Police are seeking to question a white Westerner who it is believed may have inflicted a brutal and fatal attack on a 48-year-old Taiwanese tourist with a criminal past found dead in his hotel room on Thursday.
The Metropolitan Police Bureau in Bangkok has sought an arrest warrant for a white Westerner in connection with the murder early on Thursday morning of a Taiwanese national whose bound and trussed body was found in his hotel bedroom the same day. The foreign tourist who has a criminal history, related to human trafficking, was assaulted by a group of three men hours earlier in his hotel, two of whom, a Myanmar national and Cameroonian, are already in custody. One of the men claims that a Thai woman was the mastermind behind the attack seeking to retrieve monies owed to her.
Thai police in Bangkok are looking for a white western foreigner of unknown nationality related to the death of a 48-year-old Taiwanese man whose body was found in a hotel room in the Bang Na area of Bangkok on Thursday.
The Taiwanese man was named as Mr Chu Chiang Chen, who had a previous criminal history involving human trafficking and had recently been released from prison in Taiwan.
Victim arrived on Tuesday, flew into Suvarnabhumi Airport and booked into his city centre hotel
Mr Chu arrived in Thailand on Tuesday, November 14th and booked into the hotel on the Udomsuk Road in the Bang Na district of Bangkok, in the centre of the capital.
On Friday, police revealed that they had issued warrants for two suspects in the case.
A 21-year-old Myanmar national identified as Mr Saewo Ling Preay, also known as Jensy and a 40-year-old Cameroonian national identified as Mr John Abon.
Both men were subsequently arrested with Mr Abon being picked up in the Srinakarin Road in the Bang Na district of Bangkok while the 21-year-old Myanmar national was arrested at an apartment on the Ratchaprarop Road in the Makkasan sub-district in Ratchathewi.
Two foreigners were picked up for questioning on Friday warrants for their arrest were issued in respect of ‘intentional murder’ by the Criminal Court
Both men were taken to Bang Na Police Station for questioning.
Police were called to investigate the case after the radio centre at Bangna Police Station at 10.30 am on Thursday received notification that a dead man had been found in his hotel room on the 6th floor.
A friend had called the hotel seeking to meet him and he had asked the hotel staff to see if he was in his room as his smartphone was unresponsive.
Police officers subsequently entered Room Number 618 of the hotel and found the dead man bound to a chair with his hands bound behind his back with plastic tape and string while his mouth was covered over with clear tape.
The man had been trussed in mid-body using belts and his legs were fastened to the chair using tape also at the shins.
Police found evidence of a violent struggle in the room with blood stains on the bedclothes and several towels covered in blood.
Mr Chu suffered a significant injury above the right eyebrow after he appeared to have been hit with a blunt object.
Police Chief ordered no resources spared on the case and wants to see a speedy resolution given that the victim was a foreign tourist in his hotel room
On Thursday, when news of the death of the Taiwanese national under suspicious circumstances emerged, the National Police Chief General Torsak Sukwimol ordered the case to be given priority.
Especially, given the sensitivities involved as Mr Chu was a Taiwanese foreigner visiting the kingdom who was killed in his hotel room.
The case is being directed by the Metropolitan Police Chief, Police Lieutenant General Thiti Saengsawang and involves officers from across Bangkok, including detectives at Bang Na Police Station and the Immigration Bureau.
It has emerged that Mr Chu had visited Bangkok a number of times in recent months, staying on each occasion for several days.
Taiwanese man was dead for 8 hours approximately
Investigators in the case are still waiting on forensic reports on the body to see how Mr Chu ultimately died, with an initial conclusion on Thursday after an examination at the scene that the body had been dead for eight hours before police arrived.
Police quickly established from CCTV footage that, at approximately 1 am, a group of men had entered Mr Chu’s bedroom on the 6th floor of the hotel.
Evidently, these men were linked with another hotel room on the 5th floor, Room 502, which had been booked by one of them, notably the Myanmar national Mr Saewo Ling Preay, on the day previously.
The three suspects included the Myanmar national, the Cameroonian national and a white Westerner whose indistinct image has been released from CCTV but who has not yet been apprehended or whose identity has not been made public by the police.
Burmese man and the Cameroonian have denied murdering the Taiwanese man by the 21-year-old foreigner admits taking part in a late-night assault
The two nationals arrested on Friday, Mr Saewo Ling Preay and Mr John Abon have both denied intentionally murdering the Taiwanese man.
The Myanmar man accepted that he had participated in an assault on the foreigner after invading his hotel bedroom early on Thursday morning.
Nevertheless, the 21-year-old suspect insisted to police that the white Westerner had tackled the man in the room while he had himself bound him to a chair while the Cameroonian had stood guard at the door. The Westerner had then forcefully interrogated the victim.
In addition, the Myanmar man claimed to police that a Thai woman was the mastermind behind the attack.
He told investigators that they were all employed by the woman.
In short, she reportedly claimed that Mr Chu owed her a substantial amount of money.
Police officers had earlier noted that the hotel room contained two safes with reports that the Taiwanese national had spent the day previously in the Nonthaburi area of the kingdom meeting friends and retrieving at least one of the safes to bring it back to his hotel.
Myanmar man said he was hired by a Thai woman after responding to an online advertisement seeking someone to spy on Thai women and surveillance
The Myanmar national told police that he was hired for the job by responding to an online advertisement looking for someone to monitor and spy on Thai women.
He said he was interviewed by a Thai lady at a shopping centre in Thonburi and employed with the two other men to carry out her instructions. He had booked the hotel room on the fifth floor to carry out surveillance on the Taiwanese national.
Mr Saewo claimed the Thai woman had informed him of the victim’s criminal past to justify the surveillance and subsequent attack. Police later confirmed this but pointed out that it was some time past and that the victim had served his time.
Nonetheless, the Myanmar man insisted to the officers that the group had left him alive when they exited the room sometime after the attack having failed to recover money owed to the woman.
Cameroonian claims mistaken identity
He admitted to police that they had taken the victim’s smartphone and computer laptop from the scene.
In the meantime, the Cameroonian national, Mr John Abon, denied any involvement in the affair and told police that he was an English language teacher working in Thailand and innocent of any wrongdoing.
The Cameroonian claimed that it must be a case of missing identity that led to his arrest.
Taiwanese man entertained two young women at his hotel room on Tuesday night last, later seen alone
Mr Chu, after his arrival on Tuesday at Suvarnabhumi Airport and checking into his hotel, entertained two young Thai women in his room that evening.
Hotel staff on Wednesday said that they had observed the Taiwanese working on his laptop in his room as they carried out their household duties.
It is understood that police have applied for a third arrest warrant from the Phra Khanong Criminal Court in relation to the white Westerner on charges of intentional murder similar to the other two warrants which were also issued and executed on Friday.