Body of Missing Thai Casino Employee Unearthed in Pailin

A corpse with two bullet wounds that was unearthed in Pailin on Sunday has been identified as the body of a Thai employee of a casino in the western province, police said on Monday.

Somnuek Jaroonjirasathian, 50, who was employed by the Pailin Flamingo Casino to help bring in new customers, was reported miss­ing by Thai authorities on Februa­ry 14, officials said.

The man’s body was discovered in Sala Krao district’s Stung Kach commune on Sunday morning by a villager who stumbled across a pile of freshly dug dirt while harvesting morning glory, according to deputy provincial police chief Iv Kimsean. The woman summoned her husband to help dig, eventually exhuming a human foot, followed by the rest of the body, he said.

“The corpse is the Thai man. His relatives recognized him,” Mr. Kim­sean said.

Chhorm Vanthy, chief of the pro­vincial police’s serious crimes bu­reau, said an autopsy conducted in cooperation with Thai authorities led investigators to suspect that the victim was murdered.

“He was shot once in his neck, through to his right temple, and again in his left shoulder blade, through to the right side of his chest,” Mr. Vanthy said, adding that the body had been returned to the man’s relatives.

The Bangkok Post reported on Monday that Somnuek Jaroonji­rasa­thian—who also went by the nickname “Tum”—had complained to the owner of the Pailin Flamingo, Warut Wannaiamphikun, about a 32 million baht (about $895,000) debt he was owed by a friend. Mr. Warut told the newspaper that the friend was a co-investor in a “brokerage” venture designed to bring customers to the casino.

Citing a Thai official, Niwat Han­prasop, the Bangkok Post wrote that Somnuek Jaroonjirasathian left the casino on the night of February 13 to meet friends for dinner. Mr. Niwat is reported as saying that the dead man’s wife called her husband’s mobile phone early on the morning of February 14 and was told by an unidentified woman that he could not talk.

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