Police in Phuket have indicated that a warrant to arrest 54-year-old Roger Bullamn was not executed against that man for 24 hrs after the court issued an order for his arrest on September 2nd when the burly Norwegian told his lawyer he was uncomfortable appearing before the court and was photographed instead swimming in the pool of a luxury hotel. Now, the police admit that they are clueless as to his whereabouts although they still have his passport and the manhunt to apprehend him is being ramped up.
Police in Phuket are coming under pressure as each day passes by without news of the now fugitive Norwegian, Roger Bullman who police have finally accepted is on the run from the court which has issued an arrest warrant for him.
Thai police on the island of Phuket are still searching for the 54-year Norwegian man Roger Bullman whose arrest was ordered by Phuket Provincial Court on September 2nd after he failed to appear in court personally for a bail hearing.
The Norwegian killed 24-year old UK IT specialist Amiptal Bajaj in the early hours of the morning on August 21st after rampaging into his room where the UK man was sleeping with his young wife and 2-year-old infant. The Norwegian killed the UK man after grasping him in a chokehold but denies that this was his intention.
Police searching for Bullman but as yet have ‘no clue’ as to his whereabouts as of now
This week, the Chief of Police for the Karon area of Phuket shed some light on the current status of the Norwegian man and the search underway to apprehend him.
Police Colonel Prawit Sutthirueangarun seemed to indicate that police officers did not attempt to serve the arrest warrant for Bullman until September 3rd, a day after the Norwegian was reported by staff as being missing from his luxury hotel. The police chief this week told reporters in Phuket that, at this point, police have ‘no clue’ where the Norwegian might be. ‘We know that he is no longer staying at the hotel,’ he told the press.
Phuket police chief in Karon speaks frankly: ‘We are looking for him. We are doing our job now’
The police boss insisted that police are now searching intensively for the killer from Oslo. ‘We are looking for him. We are doing our job now,’ he told the Phuket News local newspaper on the island this Friday.
On September 3rd last, Major Techin Deethongon of Karon police who was one of the first officers to respond to the violent incident on August 21st, indicated to the media in Phuket that Bullman was still at large on the island and that police did not believe that he had deliberately skipped bail. These comments were made 24 hours after the media including the Thai Examiner reported that Bullman appeared to have flown the coop.
Police Major now says he misjudged Bullman
This week, Major Techin accepted that he had been wrong 10 days prior when he felt that the Norwegian man would not simply run and defy the court which has placed its trust in him. He admitted his comments which unfortunately turned out to be inaccurate: ‘Yes, I said that. I didn’t think that he would run away.’
Police in Phuket request assistance from other forces
This week he said that all police on the island including immigration officers were on the lookout for the distinctive Norwegian man who has not been seen in eleven days.
The Major did indicate that police authorities in Phuket may be under-resourced to launch an all-out manhunt to bring in the criminal suspect now wanted under an arrest warrant from the Phuket Provincial Court. ‘We have also requested the assistance of Region 8 Police as we do not have enough officers,’ the policeman said.
Karon police initially asked the court to deny Bullman bail when lodging him at the Provincial Court cells
Bullman was released on bail shortly after the incident in late August. On that occasion, Karon police are reported to have recommended to the provincial court on delivering him to the provincial court holding cells following the tragedy, that the Norwegian be denied bail. He was subsequently granted bail reported to be ฿200,000 although a figure of ฿400,000 was subsequently suggested. The Norwegian criminal suspect later had a second charge filed against him by police while on bail for the first charge as the investigation progressed.
Bullman faces manslaughter charge under Section 290 of Thailand’s criminal code
He was charged initially with causing the death of another person through physical harm under Section 290 of the Thai criminal code which is essentially a manslaughter charge. The sentence if he is found guilty of the offence is three to fifteen years in prison. The Norwegian was also charged with violent trespass at night which is also a serious offence in Thailand particularly in the circumstances where the attack occurred while a young family was sleeping. It could see him jailed for up to five years.
Resigned to prison but failed to appear before a judge
Before his disappearance, the Norwegian had told the media in Phuket that he was resigned to a long period of jail time in a Thai prison but days later on September 2nd, he baulked at appearing before the Phuket Provincial Court for the first time personally when it is thought that there was the possibility that the court may have reviewed or reconsidered his bail.
More details had by then emerged about the nature of the violent incident as police pursued the ongoing investigation into what exactly happened on August 21st.
Bullman’s initial account of the incident was a perverse lie that was initially carried by the media
Initially, it appears that Bullman misled the tourist police in Phuket by representing that the killing of the UK man was an act of self-defence. This was the gist of initial media reporting on the killing. He intimated that the UK man had barged into his room and he was acting in self-defence when he took the 34-year-old man’s life.
That account soon proved to be perverse as details of what happened emerged from police reports and from the family of the victim in the UK.