A major manhunt is underway for fugitive Norwegian killer who choked British father to death at a hotel in Thailand and is now on the run after skipping bail – and could have fled the country
Thai Police have launched a major manhunt for killer Roger Bullman, who has gone on the run after being given bail as he awaited trial for choking a British tourist to death 12 days ago.
Roadblocks were being set up around the tourist resort of Phuket and an around-the-clock police operation went into full swing to re-capture Bullman and take him to jail.
Norwegian Bullman, 54, walked out of police custody hours after the killing of Briton Amitpal Singh Bajaj on August 21st at a Phuket luxury hotel.
His instant freedom was criticized by Mr Bajaj’s family who warned he could flee.
He jumped bail on Monday and has disappeared and a major search for him is in full swing with border forces at crossings with Cambodia on alert.
His lawyer Sulman Hussain told MailOnline: ‘I haven’t been able to speak to him today or yesterday I do not know where he is.
‘His phone is turned off. I don’t think he would go on the run as he has told me he wants to go to the court and tell what happened.’
Senior Phuket police officer Major Techin Deethongon, who is leading the investigation into Mr Bajaj’s death, said: ‘I am confident we will arrest Bullman.
‘I believe he is still in this area of Karon where he was staying.
‘He cannot leave the country as we have his passport. We will arrest him with the warrant and take him to prison.
‘I have officers working to find him over 24 hours in eight-hour shifts. He cannot escape.’
He confirmed the last time Bullman had been seen officially by police was when he was arrested and charged with manslaughter before being given his freedom hours later.
Bullman, through his legal team, claimed he failed to attend court because of media attention and that he felt ‘unsafe’ after receiving threats.
But a friend of Mr Bajaj said: ‘He killed Amitpal with his bare hands. He is a big man who can look after himself. He knows martial arts.
‘It is ridiculous that he says he is fearing the press and has been frightened by a few remarks from local people.
‘He should never have been allowed his freedom after killing Amitpal. He was out within 24 hours and now he has disappeared.
‘We are very worried and we have asked British politicians to help put pressure on police and authorities in Thailand to apprehend Bullman, put him a jail where he belongs and put him on trial.’
His family who live Southall, London, issued a statement and said ‘As the bereaved family of Amitpal Singh Bajaj, who was brutally strangled to death on Wednesday.
August 21 by Roger Bullman, we are angered, shocked, sad and bewildered by the extension of bail given to Bullman, who has failed to report to the courts as required.
‘We are bewildered as to why the authorities allowed a self-confessed killer to roam the streets of Phuket unguarded, where he could potentially pose a lethal threat to other innocent parties.
‘We also need to question his whereabouts, and if he is indeed still in Phuket or has absconded.
‘His disrespect for human life, and now his total disrespect for the courts and justice system in Thailand, should be more than sufficient grounds for revoking bail and holding him incarcerated until justice can be served.’
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been urged to help ensure the Bullman isn’t allowed to flee back to his native Norway.
Mr Raab and MP Virendra Sharma, who represents Ealing, Southall Amitpal Singh Bajaj lived, have been told of the family’s fears that killer Roger Bullman will abscond.
Britian’s United Sikhs association, which has been supporting Bhandna Kaur, widow of Mr Bajaj and his family, said Thai officials should have known Bullman was ‘an obvious flight risk’.
The organisation contacted the MPs on behalf of Mr Bajaj’s parents.
A spokeswoman said: ‘The family requested an urgent meeting and assistance as they fear that there is a real risk that
Roger Bullman will abscond and justice will be denied to Amitpal Singh’s family.’
They have asked Mr Raab to raise an objection to Bullman’s bail on the grounds that he will flee and for Interpol to be alerted.
Mr Bajaj died after a confrontation with Bullman who was in an adjacent hotel room.
Hotel security were twice called in the early hours after complaints that Bullman had been singing opera on the balcony of his hotel room at 4 am.
Mr Bajaj, his wife and 20-month-old son Veer were trying to sleep in an adjoining room.
Police said Bullman barged into their room via the balcony and the pair grappled.
Bullman was stabbed in the shoulder with a butter knife while Mr Bajaj was being choked, officers said.
Security officials found Mr Bajaj lying prostate with Bullman still choking him on a walkway outside their rooms.
When police arrived, they arrested Bullman.
Mr Bajaj died in hospital shortly after.
With his wife, also 34, he was celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary and were on the last night of their holiday with their infant son.
They were due to fly to their Singapore home at 9 am on the day he died and had said their prayers and gone to bed when Bullman began disrupting them.
Senior police officers said Mr Bullman , who had been with his girlfriend, admitted he killed Mr Bajaj and have statements from him in which he said he would give them any help he could.
Mr. Hussain said his client would be claiming he acted in self-defence.
‘He will say that he acted in self-defence and that the British citizen attacked him first,’ Mr. Hussain said
‘He was stabbed in the shoulder and had to defend himself.’
Mr Hussain said he was flying to Thailand to advise his client and request that his bail be allowed to continue.
Bullman infuriated police when he was seen sunning himself and swimming in a hotel pool when he should have been in court to assess his bail.
Speaking to MailOnline, in his only interview Bullman admitted he had killed Mr Bajaj.
He said that he had learned how to restrain people (by a chokehold) while working with psychiatric patients for 14 years.
He added: ‘Adrenalin took me over. I didn’t want to kill him. I didn’t know he was dead until the police told me he had died in hospital.
‘I have worked with psychiatric patients for 14 years and that is how you must restrain them ( chokehold).
Recalling the evening of August 21 he said he had earlier been singing karaoke and added: ‘I was with my girlfriend and we were happy that night.
‘I am sorry, really sorry. I am a father too and I can understand how his wife must be as they have a child.’
Bullman said he was missing his daughter and produced his cell phone which had a string of messages from her with heart emojis.
‘I am not a monster. I have a nine-year-old daughter who I may not see again for a long time.’ ‘I am going to jail for between three and ten years and at my age of 54 it is not going to be easy.
‘They make it tougher for you, the other guys, if you are older.
‘I am lost. My girlfriend has gone home and I am alone here.’
It comes after the self-confessed killer skipped his appearance in a Thai court because he received death threats from locals.
‘He will say that he acted in self-defence and that the British citizen attacked him first,’ Mr Hussain previously told MailOnline.
‘He was stabbed in the upper part of the shoulder and had to defend himself.’
His lawyer Pawitra Laohaviroj made an application for his bail to be renewed despite the court requirements that he appear in person for the first time since Mr Bajaj died on August 21.
The court threw out her application after being told he had been staying at the Centara Grand Beach Resort, despite Mr Bajaj being killed there.
In fact Bullman had moved into a guest house near Caron Beach and was at the Ikon Hotel where he enjoyed a swim at the time he should have been at court.
His lawyer told MailOnline he had not come to court as he felt ‘unsafe’ and that he wanted to be represented by a lawyer from his native Norway.
She asked for her client to be allowed to remain on bail until September 8, but this was rejected and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
He will now be sought by police and taken to a prison for flouting his bail conditions.