Talented actress Preechaya “Ice” Pongthananikorn has publicly acknowledged that she purchased cyanide online, yet clarified that it was solely for the purpose of preventing monitor lizards from harming her beloved dogs. The 33-year-old star felt compelled to shed light on the situation after her name emerged on a list of 100 buyers who had acquired cyanide from the same source as accused serial killer Sararat “Aem” Rangsiwuthaporn.
Preechaya provided further information about the purchase during an appearance on the Lui Chon Khao television program on Channel 8. She emphasized that she had acquired only one bottle of the dangerous chemical, as opposed to the significant quantity reported by some outlets. Moreover, she mentioned that she had not yet opened the package, and expressed her readiness to cooperate with the police regarding the matter.
In support of her daughter, Preechaya’s mother, Bang-orn Pongthananikorn, disclosed additional details to the media. According to Bang-orn, the actress made the online purchase on April 25 and received the parcel two days later. The need for the cyanide emerged when the land behind Preechaya’s house subsided, drawing snakes, monitor lizards, and other venomous creatures from a nearby canal. These unwelcome guests consistently targeted her dogs, causing Preechaya to explore various remedies. Despite numerous failed attempts, she finally discovered online that cyanide could be the solution she sought. Preechaya has since handed the package and related documents to officers at the Bang Khen police station.
Nevertheless, Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, Thailand’s deputy national chief, expressed doubts regarding the plausibility of Preechaya’s explanation. He revealed that law enforcement personnel would summon her for further questioning. In addition, the chief of the Department of Industrial Works will be invited to offer insights on the firms importing cyanide and their purposes for utilizing the chemical. The primary uses include research and mining industry applications.
On a related note, the police’s ongoing investigation into the serial murders connected to Ms Sararat led officers to a company in Lat Krabang. The company, reputed to sell chemicals and laboratory equipment, is believed to be Ms Sararat’s cyanide supplier. All 15 victims of the alleged serial killer reportedly perished due to poisoning, with monetary gain as the primary motive. Ms. Sararat allegedly pawned her victims’ assets to settle debts for herself and her former husband.
Ms Sararat, 36 years old and currently four months pregnant, was apprehended in Bangkok on April 25 based on a Criminal Court-issued warrant. Of the 15 individuals associated with the allegations, 14 died – 12 women and two men – while one survived. Investigators suspect that Ms Sararat laced her victims’ food and beverages with cyanide.
Her ex-husband, Pol Lt Col Withoon Rangsiwuthaporn, was also charged with receiving stolen property, jointly forging official documents, and using falsified official documents. He was subsequently arrested and discharged from the police force, but has since been released on bail. The court reasoned that, as no evidence links him to the purported killings, and he collaborates with investigations, his temporary release is warranted.
Pol Gen Surachate revealed on Friday that the investigation had made significant strides, with approximately 80% of the evidence-gathering process completed. He expressed no desire to visit Ms Sararat again at the Central Women’s Correctional Institute, where he had gone with her ex-husband in the hope of obtaining a confession from her. However, she only agreed to confer with a lawyer during that time.
Thannicha Aeksuwannawat, Ms Sararat’s attorney, spent an hour with her client on Friday, relaying her client’s denial of all charges and her willingness to testify solely in court: “She does not wish to see anyone except her lawyer. She is concerned that walking to and from the visitors’ booth might cause a miscarriage.” While acknowledging that much of the current evidence is circumstantial, Pol Gen Surachate maintained its credibility. He also referenced his belief that a knowledgeable police officer advised her on evading punishment, although he refused to disclose the individual’s identity.