: A dispute over land lease, involving THB3 million (RM375,000) has been identified as the motive behind the grisly murder of eight family members in Kampung Ban Klang, Aolud here last Tuesday, according to Thai police chief Gen Chaktip Chaijinda.
He also said the authorities had arrested the alleged mastermind behind the killing and seven other suspects.
“A local trader, believed to be the prime suspect in the case, has been detained,” he told a press conference here on Sunday.
According to Chaktip, the main suspect had allegedly refused to return the land which was leased to him by one of the victims, Worayut Sanglang, who was also the village head.
This resulted in a dispute between the two which ended up with the being dragged to the court. The main suspect had also allegedly threatened to kill the village head three times, he said.
Today, Chaktip and three investigating officers were led to a location in Phang Nga where one of the suspects and his accomplices had torched the car belonging to Worayut.
The suspect also showed three locations where items – namely, the firearms believed to have been used in the murder, missing memory card of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras and the clothes used on the day of the killing – were kept hidden.
In the incident, a group of armed men in military fatigues had stormed into Worayut's house about 4pm and detained seven members of the family before waiting for the village head to return home.
It was reported that all eight family members, including three girls, were found dead after being shot somewhere between midnight and early next morning.