Police arrested three gunmen suspected of shooting Donald Whiting

Thailand Children's DayOn 24th October 09, Mr. Donald Whiting, an American citizen residing at house no. 38/12, Khaophithak Community, saw a man holding an envelop in front of his house.  Not suspecting anything Donald Whiting came out of his house to open the gate to the man. While he was walking to the gate, two other men have appeared and shoot Donald and have immediately left the area in their pick-up car.  As soon as Mrs. Dolly Whiting, Mr. Donald’s wife, heard the shots, she came out of the house and has found her husband shot. Local Thai resident leaving close by have rushed to the crime scene and have provided first aid to Donald Whiting.

It has been 4 months since Hua Hin Superintendent Pol.Col. Krissana Jaengsawang  has told local press that his police team was investigating this crime. Yesterday on Tuesday 27 January 2008 three gunmen suspected of being involve in the shooting of Donald Whiting have been arrested. However investigation is not completed and police need to gather more evidence.

Straight away after the shooting of her husband took place, Dolly Samson, Vice Chancellor of Stamford International University, has contacted the American Embassy and has asked for help. Shortly after, the American Embassy has contacted The Royal Thai Police and was kept informed about investigation progress ever since. After having been informed, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjashiva has urged the Royal Thai Police to solve the case as fast as possible.  Prime Minister has ordered Commissioner-General and his team to find gunmen who shot Donald Whiting.  This case has been closely followed by press, Thai and foreign residents living in Thailand. This case has affected the whole image of Thai tourism and could affect Thailand’s international relationship with other countries. 

As per Royal Thai Police command no. 30/2552, dated 26 Jan., 09 Deputy Commissioner-General  Pol.Gen. Thani  Somboonsap and  Assistant Commission-General Pol.Lt.Gen. Assawin Kwanmuang has been ordered to take control of the investigation. 

Two days later the investigation team has ordered the arrest of three suspects; Mr. Yutthana Areesawat, aged 36, residing at house no. 104, Thungkha Sub District, Chumphon Province, Mr. Samaat Areesawat, aged 41, residing at house no. 104, Thungkha Sub District, Chumphon Province, and Mr. Eakanan Jitmahima, aged 50, residing at Rungsit Sub District, Thayaburi District, and Phathumthani Province.  During the arrest of the suspects, police also found one black .38 gun (Smith Vessan Brand) without registration number and Isuzu car with license plate no. Tor Thor (ตฐ) 5521 Bangkok. 

Pol.Lt.Gen. Assawin Kwanmuang and his team have established that the three suspects have initially met at Index Living Mall to discuss the murder of Mr. Donald Whiting. Mr. Samaat Areesawat has confessed that then they went to house no. 38/126, Khoaphithak Community where Thai lady owning this house, whose husband was a real estate businessman, has hired the three suspects to murder Mr. Donald Whiting for 200,000 THB.  The police team has checked all evidence regarding money transfer transaction and is expected arrest the persons responsible for hiring the gunmen to murder Donald Whiting. 

We have spoken to Dolly, Donald’s wife, on the phone recently. She has told us that she is now looking after her husband at hospital in Bangkok.  She said, that she must thank the Thai Prime Minister, The Royal Thai Police, the Police Investigation Team in Prachuapkhirikhan Province and the American Embassy for helping find the gunmen suspected of shooting Donald. At the moment, her husband is not able to move due to paralysis.  Dolly has also told us that before shooting of her husband took place, her husband’s car was set on fire and the criminals behind the car fire are the same as the suspects in the murder case. The criminals have confessed that they were employed to set the car on fire for 30,000 THB.  Shortly after the car attack Mr. Donald Whiting has decided to sue Mrs. Janpen Oxley and Mr. Darren Oxley at Prachuapkhirikhan Provincial Court. Donald Whiting was due in the court on 25th Oct. 2008, but as we know he was shot on 24th of October 2008 and was not able travel to the court.


Reported by Khun Tuck Dechapanya

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