Court dismisses case of ‘Long Joo’ over allegedly ordering murder of Pattaya taxi motorbike driver

FILE PHOTO

Pattaya , Thailand –

The Thai Criminal Court has dismissed the case of ‘Long Joo’, the so-called “gambling king of the East” as labeled by some Thai media, over allegedly being behind an order of murdering a Pattaya taxi motorbike driver. Meanwhile, the actual gunman is facing life imprisonment.

Our previous stories:

A motorbike taxi driver was shot dead after dropping his passenger in South Pattaya two years ago.

Two suspects who are accused of shooting a 47 year old motorbike taxi driver in Pattaya, leading to his death, have reportedly been arrested in Bangsaen.

Somchai “Long Joo” Jutikitdecha, dubbed by some in Thai media as ‘the gambling king of the East’, was arrested at his house in the Mueang district of Rayong province following an expanded investigation of the seizure of hundreds of illegal slot machines.

A prominent Rayong figure, sometimes referred to as the gambling godfather of the East in Thai media, who allegedly is deeply involved in illegal gambling, was arrested on charges of being behind an ordered hit on a Pattaya taxi motorbike driver.

Now for the update:

Yesterday (November 10th) at the Criminal Court in Bangkok, the court has read the judgment.

Somchai “Long Joo” Jutikitdecha, 56, from Rayong, has consistently denied all accusations of ordering the murder and stated he is innocent of all charges. Witnesses and evidence in the accusation of Somchai are weak and not enough for a conviction, said the court, so therefore the Thai Criminal Court has dismissed the charges of Somchai over allegedly ordering the murder.

Somchai has been ordered to a warrant of detention during a standard appeal period for the prosecution. His lawyer filed a request for 500,000 baht bail for Somchai’s temporary release. The court has approved bail and Somchai immediately left the court.

The gunman, Mr. Manas Imnam, 41, from Chonburi, has admitted to all charges levied against him. The court judged him guilty, giving him the death sentence. However, Manas has provided good cooperation in the case according to the Thai Criminal Court and as a result his sentence has been decreased to life imprisonment. In addition, Manas must pay compensation of 2,053,800 baht with five percent of interest each year from June 17th, 2021 to the victim’s relatives.

Long Joo remains free on bail while the prosecution considers an appeal over the dropped charges.

The original version of this article appeared on our sister website, The Pattaya News, owned by our parent company TPN media.

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Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than three years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.