Hours before the killings, the mother of the prime suspect negotiated the release of his three-year-old daughter which he had with his wife, 22-year-old Ms Wichuda Siamsak. The woman later died with her husband as well as his second wife, Ms Anada Piyarak. Police later revealed that the fraud had been ongoing since 2014 and had netted Mr Sumet Krongwong millions of baht to live the life of a wealthy young man including ownership of several high-end luxury cars.
A 25-year-old man who perpetrated a 7-year fraud on gullible people attempting to buy vanity number plates in Thailand brought down the curtain on his own life, that of his wife and another young woman, whom he lived with, on Thursday night last after police arrived outside their door with arrest warrants for the three.
Thai police with Provincial Police Region 5 invited the families of three fraud suspects found dead at a luxury condominium complex in the Chang Puek area of Chiang Mai on Friday to visit the scene after a 25-year-old man killed his two wives with a 9mm handgun and then turned the gun on himself.
The families were allowed to enter the apartment where the bodies of Mr Sumet Krongwong, his 22-year-old wife Wichuda Siamsak and 18-year-old second wife Anada Piyarak, were found after police forced their way in on Friday.
They had earlier surveyed it from the outside using a thermal scanning drone and launched an operation after finding no signs of life.
Police found three bodies after forcing entry
Police found the three bodies alongside a note from Mr Sumet admitting he had killed the two women and himself with a 9 mm gun. Each of the deceased had a gunshot wound to the head and police found spent casings alongside the gun and the man’s written confession.
Relatives of the deceased including a 67-year-old uncle in law of Mr Sumet’s, Wiwat Maneewan, accepted that the trio had died at the hands of the man after they had refused to surrender to police on fraud charges set out in a warrant for their arrest.
Crisis erupted on Thursday evening when police presented a Bangkok arrest warrant for the trio
The drama began on Thursday evening when a fraud scheme that had netted Mr Sumet millions of baht since 2014, allowing him to live the high life with two luxury cars including a Mercedes Benz and a high-end BMW 7 series car with personalised number plates, came to a shattering halt.
Police officers in Chaing Mai arrived with an arrest warrant for the man and his two relationship partners issued by the Phra Khanong Criminal Court in Bangkok.
Car number plate fraud running online since 2014, charges brought following 20 complaints
Since 2014, Mr Sumet had been running an online scam advertising personalised number plates for cars and accepting money transferred into various bank accounts without ever delivering the number plates to those who had paid.
It is understood the basis for the police warrant against him, Ms Anada Piyarak and Ms Wichuda Siamsak was 20 individual complaints filed with the Royal Thai Police relating to millions of baht paid by victims of the fraud. The warrant specified charges for fraud, money laundering and violations of the Computer Crime Act.
It is thought that the scale of the extended fraud is far bigger than the charges brought forward in the arrest warrant.
It specifically identified Ms Anada as being involved in withdrawing funds via ATMs in connection with the racket. It is not clear on what basis Ms Wichuda was implicated.
Prime suspect determined not to surrender to police
Police presented the warrant at the 3rd floor of the luxury condominium building and Mr Sumet made it plain to officers that he and the two other accused refused to surrender. He said they would prefer to commit suicide.
Family members of the trio were called in by police who surrounded the building and later evacuated all residents as it was deemed that Mr Sumet was armed and posed a threat.
Three-year-old daughter given over to his mother
Mr Sumet’s mother and brother attempted to reason with him.
After two hours of negotiating, they managed to persuade him and Ms Wichuda to give up their three-year-old daughter who was the only one of a number of children the man had, who was with him and his wives in the third-floor condominium at the time.
Hours later, after the standoff began, police heard shots and at 2 am sent a drone up to ascertain the situation in the by then evacuated apartment building
As the siege settled in, police heard four shots from within the apartment but understood these to be a warning to them not to approach or attempt a forced entry to arrest the suspects.
At 2 am, the police launched the drone and within hours had discovered the tragedy which had unfolded.
The trio appeared to have determined that they would not face justice for the fraud and what would have been, undoubtedly, a long prison sentence.
Fraudster’s body taken home to Phayao province
The 67-year-old Mr Wimat told the press afterwards that Mr Sumet’s body would be taken by his family to Phayao province for a funeral.
He confessed not to have known his nephew in law well except noting that he would always show respect when he met him.
He also was aware that he had access to some sort of wealth and owned luxury cars.
He told the media the young man was also very careful about where he stayed every night and appeared to move about circumspectly.
Two luxury cars seized as autopsies ordered
Police in Chiang Mai later confirmed that the three bodies had been removed to Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital for autopsies.
They also confirmed a Mercedes Benz registration number 3 Kor 35 had been seized at the apartment complex as well as a white BMW 7 car registration number 606 Bangkok.