The authorities of immigration police in Bangkok, Thailand, have found themselves reaching out for the extra-territorial support of Myanmar’s law enforcement, to join efforts in capturing an evading fugitive. The prime suspect, named Sai Myat Hoe, is a 19-year-old citizen of Myanmar, is facing grave accusations of perpetrating a meticulously planned murder against the illustrious 63-year-old Vichit Chitvimarn, famed for his service as a former Thai ambassador to Denmark.
The Chief of Chiang Rai’s immigration office, Pol Col Khemmachart Wattananaphakasem, has unveiled that freshly obtained information point out to Sai Myat Hoe, obtaining an airline ticket, in what seems to be a desperate attempt to return back to his birthplace in Rangoon, Myanmar. Apparently, he evaded Thai lands via the Mae Sai border checkpoint located in Chiang Rai.
A sense of urgency is reflected in Pol Col Khemmachart’s words, who proclaims an almost imminent arrest of the suspect, with the help of the Myanmar officials. The horrifying incident was discovered when the former ambassador was found within his own residence, callously left with three deep stab wounds engraved into his chest at a housing estate on Vibhavadi Rangsit 20 Road, during the quiet happenings of a Sunday evening.
The victim, marking his residence in the house since September 9, was living a solitary life. Meanwhile, the suspect, Sai Myat Hoe, had been offering his services as a house painter to the victim since September 19. It seems that the victim had developed some trust in him, as the CCTV footage from their Neighborhood Associated Security System, captured on September 25, shows Vichit allowing Sai Myat Hoe into the house willingly.
The graphic narrative of the event as outlined by the Metropolitan Police Division 2 commander, Pol Maj Gen Attapol Anusit, illustrates the gruesome ordeal that occurred inside the house. Three days after the recorded entry, the house painter allegedly launched a violent assault on Vichit. Fear-struck, the former ambassador managed to escape the immediate attack and sought refuge in the second-floor bathroom. However, his sanctuary proved to be short-lived, as Sai Myat Hoe relentlessly followed him, weaponizing a knife as a method to force Vichit to divulge the access number of his ATM card. In the end, the assailant’s motive turned deadly when he allegedly murdered the defenseless diplomat. Later, an amount closing in few hundreds of thousands of baht was reported to be suspiciously missing from the victim’s bank account.
Sai Myat Hoe’s assumed escape route, after the hideous affair, led him through Chiang Rai, allowing him to breach Myanmar borders by crossing into its Tachilek border town via the Mae Sai checkpoint. Recent capturing of his movements via security camera recordings show him boarding a bus from Bangkok to Nan, reaching Mae Sai at approximately 6.55 am on September 29. The escapee then took a motorcycle taxi to the immigration checkpoint at around 7.12am and finally crossed into Myanmar territory.
The protagonist in assisting the final part of the escape route, a motorcycle driver, only known by his first name Theeraphan, shared his supposedly “normal” encounter with the murderer. Rejoicing on receiving an attractive fare of 60 baht, he admitted no suspicions were aroused from his interactions with his passenger. A chilling end to an unfortunate series of events, this manhunt represents the dire costs that occur when trust is mercilessly broken and reminds us of the importance of vigilant security efforts in such cases.