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HOME // National News // Suspect arrested in South Korea over the ‘body in a barrel’ case in Pattaya

Suspect arrested in South Korea over the ‘body in a barrel’ case in Pattaya

South Korean man's body found in a plastic barrel

A man in his 20s is now in custody in South Korea under suspicion of being connected to the murder of a South Korean tourist in Pattaya, Thailand. The arrest, carried out at the suspect’s residence on Sunday evening, was confirmed by the Gyeongnam Provincial Police Agency today.

Another South Korean suspect is being pursued by Thai police as is believed to still be inside Thailand.

Thai authorities discovered the 170 centimetre tall South Korean man’s body dumped in a reservoir in Pattaya, packed into a black plastic barrel filled with cement. The grim discovery followed a ransom demand received by the victim’s mother in South Korea, prompting Thai police to intensify their investigation.

The victim, identified as 34 year old South Korean national Roh Eui Jong had entered Thailand on April 30 and was reported missing on May 7. His disappearance was linked to a ransom demand of 3 million baht, with threats of death if the demand wasn’t met.

Roh’s last known whereabouts were traced to a nightclub in Bangkok’s RCA area on May 2, where CCTV footage showed him being taken away by two individuals in a rented car headed towards Pattaya. RCA is north of the Asoke area in central Bangkok.

Further investigation revealed that the suspects had been kidnapped and taken in a pickup truck to accommodation near the Mabprachan Reservoir near Pattaya. On May 4, the pickup truck was observed leaving the accommodation, concealed under a black cloth. Subsequently, the two suspects purchased materials, including a black plastic barrel and ropes, believed to be used for disposing of the body.

Thai police, aided by a team of divers, conducted a search of the Mabprachan Reservoir on May 11, leading to the discovery of the victim’s body inside the weighted black plastic barrel with cement added to make the barrel sink. While one suspect had already fled the country by May 9, authorities are actively pursuing the remaining suspect in Thailand.

A friend of the deceased in Thailand provided insights suggesting the victim might have been misled into involvement with illicit activities, though specifics remain unclear. The deceased’s occupation and the extent of his involvement in the alleged business venture were also not fully clarified.

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