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Police help a distressed accused to change seats at Kathu police station

Patong Murder: Singapore Woman Accused

Friday, March 6, 2009
Phuketwan Latest, with Photo Album

A WOMAN from Singapore ordered the killing of a Canadian property developer in Patong, police told the media tonight.

The woman, Diana Goh Li Fun, 32, told police that the Canadian had borrowed a large amount of money from her, then pretended that he owed her nothing.

Because she was broke and he refused to repay the money, she borrowed 1.5 million baht from a friend in Singapore to have him murdered, police allege.

Police said they cracked the case by sifting through records from all resorts and hotels on the island until they uncovered the movements of the alleged killers. CCTV footage was used, too.

The six accused in the case, with two arrests still pending, were lined up before the media at Kathu Police Station in Patong tonight.

Diana Goh Li Fun and three others accused over the shooting of Canadian Francis Alex Degioanni were arrested today.

The alleged gunmen were named as Somchai Mingjaiyen, 29, (in a denim shirt) and Suwan Simet, 32 (in a black shirt).

One friend of Diana Goh Li Fun, Sumon Sumen, 39, (in the orange shirt) is accused of helping to plan the murder and putting the money for the gunmen into a bank account.

Another friend, Netnapa Witayatamsopon, 37, (wearing a lime top) is accused of helping to plan to murder and finding the gunmen.

Khun Netnapa had to be helped into the police station tonight and seldom lifted her head from the bench.

Diana Goh Li Fun (wearing a pink shirt with black stripes) brushed her hair forward to cover her face and the pair stumbled as they negotiated the stairs to the second floor.

When asked to identify herself, Diana Goh Li Fun raised her hand, although her face remained covered by her hair.

Eakapon Lakrod, 35, (in the camouflage shirt) a friend of Khun Sumon's, allegedly planned the killing by observing Mr Degioanni's behavior and deciding the place and method of execution.

Two arrests are still pending. One is said to have driven the motorcycle on which the killers escaped.

The other person is alleged to have rented the motorbike and come with his three friends to Phuket at the time of the murder.

The Commander in Chief of Provincial Police Region 8, Police Lieutenant General Santan Chayanon, attended the briefing tonight with the Superintendent of Kathu Police Station, Police Colonel Grissak Songmoonnark, and the island's police chief, Major General Apirak Hongtong

Lieutenant General Santan said police were concerned about every crime but devoted additional resources to this investigation because it involved investors in Thailand.

Officers painstakingly sifted through resort and hotel records until they came upon the four men who had booked into a hotel near Simon Cabaret in Patong, not far from the murder scene outside the Canadian victim's office-home.

The men stayed from February 15 to February 20, and the murder took place on February 19.

Police used copies of the ID cards of two of the men to track them and begin the series of arrests.

Tonight one of the alleged shooters admitting the killing before taking part in a reenactment at the scene. He had an unexplained deposit of 400,000 baht in his bank account, police said.

Degioanni, a former model in Bangkok, had been doing business in Phuket for five years, selling condominiums to tourists.

His wife, who was at the scene of his murder, identified photographs of the two men who allegedly strolled to the scene before opening fire on Mr Degioanni as he sat in his pickup.

One of them had visited Phuket a month earlier to watch their target and plan the killing, police said.

Four murders in quick succession on the island have triggered unease among the expat community about safety and security.

Expats cannot recall a period when so many prominent murders were being investigated at the same time.

The killing of Norwegian Simen Knudsen, at Rawai in 2007, apparently with robbery as a motive, drew international attention. So did the daylight murder of Swedish tourist Hanna Backlund at Mai Khao beach in 2008.

A local man was swiftly arrested and put behind bars for Ms Backlund's murder. Mr Knudsen's case remains unsolved.

While the deaths of expats on the island are often highlighted, even in cases of heart attack or suicide, the actual risks of a violent end seem no greater than in the homelands of most visitors.

Many statistical distortions occur because, while the numerical comparisons are struck with other parts of Thailand on the basis of the island's official population of 320,000, the actual population is at least twice that, and much greater still if tourists are included.

Latest Shock Report


Patong Killer 'Planned Second Expat Murder'
Murders Latest Phuket police say a professional hitman from Bangkok who killed a Canadian in Patong at the behest of a woman from Singapore planned to murder a second expat on the island.
Patong Killer 'Planned Second Expat Murder'

Phuket Murders 2009


The victim: Ian Kenneth Stuart, 60, British expat, a financial adviser with St James Properties Co, Ltd.
The crime: Murder by battery.
Date: February 23
The scene: Victim's office, a shophouse opposite Tesco-Lotus on the bypass road, Phuket City
The motive: Still being investigated.
Investigating: Tung Thong Police.
New developments: Police told Phuketwan that investigators are checking CCTV cameras at the shophouse office project where Mr Stuart's body was found. They are also looking into his background to determine possible motives and suspects.

The victim: Francis Alex Degioanni, 34, Canadian property developer living in Phuket.
The crime: Shooting murder.
Date: February 19
The scene: In the victim's pickup truck parked outside of his home-office in Soi Ton Village, Patong.
The motive: Police are looking into financial disputes with a business partner as one possible motive.
Investigating: Kathu Police, with Phuket Police Commander Major General Apirak Hongtong overseeing the case.
New developments: An autopsy is being performed on the body in Bangkok. The Montreal Gazette interviewed Mr Degioanni's father and reports that "for the past few months, his son had become increasingly nervous during the phone calls he made to his parents twice a week. 'There had been problems with a former partner, the disappearance of about $750,000,' he said. He said things came to a head when his son called last month to tell him he'd been hospitalised because someone had tried to poison him."

The victim: Chid ''Kit'' Raknang, owner of Farang restaurant in Phuket City.
The crime: Shooting murder.
Date: January 18
The scene: At the victim's restaurant, Farang 2, opposite Index Furniture off the bypass road, Phuket City.
The motive: Police believe a business dispute with one of the suspects, a rival business owner, is behind the murder.
Investigating: Phuket City Police.
New developments: Arrest warrants were issued last week for two men. Police decline to reveal the names of the suspects, but the man believed to have pulled the trigger is from Phattalung, while the man believed to have ordered the hit is from Phuket, police say. The Phattalung man is known to police as a professional killer and being investigated for several murders in Thailand, Phuket City Police Chief Wanchai Ekpornpit told Phuketwan. Both men are believed to have fled Phuket and police are trying to determine their whereabouts. Pol Col Wanchai said arrests would be made soon.

The Fourth Murder


Fourth Murder: Phuket Police 'at Full Stretch'
Crime Latest Run by the gun? Undermanned Phuket police are now investigating a fourth murder in a spate of major crime over the past seven weeks. Officer numbers are limited.
Fourth Murder: Phuket Police 'at Full Stretch'

Police Probe Expat Murder near Tesco Lotus
Latest Police are investigating two murders of expats connected with the property industry following the killing of a British man in Phuket City. There is no obvious link between the cases.
Police Probe Expat Murder near Tesco Lotus

Patong Killers Strolled to Date with Death
Photo Album How did it happen? Phuketwan went to the scene of the killing of a Canadian property developer in Patong and pieced together details of the murder.
Patong Killers Strolled to Date with Death

Phuket Shooter Kills Expat Developer
Updating report An expat resident has been shot dead in Patong, police have told Phuketwan. The victim was a 34 year old property developer from Canada.
Phuket Shooter Kills Expat Developer

Farang Killing: Arrest Warrant Issued
Latest Two suspects accused of killing the Farang restaurant chain proprietor have been named in an arrest warrant issued by police in Phuket City.
Farang Killing: Arrest Warrant Issued

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Superb Reporting - Congratulations to PhuketWan - I am very impressed indeed.

Posted by Martin on March 7, 2009 04:22

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Does Thailand still have a death penalty by sword or hanging ? OR has this country also gone soft on crime ?
This would be fitting justice for these people if found guilty. I also thought being caught with drugs here, qualified for instant death penalty ? Any answers ?

Posted by A Nonny Mouse on March 7, 2009 08:59

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If you borrow something, ALWAYS give it back or bad karma will stalk you and prey on you. Let this case serve as a warning.

Posted by Graham on March 7, 2009 09:02

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"While the deaths of expats on the island are often highlighted, even in cases of heart attack or suicide, the actual risks of a violent end seem no greater than in the homelands of most visitors."
Was there any need to add this pointless and unprovable statement to your article? Stick to reporting the news, which you do well; don't force feed us your opinions on all things Thai.

Posted by Anon on March 7, 2009 14:17

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Lighten up Anon
That was a great piece of reporting
And the paragraph below the one you comment on makes sense and it's no doubt dangerous all over the world.

Posted by Frank in Rawai on March 7, 2009 17:19

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I agree, very good reporting, but that last paragraph was opinion as Thailand ranks 3rd in gun deaths, (per capita) behind South Africa and Columbia. So why are Thailand's draconian gun restriction laws only applied to foreigners?

Editor: My understanding is that it's illegal to carry a gun even if you have one legitimately for protection at your home or office. This is why the Governor of Phuket closed the island pub where there was a shooting on new year's eve. Gun incidents on Phuket seem relatively rare (yes, more opinion) and accurate comparisons on crime are hard to find. Would more liberal gun laws improve the situation? I doubt it.

Posted by AnarChristy on March 8, 2009 08:59

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For a good picture of Diana Goh, search up her name on facebook. She had shorter hair then and is wearing a red dress.

Posted by Anonymous on March 8, 2009 15:29

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IF all is as it is reported, and told by the Thai police (...), it is very simple: When you borrow money, you pay it BACK! Or at least negotiate to have some mercy and time. You DO NOT pretend as there was nothing to be paid back!!! Som-nam-naa!

Posted by Soijaa Pukkaa on March 16, 2009 23:33

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I believe she has her own reasons for confessing to the charges. She was one of the helpful angels I knew for many years... she also helped out during Tsunami times without asking anything in return...

One must be desperate to come up with a decision like this... None of these would happen , if he had the courtesy to PAY BACK and NOT PRETENDING that he DIDN'T !! Such MEN is a DISGRACE and with no sympathy at all !

Don't mention about leaving behind his family and all.. I believed even if he was ALIVE, it does not makes any difference. He won't even bother or be mercy to MS.GOH. Then what about Ms.GOH? She has other commitments, kids and family too!! Having to be able to pay debts of 4k SGD per month in Thailand is not easy at all!

It does not PAY TO BE KIND!!

Posted by Surin on March 29, 2009 12:45

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Dear Editor, is there any verdict on miss goh's case?

Editor: The Thai system can take a while . . . don't expect a speedy trial. We will check.

Posted by Anonymous on April 13, 2009 18:44

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Dear editor, is there any update on miss goh's case?
Editor: Yes. We'll have something shortly . . .

Posted by Anonymous on May 30, 2009 19:08


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