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Patong police received a tip-off that Prasit “Kheaw” Panjapol, 34, was dealing in kratom. Undercover officers searched for him, catching up with him on Tuesday (October 28), riding his motorbike on Sirirat Rd.
They found no kratom, said Phuket Provincial Commander Maj Gen Patchara Boonyasit, but “officers found a handmade shotgun pistol and three cartridges in his pocket. He told officers that he was going to shot Sompob “Au” Nuanjun, 30, who was a kratom supplier in Patong.”
Prasit explained, “I ordered Kratom leaves from him in the morning, but he didn’t deliver until the afternoon. I was very angry that I had to wait for such a long time.
“Moreover, when he arrived he cursed my mother’s name. That made me very angry and and I wanted to kill him,” he added.
He was still furious at the media conference yesterday afternoon (October 30) to announce his arrest. When reporters asked Prasit, “If you had the opportunity right now, would you shoot Sompob?” Without hesitation he replied, “Yes!”
Sompob, too, is now also in custody. Maj Gen Patchara explained, “We arrested Sompob at his rental room in Soi Kuan Yang Jaroen [on Wednesday night (October 29)],”
“Officers found 10 kilograms of kratom packed in foam boxes which were covered with medical equipment bearing the logo of Patong Hospital. They also found an unlicensed .32-calibre handgun with 35 bullets.”
Sompob confessed to the police that he used to work at Patong Hospital, “But I could make more money selling kratom,” he explained.
“I would order kratom leaves by phone from ‘Phinyo’ who lives in Surat Thani, and they would be delivered by bus. Then the leaves would be distributed in Patong.”
Sompob was charged with possession of kratom leaves with intent to sell, and possession of an unlicensed gun.
Prasit was charged only with possession of an unlicensed gun. Gen Patchara said he could not be charged with attempted murder “because it had yet to start.”
But the general added that the events have inspired him to initiate a crackdown on illegal gun possession in Phuket.
“I will call all superintendents in Phuket to give them orders to get on this as soon as possible. We have to do this before the Loy Krathong Festival [November 6],” he said.