Soldier charged with murder of woman in Tak Bai Sergeant was under investigation for involvement in drugs

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Soldier charged with murder of woman in Tak Bai  Sergeant was under investigation for involvement in drugs

Rescue workers prepare to remove the body of the woman shot dead outside her house in Tak Bai district, Narathiwat on Wednesday. A soldier serving in the 4th Army has been charged with her murder. (Photo: Abdullah Benjakat)

NARATHIWAT: The man charged with shooting dead a 44-year-old woman in Tak Bai district on Wednesday is a soldier stationed at a military camp in this southern province, a 4th Army spokesman confirmed on Thursday.

The man, a non-comissioned officer, had been suspended from duty. The army would not intervene to protect him, Maj Gen Pramote Phrom-in said.

He said the man accused of killing Nureeta Yakor in Tak Bai was Sgt Sahachart Horpen, of Kromluang Narathiwat Ratchanakarin military camp in Cho Airong district.

Nureeta was killed by a gunman in front of her house at village Moo 6 in tambon Joh Hae around noon on Wednesday. Tak Bai police later arrested Sgt Sahachart in Tak Bai district.

Investigators learned that Sgt Sahachart was already being investigated for serious disciplinary violations for his alleged involvement with illegal drugs.

A military panel was in the process of preparing a recommendation for disciplinary punishment and his dismissal from the service even before he was arrested.

The sergeant’s commander had been ordered to suspend him from duty.

The army would not try to protect anyone in its ranks who broke the law, Maj Gen Pramote said.

Local residents on Thursday gathered at the victim’s house in a show of support for the family. Nureeta had four children, who were now left under the care of their father.

A police source said the gunman had been in the village 3 or 4 days before the shooting. He knew people there.

On Wednesday, he had asked Nureeta about a person named Yadaeng. As she moved to pick up her phone to make a call and ask someone for him, the man pulled out a handgun and shot her through the forehead.

Neighbours called police, who arrested Sgt Sahachart later that day

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