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Burma deports two Thai men with links to grisly murder in the Kingdom

Burmese border guards reopen a major border crossing into Thailand at Tachileik in October 2002. (Photo: Reuters)

Two Thai men accused of involvement in a murder case in Thailand were arrested in Burma and deported into the custody of Thai law enforcement authorities on Thursday.

Their detentions came days after Thai police sought their Burmese counterparts’ cooperation to track down the alleged murderers, a pair of Thai women who reportedly fled to Shan State’s Tachileik Township after killing and mutilating the corpse of a young woman in Khon Kaen, Thailand.

“The two deported suspects had been found to have been complicit in the murder. One of them was a driver who drove the two Thai women from Mae Sai to Tachileik. Another is a Thai businessman residing in Tachileik,” said a superintendent at the Tachileik police station.

According to Htein Win, second lieutenant at the Tachileik police station, a third Thai national who like the two deported men is not wanted for murder but rather abetment of the crime, has evaded arrest to date.

Of the two deported men, police say one is accused of driving the two murder suspects to Tachileik on 25 May, while the other allegedly harboured the fugitive women in the border town.

“In our investigation, we have not found any involvement of Burmese citizens in the murder case. The Thai women who committed the murder were brought to Burma and given shelter by Thai men,” Htein Win added.

An ongoing hunt for the alleged murderers within Burma’s borders came following a request for assistance from the Thailand-Myanmar Border Township Committee (TBC) on 29 May.

Thai media have reported that the murder of 22-year-old Warisara Klinjui was linked to the illicit narcotics trade. Both of the at-large Thai women — 24-year-old Preeyanuch Nongwanchai and 26-year-old Kawita Ratchada — worked at a karaoke establishment in Tachileik’s Wein Kyauk quarter.

Warisara’s mutilated body was discovered on 25 May in Khon Kaen.

A total of four people accused of abetting the murder have been apprehended so far: In addition to the two men deported from Burma, one man was arrested in Laos and a woman was detained by Thai authorities.

The Bangkok Post reported that a third Thai woman, Apiwan Sattayabundit, was also being sought in Burma, but on a lesser charge of having been present at the time the murder took place.