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Friends and family mourn the victim of today's Phuket ''cheers'' shooting

Bid to Share Phuket Bar Shot Triggers Drinkers' Deadly Street Gunshot

Sunday, June 7, 2015
PHUKET: A man who set out to say ''cheers'' to another table of drinkers at a bar in southern Phuket early today was shot dead soon after by the men he tried to befriend, according to police.

Resort worker Apiwat Sripeach, 30, was shot dead outside the Rung Aroon karaoke in Patak Road, near the landmark Chalong Circle, about 1.40am soon after fighting in a brawl outside the Plen bar.

The brawl was generated by strangers, according to investigators from Chalong Police Station.

''Khun Apiwat was drinking with relatives and friends after finishing his shift at the Kata Noi resort,'' one officer said. ''He went across to a nearby group at another table to say 'cheers,' but something went wrong.''

Khun Apiwat fought outside with the other group then they fetched a home-made thai pradit gun and shot him dead in the street nearby,'' say police.

Police arrested Tharapong Nebbaw, 26, and Yuranan Tongpantang, 27, about 4am. The pair will face murder charges.

Khun Apiwat's body was taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City.

A stretch of bars near Chalong Circle has become notorious for killings and violent incidents, with local police said to turn a blind eye to after-hours opening and other misdemeanors.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


It is time to straight out again matters about Chalong Patak Road bars!
They are always open after official closing time.Often till 4 AM!
They cause noise trouble for people living around and need to sleep at night.
It is were a chalong police officer last time shot a bar waitress at 4 AM! ( we never heard anymore about this murder case).
It is well known that chalong police officers have financial participation at bars at that location. It seems hard to wipe out and clean up this a-social and very corrupt corner of Chalong.
There is overwhelming proof of bar opening times violations, just 500 meters from Chalong police station.
When will this be investigated and corrected? Why thai authorities allow all this crap?
If, by thai law, the bar closing time was respected, than last year the bar waitress was not murdered by a police officer, the finnish guy runned over by a drunk thai on Patak road would be still alive, and last night murder would not have happened.

All this happened after official closing time of bars. And it goes on and on. Very influential people must own that stretch of Chalong Patak Rd.

Posted by Kurt on June 7, 2015 09:18


Couldn't agree more Kurt. That area is so off limits for me, for the exact reasons you state. Look at those accused, what is it with such short, irrational and over the top tempers. No one deserves to die this way.

Posted by Andy on June 7, 2015 12:02


"...with local police said to turn a blind eye to after-hours opening and other misdemeanors..." LOL !! It is well noted that most of the karaoke bar are owned by relatives of policemen and even, a couple of them directly by a family of policemen...

Posted by dave on June 7, 2015 12:09

Editor Comment:

Inappropriate laughter, dave, given that a man is dead. Let's hope the Phuket police commander, who is not noted for tolerating unprofessional conduct, investigates. I suggest you drop him a note.


R.I.P. Apiwat Sripeach hard working man.Can PW have one meeting place 1 once a month in different places in Phuket that people can come and talk to you one meeting point, there are many who will not write on the net. For example Kata some bar / Resurange first Wednesday every month from 12 to 14 o'clock it's just a small idea.

Posted by Bjorn Ronningen on June 7, 2015 13:04

Editor Comment:

Better to contact your embassy, Bjorn, to let them know what's going on and why police should act. In defending ourselves, what spare time we have to do more has disappeared.


I do not smile for the dead, and this is well written. To drop a note to Phuket police commander I well remember what another rival newspaper wrote to me some years ago: " Don't go personally to expose the case to the competent authorities because you can not know who is really involved: could be very dangerous for your life. Let us to proceed with the necessary checks and investigations..". Dear ED, if you need proof I can send it to you. Anyway afterwords nothing happened.

Posted by dave on June 7, 2015 14:07

Editor Comment:

I would be interested to see that letter from a rival newspaper, dave. There is no point in goading others to act on your behalf in the real world. You either find the courage, or continue to live in fear.


Ed: If the Phuket police commander who is not noted for tolerating unprofessional conduct, why do we still have to "hope" that he will investigate?

Posted by Carl on June 7, 2015 14:18

Editor Comment:

Because until someone complains, we have no way of knowing the truth, Carl. Anyone with evidence of corruption or unprofessional activities by police should report it to the Phuket commander. That's their public duty. We are confident that the commander knows how to do his duty.


"....notorious for killings and violent incidents" Why the Sensationalism?

Posted by Gee on June 7, 2015 15:04

Editor Comment:

Sorry, make that '' . . . notable for killings and violent incidents.''


I live closer to these bars than I'd like to (apprx 500m) and I can often hear the music from Saraphan Plaeng late into the early morning hours.

This particular establishment was allowed to open right next to an apartment building. The Thai couple who built and owned that building lost all their business and money. When I spoke to them, they said Saraphan Plaeng is owned by a police officer and there was nothing they could do.

I can see the type of customers who frequent these bars and I would never even think about stepping in.

Killings like this have happened there many times before and I have no doubt, will continue to happen. The slightest provocation or just a simple misunderstanding can and will get you killed.

This is Thais among Thais. Imagine the result if I stuck my nose in as a foreign man.

I cannot say if Chalong police are more corrupt than those at other locations on Phuket but what I can say is that it's really bad out here.

If you want to see something newsworthy, hang around Soi Disappointment (the soi leading to Chalong pier) around official closing time. Chances are you will see a police officer on a motorbike and in uniform driving around piss drunk.

Nobody bats an eyelid.

To catch Chalong police for dereliction of duty and outright corruption would be incredibly easy. All that's needed is the will to do so.

Years have passed and nothing has changed, which pretty much underscores the fact that no such will exists in the Phuket police force.

Posted by Herbert on June 7, 2015 17:35

Editor Comment:

I guess you will be knocking on the commander's door on Monday, Herbert. Or doing nothing.


@ Ed

I've had my encounters with Chalong Police and despite indisputable video evidence nothing was done. On the contrary I was made to understand if I pursue the issue, my situation in Thailand will become volatile.

Yes, I gave up.

I don't have a media outlet to give me a voice and protection through publicity. If you would be willing to tag along and report the case, I could consider going against Chalong police.

On my own ? No thanks, I value my life and health way too much to do that.

Do I like to have to give in ? About as much as I like having a hole in my head but I do not have the means, connections or money to take on the police force here.

I'm also well aware that if I file complaints elsewhere, the first thing that is relayed back to Chalong police is who did that. This is common practice with just about any kind of complaints here. Be it the OrBorTor, Ombudsman or police. I know this for a fact from countless examples along the years.

Nothing will be done about the complaint but the person filing the complaint will suffer the windfall.

There is no justice in Thailand, especially not for the insignificant ones like myself.

Posted by Herbert on June 7, 2015 18:45

Editor Comment:

Nothing changes if fear is in charge, Herbert. The new commander has a very good reputation. You should talk over what to do with your honorary consul and others with the capacity to speak up. If the 'Justice for Jessie' campaign can make police chief listen, so can you.


Mr Editor was commenting that the Phuket police Commander is not noted for tolerating unprofessional conduct. Mr Editor, instead of suggesting DAVE to drop a note, perhaps you can give that particular Police Commander a hint that Chalong has a non lawful police station which is located on Phuket island?
Previous Chalong police corruption ( scuba dive firms issues) were enlighten by you. A few Chalong leading police officers transferred to inactive ( long holiday) duties, but nothing has changed. In contrary, as you can read from other comments.

Posted by Kurt on June 7, 2015 20:01

Editor Comment:

You, dave and herbert can surely work up enough evidence between the three of you to prove what you say is true. Go along to see the commander as a delegation. The police at the top have never been more receptive.


@ Dave, @ Herbert: Gents, I had the same experience with chalong police.
This Chalong police corruption is not something for us, foreigners, to tackle.
It is simply to dangerous in Chalong. Yes, to dangerous, can you imagine?
Even thai people are threaten by Chalong police when they complained. This dirt only can be cleaned up by exposure in press. At least by telling this Phuket Police commander that Chalong police station is still located on Phuket.

Posted by Kurt on June 7, 2015 20:19

Editor Comment:

So Jessie (aged 16) and Irish can tackle it, but Kurt, dave and herbert cannot? Perhaps you need to contact her for lessons in what to do.


PW wrote: A stretch of bars near Chalong Circle has become notorious for killings and violent incidents ( always after official closing times). police officerstheir nominees own these places. If PW writes about it, how come the Phuket Police commander does not know?

Posted by Kurt on June 7, 2015 20:31

Editor Comment:

Because you haven't told him, Kurt. You'd rather not tell him.


So far Jessie didn't tackle anything.
Go and have a look after 1-2 AM in that chalong area to convince yourself.
Did I miss something? Who is Jessie (16)? Living on Phuket?
Is she depend on yearly renewing foreign visa status to live here?

Andy, Dave, Herbert, do you know about a Jessie? Know about anything tackled?
Chalong Bars are sure tonight still open till sunrise.

Posted by Kurt on June 7, 2015 20:54

Editor Comment:

If you guys can't see that Jessie Vard is showing you what to do about the same Chalong police station, then you are way out of touch. Your ''evidence'' could help. Or you could simply stop bleating here and stay silent.


the comments of the editor of phuketwan show very clearly, he is on the side of the police.
"how come the Phuket Police commander does not know?-Editor Comment:
Because you haven't told him, Kurt".
only the press or some very influential people can change here something, but even suggesting, a foreigner can change anything here, is more than stupid.
by the way, the name rung aroon karaoke says it all- rung means rainbow or ladder, aroon means dawn- loosley translated- at dawn you will be high.-

Posted by phuketmafia on June 9, 2015 00:15

Editor Comment:

We don't take sides but we do see the benefit in working together for the same aims, phuketmafia. Doomsayers have a self-fulfilling philosophy - nothing will ever change so I will do nothing.



Posted by JackD on June 9, 2015 05:59

Editor Comment:

Pathetic, JackD. Feel free to lead you empty life, but don't expect applause.

Thursday December 9, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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