 19 when the crime was committed.

After hunting Supat for more than a year, Phetchaburi police recently followed a close aide to the former doctor who crossed the border in Tak province’s Mae Sot district to meet the fugitive in Burma, the sources said.

After discovering his whereabouts, investigators passed the information to police chief Police General Chakthip Chaijinda, who contacted Burmese police, leading to Supat’s arrest.

According to the sources, Supat was detained along with a large amount of cash at a house near the Thai­Burma border.

A senior Burmese crime journalist based in Myawaddy said Supat was arrested and charged with illegal entry and possession of a fake Burmese ID card.

Burmese authorities plan to indict Supat on 28 December in the Moulmein provincial court before deporting him to Thailand.

Chakthip, however, said Wednesday he had never received any reports about Supat’s arrest from Burma.

According to an initial investigation by Burmese authorities, Supat entered the country illegally through the Three Pagodas Pass in Kanchanaburi and had kept a low profile with his Burmese wife up until his arrest.

In late 2012, Sawang Numjui, the owner of a pineapple plantation in Phetchaburi, filed a complaint with Nonthaburi police that a pick-up truck belonging to his son, Samart Numjui, and daughter­in­law, Orasa Kerdsap, who had disappeared more than three years earlier, had been found at an abandoned house belonging to Supat in Nonthaburi.

Sawang believed Samart and Orasa had been killed.

An investigation led to searches of Supat’s orchard in Ban Tha Marid in Tambon Klad Luang of Phetchaburi’s Tha Yang district and his clinic in Bangkok, which revealed a large quantity of guns and ammunition.

The investigation also revealed there were many illegal Burmese migrants working in Supat’s orchard.

While digging up the orchard, police found three skeletons. One of them had been shot in the head. A DNA test revealed the remains were that of Ita, a Burmese worker.

Supat was later arrested in Tha Yang district and charged with human trafficking, murder, theft and concealing dead bodies.

He fled before being found guilty.

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