A Moroccan man confesses to the brutal murder of an Austrian DJ on the paradise island of Ko Phangan. Police are pursuing murder charges after Anas Rakib, 37, admitted to killing Max Hartl, 42, in a heated altercation during  a weekend party with friends.

Police on Ko Phangan have arrested a 37-year-old Moroccan national for the alleged murder of an Austrian DJ on the paradise island. A senior police officer confirmed that murder charges are being pursued. The North African was taken into custody by police just hours after brutally cutting down 42-year-old Max Hartl. The confrontation between the two men came after Anas Rakib stormed out of Mr Hartl’s home during a weekend party. A heated quarrel between the two men, reportedly close friends, arose at the get-together at the Austrian’s residence.

Police on Ko Phangan over the weekend brought Moroccan national Anas Rakib back to the scene where he allegedly murdered a 42-year-old Austrian DJ on the island identified as Max Hartl. The 37-year-old accused has confessed to police that he killed the DJ after a quarrel arose between the two men at a party.

Another chilling murder has sent shockwaves through the serene island of Ko Phangan. Police on Friday announced the arrest of Moroccan national Anas Rakib, aged 37.

The North African was detained in connection with the brutal murder of Austrian DJ Max Hartl.

The idyllic setting of the paradise island in Surat Thani province was once again shattered on Friday. It follows a string of such incidents in recent years. 

Previously, in August 2023, 29-year-old Spaniard Daniel Sancho Bronchalo was arrested for butchering his gay lover, a 44-year-old plastic surgeon from Colombia. The sensational case is still before the Thai courts.

Brutal murder not far from the Austrian’s home. He pursued his killer who later viciously cut him down with a steel implement. Blows to the head and face

This happened when Hartl’s lifeless body was discovered beside a small road at the foot of a hill. It bore the disturbing signs of foul play.

Police were able to discern evidence of extensive blunt force trauma to the European man’s head and face.

According to police reports, witnesses implicated Rakib. Certainly, he was the last person seen with the victim before the grisly discovery of his body. 

Acting swiftly on this lead, law enforcement authorities apprehended the Moroccan on Friday. The arrest came just hours after Hartl’s body was found. 

The suspect was taken to the Ko Phangan district police station.

At length, he was thoroughly questioned by senior police officers.

Killer and his victim had a relationship

The investigative team was led by Police Colonel Sirichai Suksart, the deputy chief of Surat Thani police. Also included was Police Colonel Panya Nirattimanont, the superintendent of Ko Phangan district police station.

In brief, key details emerged from the interrogation. Police learned more about the relationship between the victim and the accused. 

Spanish chef murdered gay lover on Ko Phangan cut him into 14 pieces and left him as garbage
Police probe cause of death of Russian whose skeletal body was found in a forest on Ko Phangan by a dog

It was revealed that Rakib and Hartl shared a friendship, adding a perplexing layer to the unfolding narrative. Hartl’s sister, Martina Shelley, told the investigating team that her brother had served as a DJ at a restaurant on the island.

This was for over an extensive period of seven years. During that time he had become well-liked within the local community.

Weekend party at the DJ’s Ko Phangan home turned sour leading the 37-year-old Moroccan to storm out after a heated quarrel took place between the two 

She told officers that Hartl had organised a party with eight or nine companions at his residence. This was nestled at the foot of a hill. The party took place before a murderous encounter occurred outside between Mr Hartl and the Moroccan suspect.

Shelley speculated that a disagreement during the gathering may have spiralled into a violent altercation. This ultimately led to her brother’s vicious murder.

In the course of a media briefing, Police Colonel Sirichai divulged that Rakib had confessed to the crime during questioning. 

The admission came after initial investigations uncovered evidence suggesting that the victim and the suspect had been engaged in a drinking session at Hartl’s residence.

This indeed had quickly escalated into a heated argument.

Austrian tried to prevent the Morrocan from leaving

Rakib told officers that he attempted to depart from the premises, only to be met with resistance from Hartl.

In effect, this caused a violent confrontation.

‘The suspect claimed that he asked to leave but the house owner did not let him go, so they started quarrelling,’ Police Colonel Sirichai explained

In a chilling sequence of events recalled by Rakib, police were told how Hartl met his end.

The suspect told how, following their altercation at Hartl’s residence, he left the premises. However, he was pursued by the victim. 

Their confrontation spilt onto a nearby roadside.

Both parties injured in a violent fight that took place near the residence of the Austrian who died from severe blunt force trauma to his head and face

Rakib purportedly took a steel implement from Hartl’s pickup truck.

He used it to attack his former friend delivering fatal blows to his head, face and neck area. Amidst the chaos, it emerged that both parties sustained injuries. 

Rakib reportedly also suffered wounds to his head and neck during the altercation.

As the investigation progresses, authorities are diligently gathering evidence to substantiate the charge of murder against Mr Rakib.

Police Colonel Sirichai afterwards affirmed the commitment of law enforcement to pursue justice for Hartl’s murder.

He emphasised the violence used in this crime. A brutal act had been committed and the Moroccan was facing a murder charge. 

He said police efforts were at this time focused on finalising a meticulous case to successfully prosecute the Morrocan for the killing.

Join the Thai News forum, follow Thai Examiner on Facebook here
Receive all our stories as they come out on Telegram here
Follow Thai Examiner here

Further reading:

Spanish chef murdered gay lover on Ko Phangan, cut him into 14 pieces and left him as garbage

Killer Spaniard surprised naked Chilean man at his home on Ko Phangan and knifed him to death

Police probe mental health of suspected murderer who killed his wife and stepson in Maha Sarakham

Prachinburi police launch murder investigation as German teacher found stabbed in bed at his home

Yaba Yaba Don’t. Another murder in Phatthalung province this week linked to the evil drug now rife

Pattaya police release grainy CCTV of UK man picking up the woman he later brutally murdered at home

Four Chinese men arrested after hideous murder of a Chinese tourist and his wife last Monday night

Murderer who stole not only a foreigner’s life but his wife is finally arrested by CSD police in Phrae

Love triangle murders in Thailand linked with popular TV soaps, foreigners and money

93% of Thai people want to see the death penalty put to use to curb shocking murders and drug gangs

Former Thai Government minister arrested – linked to kidnap and suspected murder of judge’s brother