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The men presented today to the media over the Rassada Pub stabbing

Phuket Pub Stabbing: Justice For All, Says Police Chief as Six Men Face Media

Thursday, January 5, 2012
UPDATE

Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha, having been told of a previous stabbing attack at the Rachada Pub in Phuket City's Poonpol district, opted to order the venue to shut for 90 days rather than 60 days. Victim Vorasit ''Wan'' Issara underwent more surgery today.

Original Report

PHUKET: A broken glass sparked the stabbing of a resort owner in the back and stomach in an early-morning pub altercation with ''security guards'' in Phuket City, police said today.

Six men used an array of weapons - including a homemade tomahawk - on Vorasit ''Wan'' Issara, 30, wealthy owner of the Sri panwa on Phuket's east coast. His driver, Nopadon Preechawai, 30, was also wounded.

Both men remain in the intensive care unit at Bangkok Hospital Phuket, new Phuket Police Commander Major General Chonsit Wadhnawarangkun told the media today at Phuket City Police Station.

The six men - one under 18 - have confessed, the Major General said today, but he restricted the questions that journalists sought to ask when all six were presented.

All entertainment venues on Phuket would be contacted and questioned about opening hours and security staff, Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha told Phuketwan today.

Governor Tri visited Khun Wan today and other VIP guests were expected. At an earlier media conference, the governor said an application would be made to close the Rassada Pub in Phuket City's Poonpol district, where the altercation occurred early on Wednesday, for 60 days.

Details of the cause of the 4am confrontation remain unclear.

But Major General Chonsit did say Khun Wan was with four or five other people, including expats. Sri panwa is noted for attracting celebrities and has in the past been a holiday destination for former Thai PM Abhisit Vejjajiva and his family.

Commander Chonsit said the friends were sitting in the pub when a glass fell on the floor and broke. The assault was committed soon after, he said.

''There was a misunderstanding that developed into a violent confrontation,'' he said.

When asked who started the fight, he did not respond.

Major General Chonsit said he met with the parents of Khun Wan at Bangkok Hospital Phuket yesterday.

The six men sat impassively. All were ''invited'' to report to police and did so, Major General Chonsit said.

Justice would be applied fairly in the case, he added. ''We don't work only for famous people, but for everyone,'' he said. ''We will listen carefully to both sides.''

He said ''Please, please, please'' when journalists tried to question the six directly.

They were named as Jarungsuk Sawangkit, 29, Suriya Kraipen, 33, Suchat Pahla, 26, Nattawut Kongplup, 19, Wasan Photong, 20, and a minor who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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A very popular guy from a highly ranked family. This will encourage the truth about Phuket's safety to come out. Thai media will be all over it I imagine.

I wish the guy well!

Posted by S on January 5, 2012 12:38

Editor Comment:

There are plenty of unanswered questions about this pub and other venues like it that are allowed to open late all over the island. If the new Police Commander is keen to make an impression, he has an opportunity to do so quickly.

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The six men, five of them visible on the picture, all dressed in same black shirts - uniformed?

Look like a special task force themselves.

They seem to have tried to mess with the wrong guy-people! ;-)
Not so much fuss about that stabbing with Mr. Nobody for sure!

Posted by Alfred on January 5, 2012 13:08

Editor Comment:

The sixth man, the minor, is alongside the others to the left. All are dressed in dark shirts provided by Phuket City Police Station for accused.

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Says it all about the quality of the venue with the type of weapons deemed necessary for the security of their patrons. Must say very ingenious use of motocy brake disc, a horrendous weapon to say the least though no doubt it will be claimed to be a pizza cutter.

Posted by innocent bystander on January 5, 2012 14:19

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Nice to know security of a pub hold such weapons. How many other security guys on this island would be prepared to do the same i wonder.
Get well soon Khun Wan, look forward to your next party.

Posted by phuket madness on January 5, 2012 14:42

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Editor, I agree about venues being open late but the police are the problem. Nothing is allowed to happen in Phuket or Thailand for that matter that the police don't know about or benefit from. As we know, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Posted by Billy on January 5, 2012 17:56

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Details are not yet clear but the application to shut the pub down for 90 days has already been filed. All six have also been apprehended and miraculously have confessed.

I don't see anyone filing counter charges against the claimant either as is usual when a foreigner is assaulted and files charges with the police.

Interesting to see how different the reaction from the authorities is when the victim is not a foreign tourist but rather a Hi-So Thai person.

I'm not saying police is not doing the right thing in this case, I'm just saying I hope they would act with equal enthusiasm in every case of similar nature.

Posted by Steve C. on January 5, 2012 18:02

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I couldn't care less whether the victim is from "a highly ranked family" (WHAT does that mean by the way?) and if he is a resort owner or if he is a common guy working a normal job. Should I care more because he is a wealthy? Looking at his earlier comments he seems to be a spoiled brat who thinks he is special. If he dies, it's not more (or less) upsetting than if any other victim of violence dies.

Posted by christian on January 5, 2012 18:20

Editor Comment:

We've used the term hi-so but ''highly ranked''? I don't think so. Hi-so is popular Thai slang for members of well-off Bangkok families, nothing more, although in some cases it brings a measure of influence and important connections. Police are at pains to make the point that all are equal when it comes to the law. We certainly share your hope that Khun Wan is not going to die.

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I can't but wonder what the police reaction would have been if the boot had been on the other foot and a 'powerful man' had conducted an attack? Hopefully the Police commander will be visiting people attacked by tuk tuk and taxi drivers as well as he grows into his job.

Posted by Mister Ree on January 5, 2012 18:55

Editor Comment:

One attack at a time, please, Mister Ree.

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''We don't work only for famous people, but for everyone,'' Maybe it is unfair, but Khun Chonsit tell that to the German guy who was beaten into a coma. Or to the Russian, who was run over by a motorboat while swimming. Or so many low key Thai victims, who will never see you in hospital.

Anyway, good and fast reaction in this case. Best wishes to Khun Wan and his family. Get well and party on.

Posted by Lena on January 5, 2012 19:32

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Would it be applied for boat people?
Or is it just acting?

Posted by James on January 6, 2012 11:40

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Anyone have an idea what sort of penalty the six will get? Do they go to trial? What happens next?

Posted by David on January 6, 2012 16:55

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i am informed by a Thai friend that more than one Thai news website is reporting that the fight was started by the stabbing victim when one of the security guards shone a torch at him. has anyone else heard anything about what started the altercation??

Posted by another steve on January 8, 2012 10:53

Editor Comment:

Phuketwan's interview with the victim is the only interview with the victim. Why don't you read it and find out what he says happened? Everything else is speculation.

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Please is there any further news on the fate of the men? Or does anyone know where I might find out? One of them is the estranged brother of my girlfriend they haven't spoken in years and the first she knew was seeing him on TV she didn't even know he was in phuket!!!

Posted by Dave on January 12, 2012 19:41


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