This province has been known as the most murderous province in the country since the beginning of the year. The nationwide CSD is alarmed by the growing number of deliberate killings in Nakhon Si Thammarat, known as one of the economic powerhouses of the South.
A total of 39 murders have been committed so far this year, with an average of 5.5 victims per month, giving it the dubious title of Thailand’s murder capital for 2021.
Colonel Wirachan Khunchaikaew, Superintendent of Crime Suppression Sub-Division 5 (CSSD5), admitted that the National Police were concerned about the rising murder rate in Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Investigators found that most homicides happen on a whim, “if we leave crime unchecked, we could see 100 homicides by the end of the year,” he said.
Meanwhile, the CSD and the local police have searched all available data and investigative reports to identify common factors to force the killing to stop.
In the meantime, police are increasingly raiding homes for weapons to keep them out of the hands of those prone to violence in the heat of battle.
Of the 39 homicides this year, 34 have arrested suspects, and one has been identified who has so far escaped arrest. According to the CSD, firearms were used in 27 cases and knives and sharp objects in the rest.
As for motives, Colonel Wirachan said 21 cases involved personal conflict, two involving adulterous affairs and one involving illegal drugs. The motives for the remaining 15 have yet to be determined.
Nakhon Si Thammarat province used to be home to many hitmen, he said, but more recently it has gained fame as a trading centre for amulets and objects of reverence, such as the Jatukham Ramthep talisman and Ai Khai, the country’s most popular brainchild in the Wat. Chedi in Sichon district.
Major Theerayut Thairat, chief inspector at the CSD5, said most households in the district had access to firearms – some inherited and others acquired more recently. Many provincial. feel the need to carry weapons for personal safety while rubber taping at night or when going outside to inspect their orchards. Most guns are legally registered, and each household has an average of 2-3 guns, according to police investigations in the province over the past two months.
With weapons so easily at hand, simple arguments can turn violent or even deadly, Major Theerayut said, noting that some Nakhon Si Thammarat residents are short-tempered, which does not help the situation.
“Shooting incidents are usually aggravated by arguments or fights. In many cases, the conflicts pit family members against each other,” he said.
Several arose from unresolved disputes over inheritances and even disagreements over the designation of land borders.
He added that the economic downturn has fueled personal conflicts, often resolved by violent means, and contributed to drug trafficking and smuggling.
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