Thailand: Suspect confesses to shooting of red shirt leader — The suspect arrested for the attempted assassination of red shirt leader Kwanchai Praipana has told police he had six accomplices and that they were hired by a “well-respected elder”, according to reports.
The suspect, 39-year-old Maduemang Masae, is a security volunteer in the southern province of Narathiwat, said Pol Lt Gen Anuchai Lekbamrung, commander of Provincial Police Region 4.
Mr Maduemang has confessed to the January 21 shooting of Mr Kwanchai, for which he was paid about 8,000 baht, according to Pol Lt Gen Anuchai.
Mr Kwanchai, one of the most outspoken red shirt leaders, is chairman of the Rak Udon faction of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship in the northeast of Thailand.
Mr Maduemang told police he decided to join the operation, which involved six other people, after he was approached by a “well-respected elder” who had previously helped him, according to a Bangkok Post report.
“The investigation is in line with the testimony of the suspect who was not hesitant to confess,” said Pol Lt Gen Anuchai. “Police will investigate further and search for the other six accomplices.”
He did not give any additional information on the identity of the “well-respected elder”.
One week before the attempted assassination of Mr Kwanchai, a message appeared on a social network saying hitmen in southern Thailand were offering a 1.5-million baht bounty for the murder of Mr Kwanchai.
The attack occurred about 10:30am on January 21 while the red shirt leader was reading the newspaper in his home. He was hit many times in an arm and leg.
Police recovered some 30 spent M16 bullet shells about 200 metres from the house.