Posted on: July 25, 2023, 06:31h.
Last updated on: July 25, 2023, 06:31h.
Thai police have detained 14 people linked to an online gambling site allegedly used by the suspected female serial killer Sararat “Am” Rangsiwuthaporn.
Sararat, 36, who was four months pregnant when she was arrested in Bangkok in April, is accused of murdering at least 15 people by cyanide poisoning so she could steal their money. Prosecutors have theorized that an addiction to gambling was a motive for the killings.
Investigators discovered Sararat had spent 78 million Bhat (US$2.3 million) over three years at an illegal online gambling site called Fun88, sometimes risking as much as 10 million Bhat (US$290,000) per day. Deputy police commissioner Surachate Hakparn said her online gambling debts were “massive.”
When the Fun Stops
On Friday, police said they had charged the alleged 14 Fun88 employees with organizing gambling and money laundering. Warrants were issued for 21 suspects. Seven remain at large. Online gambling is illegal in Thailand.
The country has been gripped by the case of the pregnant serial killer. If convicted, she would be among the nation’s most prolific murderers and could face the death penalty.
Public curiosity has been amplified because Sararat is the wife of a high-ranking police officer, Lt. Col. Vitoon Rangsiwuthaporn. Sararat moved in police circles, and three of her victims were senior female police officers.
Vitoon was sensationally indicted last week along with Sararat’s lawyer, Tannicha Aeksuwannawattana. They are accused of assisting Sararat to escape punishment by destroying or concealing evidence.
These charges relate to the alleged murder of Siriporn Khanwong by Sararat in Ratchaburi province on April 14.
Prosecutors believe the killings began in 2015 and spanned several provinces, although most occurred in west Bangkok. Known victims were wealthy and aged in their 20s and 30s. Sararat’s MO was to befriend them before slipping cyanide pills into their food or drink, according to prosecutors. Sometimes she offered the poison as herbal medicine, they claim.
Sararat was arrested in the aftermath of Siriporm’s death. The pair traveled together from Bangkok to Ratchaburi to take part in a Buddhist protection ritual, investigators discovered.
When Siriporn collapsed suddenly and died, Sararat fled the scene rather than join bystanders in trying to help. Cash, two phones, and a designer bag belonging to the victim were missing, and an autopsy found traces of cyanide in her body. Police found a bottle of cyanide during a search of Sararat’s home.
Soon, other witnesses came forward whose relatives had died in suspicious circumstances after meeting Sararat. One woman claimed she became ill, but survived, after taking “cough medicine” Sararat had given her shortly after the woman loaned her money.
Sararat faces 75 charges, including multiple counts of premeditated murder, theft, and adulterating food.
In late June it was reported that she had lost her unborn child.
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