Police have identified the 2 gunmen who are being sought over the apparent gangland killing of Indian-born Jimi Sandhu on February 4 in Rawai, Phuket. Arrest warrants for 2 Canadian men have been issued.
The alleged gunmen have been named as 36 year old Gene Karl Lahrkamp and Matthew Leandre Ovide Dupre, also 36. The arrest warrants follow an intensive investigation by Thai police, forensic evidence collected from the rented Toyota used by the 2 men and on the 2 guns found in the shallows of Rawai Beach, that police allege were used in the shooting.
Phuket Police spokesperson Kissana Pattanacharoen claims that the suspected gunmen were identified “through confessions of some gang members who were arrested earlier”, according to Khaosod English.
In related news, police are investigating a Surrey, Vancouver, shooting last Tuesday that put 2 people in hospital, one in critical condition.
Police believe it may have been in retaliation for the shooting of Jimi Sandhu, who was part of the ‘United Nations’ crime gang in British Columbia. A 24 year old, critically wounded in the incident, was a member of the rival ‘Brothers Keepers’ gang.
Rival gang members from both the ‘Brothers Keepers’ and the ‘Wolf Pack’ were ‘celebrating’ Jimi Sandhu’s killing on social media during the past week.
Back in Thailand, the 2 suspects are being pursued over charges of “colluding in murder, murder, illegal possession of a weapon and discharging an illegal firearm in a public place”.
Police say they are aware of the movements and flights out of Thailand following the shooting, at close range, of the Indian at his villa on the south of the island.
Jimi ‘Slice’ Sandhu was deported from Canada in 2016 and had been travelling between Dubai and South East Asia since.
The two gunmen are said to have arrived in Phuket 6 weeks before the shooting and then departed 2 days after the incident.
The two men are 36 years old (although their ages have variously reported as between 27 and 37 in other publications) and believed to be connected to crime gangs in the British Columbia region of Canada.
One is believed to have served in the ‘military’ although police didn’t provide any further details.
Jimi Sandhu was shot 10 times in the parking area of his beachfront villa on Rawai Beach just before 11pm on February 4, although his body wasn’t discovered until 6.30am the next morning. Some 20 bullet casings were recovered from the crime scene.
CCTV footage showed the two men walking down the driveway to Mr. Sanhu’s villa where he had just arrived in his rented red SUV.
They were wearing white hoodies, beige shorts and black ‘flip flops’ (sandals, thongs). The ‘hoodies’ were allegedly found in a rubber plantation 200 metres from the crime scene last Monday morning.
Mr. Sandhu’s body remains at Vachira Hospital in Phuket Town following the completion of an autopsy. The victims relatives are making arrangements to repatriate his body to India and will arrive in Phuket today and tomorrow.
In developments this week investigating police found two guns, a CZ 9mm semi-automatic pistol and Walther 9mm fully automatic.
They were found in the shallows off Rawai beach, 100-150 metres away from the villa complex where Mr. Sandhu was shot.
Police used metal detectors to locate the weapons.
Police say the weapons were registered to Thai nationals, a retired policeman and a Thai soldier.
Police are now pursuing the two registered owners of the weapons for questioning.
Meanwhile senior police say they are now working with Interpol and Canadian police to try and locate the 2 alleged gunmen so they can brought back to Thailand for trial.
Vancouver Sun | Bangkok Post