TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two suspects have been arrested in Thailand in connection to the murder of a Taiwanese man in a hotel in Bangkok, a crime which occurred on Thursday (Nov. 16).
A man from Cameroon and a man from Myanmar were arrested on Saturday (Nov. 18) for their suspected role in the murder of 47-year-old Chu Chang-sheng (朱長生), reported Thaiger. Two additional suspects are being sought, including a Thai woman, and a man who is a dual citizen of Iran and Vanuatu.
Reports suggested that the Vanuatu-Iranian man has evaded Thai authorities by fleeing the country. After their arrest on Saturday, the 21-year-old Burmese man Zwe Lin Pyae confessed to the murder of Chu, while the 40-year-old Cameroonian, John Agbor, denied murdering Chu but confessed to being present when the crime was committed.
Chu was found dead on Thursday morning in his hotel room on the sixth floor of the Grand Niran Hotel in Bankgkok’s Bang Na District. He had been bound, gagged, and beaten prior to his death, which was likely caused by blunt force trauma to his head.
The victim arrived in Thailand two days earlier on Tuesday (Nov. 14) and during a conversation with hotel staff, he mentioned dissatisfaction with an unnamed business partner. A report from Khaosod News suggested that the business partner may have been the Vanuatu-Iranian man.
Chu reportedly met often with Agbor on his short visits to Thailand, and also introduced the Vanuatu-Iranian suspect to Agbor. According to Agbor’s wife, the Vanuatu-Iranian man was angry with Chu, claiming Chu had cheated him out of money.
Agbor claimed that he was with Chu and the Vanuatu-Iranian man at the hotel to act as an intermediary in resolving their dispute. Taiwanese media reports suggested that the dispute may be related to Chu's investment in a marijuana distribution operation in Thailand, per EBC News.
According to one report, the Thai woman being sought in the case hired the Burmese man to surveil Chu while he was in Thailand. Zwe Lin Pyae reportedly told police that he responded to a job advertised online, posted by the woman.
Zwe alleged that the woman organized an operation involving the three foreigners to rob Chu of money and other assets. He said they stole a laptop and phone but did not find any money. He also claimed Chu was still alive when they left the room.
Zwe and Agbor have been sent to the Phra Kanong Criminal Court, where they are being held without bail, per Khaosod News. Thai authorities are seeking international assistance to track down the Vanuatu-Iranian suspect.