Police seek arrest warrant for a gunman who killed a naval officer in Hat Yai

Hat Yai police have sought an arrest warrant from the court for the arrest of a relative of a high-ranking police officer in Songkhla wanted for the alleged killing of a naval officer at an illegal gambling den on Thursday (Nov 9).

Chief Petty Officer (first class) Thirapol O-kaew, 27, was shot dead at an illegal gambling den in Soi Por Natthapol in Hat Yai district on Thursday night allegedly by Mr Woraphan Chulpaka following a heated quarrel between the two men.

Mr Woraphan is said to be a relative of a deputy commissioner of  Provincial Police Region 9 overseeing Trang, Phattalung, Songkhla, and Satun provinces.

The victim was shot three times – two in the chest and one in his head – with an 11mm pistol.  He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Pol Maj-Gen Preeda Piamvaree

Pol Maj-Gen Preeda Piamvaree, commander of Songkhla provincial police, said Friday (Nov 10) that the gambling den was a mobile one and had been raided for a couple of times by the police.

A gambler who was a frequent patron of the gambling den told the media that the Por Natthapol den was operated by an influential figure in the district and he managed to keep the den in business because he had paid bribes to officials of several agencies in Songkhla province.

The illegal gambling den was busted in March this year by the military, but the operator kept switching locations to avoid police raids until it was moved back to Soi Por Natthapol.  Earlier last year, a former kamnan from Tambon Koh Mark in Phatthalung was shot dead in the casino.

It has been known among the locals that there are four illegal casinos in Hat Yai, including the one at Soi Por Natthapol.