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FIVE THAI nationals who were hired to kill two Lao women in Thailand last September have been asentenced to life in prison, Kalasin attorney Ratchada Jureerat said yesterday.
The five still maintain their innocence and plan to appeal the case.
Kalasin Court ruled on October 31 that gunman Okart Tangjaimandeekul, 36, Chalermpong Chaisawai, 32, Thongchai Teechandramat, 24, Punnapop Phusilataen, 53, and Kulnant Saengsopon, 37, were guilty of premeditated murder, illegally possessing guns and ammunition, conspiring to hide or destroy bodies to conceal the cause of death, and destroying documents, he said.
Local police spent 84 days investigating the case and interviewed 40 witnesses.
A police source said a piece of paper on which one of the victims had written down a suspect’s cell phone number was found at the scene of the crime. Police traced the phone number to discover one of the perpetrators, which led to the further arrests.
The bodies of Lao women Kong Phomsalee, 40, and Jansamon Sensakda, 26, were found on September 1, 2016 with gunshot wounds to the head in a wooded area between Ban Kudwa and Nong Hang villages in Kuchinarai district’s Tambon Nong Hang.
The two women, who were from Xaiphuthong district in Laos’s Savannakhet province, had entered Thailand on August 28. They were reported to have been lured into two trucks by the group, who killed them at another location before disposing of their bodies in the Kalasin forest.
Days later, police arrested the five suspects who reportedly confessed to the murders, saying they had been hired by an influential Lao woman identified only as “Nang” to kill the victims in exchange for a payment of Bt400,000.