Thai police say murdered Nigerian and lover may have links to drug smugglers
The police in Thailand say a Nigerian man and a Vietnamese woman recently found buried in Chok Chai district of the Asian nation were lovers, and their deaths may be linked to transnational crystal methamphetamine trafficking.
Pol Gen Suchart Teerasawat, Thailand’s deputy national police chief, according to a report carried by the Bangkok Post, said the dead couple were identified with the help of serial numbers on the woman’s silicone breast implants and the man’s fingerprints.
Investigators checked the silicone breast implants’ serial number against a manufacturers’ database, which showed that the implants were sent to Vietnam. The Vietnamese embassy in the Thai capital, Bangkok, also helped the police match the dead woman’s finger prints. This helped identify her as a 33-year-old Vietnamese woman named Nguyen Thi Van, while the dead man’s fingerprints proved a match for Anabon Chika, a 38-year-old man from Nigeria.
Pol Gen Suchart said investigators had surveillance camera footage from areas around the burial site and were checking on vehicles seen entering the area around the time the pair were believed to have been killed and buried.
The report said information exchanged with neighbouring Vietnam suggested the murdered couple might have been linked to a major crystal methamphetamine trafficking gang, as the house where they resided in Vietnam was a suspected transit point on a known smuggling route.
However, investigators remained uncertain whether international traffickers were directly involved in their murder.
On the evening of July 28, a mushroom collector found the two bodies after noticing a fresh pile of earth covered with branches in a community forest. When exhumed, their bodies were naked and each covered with a thin layer of concrete.
Investigators found spent cartridges and bullets less than two metres from the grave.
Pol Gen Suchart said the cartridges, the bullets and the source of the cement used to cover the bodies were still being followed up.
Relatives of the murdered Nigerian had not yet picked up his body. Police had been contacted by an elder brother, who initially confirmed the victim’s identity from photos and dental records.
Accounts given by relatives of the victims pointed to them being lovers, said Pol Gen Suchart.