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Police in Phuket have added Porjet “Po” Sukwanli, the alleged hitman and the last remaining suspect wanted for the slaying of Patong Tuk-Tuk Club President Sakol Srisompotch last year, has been added to the Royal Thai Police list of most-wanted gunmen.
Mr Sakol, 58, died in a hail of gunfire as he sat in the cab of his tuk-tuk in front of the Phuket Villa housing complex on Phra Phuket Kaew Rd in Kathu on Oct 25 last year. Police reported that his assailants rode up on a motorbike just before 3am and opened fire. Mr Sakol died at the scene.
Kathu Police Chief Col ML Pattanajak Jakkapan told The Phuket News yesterday (Mar 22), “We have very few details about Porjet, but the warrant for his arrest and his photo has been ‘spread around the country’ (sic) and he has been added to the national list of most-wanted gunmen.”
“This will make it easier for police to arrest him,” Col ML Pattanajak added.
Police do know that Porjet is from Sikao District in Trang, south of Phuket, and his Thai ID card number.
“If police or any official enters his ID card number into national database, they will know that we want this man,” Kathu Police Deputy Chief Col Chalermchai Hernsawat said.
Under the warrant, Porjet is described as 36 years old, 160cm tall, 55kg in weight. His skin is dark red. He has a prominent nose and short chin, and colour tattoos on both arms, and he speaks with a Southern Thai accent.
The most-wanted gunman list, produced once a year and available publicly on the Royal Thai Police Crime Suppression Division website (click here), clearly shows each suspect’s face, ID car number, which court issued the warrant and police station applied for the warrant.
However, the only image of Porjet that Col Chalermchai would provide to The Phuket News was a copy of the warrant that was stamped and signed to obscure Porjet’s face. (See photos above.)
Porjet’s victim, Mr Sakol, was the President of the Patong Tuk-Tuk Club. His rival, Wattana “Dam” Nawakeaw, 38, who heads the “KT Tuk Tuk – Taxi Service” group now faces charges of conspiracy to murder Mr Sakol. (See story here.)
Wattana, along with 20 other drivers in his “group”, were operating in the same area of Patong where Mr Sakol operated. His arrest came quickly, and after police discovered a diary kept by Mr Sakol. (See story here.)
The hunt for Porjet follows a chain of arrests, including a 17-year-old male who police named only as “Thong” who was arrested the same day as Wattana, and by Nov 3 last year police had a third suspect in custody, who they declined to name.
By mid-November police had arrested the alleged driver in the attack, a 28-year-old man they declined to name who was taken into custody in Pai, Northern Thailand, and a month later suspect Ekkarat Ponprasit, 25, surrendered at Kathu Police Station. (See story here.)
With his name added to the list of most-wanted gunmen, Porjet joins the ranks of Samran Seemet and Wiriyo Juanorn, both wanted for gun murders in Phuket.
Of note, Samran is wanted for shooting dead Canadian Francis Alex Degioanni on Nanai Rd, Patong, in 2009. He remains the only suspect at large in the contract killing, hired by Singaporean national Go Li Fun, 32, who confessed she had Mr Degioanni killed after he refused to pay back millions of baht in personal loans.
The Singaporean, who used the name “Diana”, after her arrest in 2014 told police she paid four men from Petchaburi B1.5 million to carry out the murder.
At the time of his death, Mr Degioanni, who sold condominiums in Phuket, was involved in a court case as he had been allegedly cheated out of B20mn in a real-estate scam.
Wiriyo Juan-on is wanted for gunning down Jintana Plaza heiress Komkai Kositkoon in July, 2008.
After a spate of arson attacks on Jintana Plaza, which stood on the Patong beachfront, a gunfight broke out in the burnt out remains of the plaza a year later, leaving one dead and three injured from gunshot wounds.