The alleged mastermind behind the murder of a British businessman in the Thai resort town of Pattaya was questioned on Wednesday at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, according to officials.
Toby Nelhams, who allegedly ordered the shooting of Tony Kenway on January 24, was arrested three days ago in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district, said an immigration police officer outside the court, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak with the media.
Officials had been tracking the British man for weeks after being tipped off by Thai authorities that he was in the country, according to the officer. “We investigated for about a month before the arrest,” he said.
On Sunday, police said they could not confirm reports in The Bangkok Post that Mr. Nelhams, 44, had been caught in Cambodia. But on Wednesday, Mr. Nelhams was questioned in court by deputy prosecutor Seang Sok.
“He is the mastermind behind the murder case, and the two others who are the perpetrators have not been found yet,” the immigration officer said, referring to two other suspects who are also believed to have fled to Cambodia.
South African Abel Caldeira Bonito is suspected of gunning down Mr. Kenway in his Porsche outside a sports club, while Briton Miles Dicken Turner is the suspected getaway driver, authorities have said. Sihanoukville police put out a call for help in finding the men, although border police have only confirmed that Mr. Turner entered the country.
Mr. Nelhams denied any involvement in the murder when questioned outside the courthouse on Wednesday.
Deputy National Police commissioner Chhay Sinarith on Wednesday confirmed the arrest of a British national involved in the murder, but later said he was unsure of the circumstances.
Uk Heisela, chief of investigations at the Interior Ministry’s immigration department, also confirmed a Briton had been arrested, but claimed it was because he didn’t have a passport.
Mr. Nelhams had not been charged as of on Wednesday evening, according to Ly Sophana, a deputy prosecutor at the court.
“The facts that led to the arrest…have to be kept secret.”