Banjerd Chatpaitoon, the founder of Aek Udon International Hospital, is escorted by police after being flown to Bangkok from Udon Thani on Saturday. He is accused of conspiring to kill Phra Bandit Supanthito on March 1. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
A hospital owner and two more suspects have been arrested for conspiring to kill a well-known monk in Udon Thani earlier this month.
They were flown from the northeastern province to Bangkok where police chief Pol Gen Somyot Poompanmoung held a news conference on the case on Saturday afternoon.
Phra Bandit Supanthito, 48, the abbot of Wat Pa Tor Si Siad, a small forest temple, was shot dead in Udon Thani on March 1. He was well known in the community as the "doctor monk", having trained and worked as a physician before entering the monkhood.
Banjerd Chatpaitoon, executive chairman and founder of Aek Udon International Hospital, was accused of hiring the gunman. Pol Snr Sgt Maj Charnchai Soisangwan allegedly led the team and drove the car during the murder. Boonnak Hongsakam, a driver at an irrigation office in Udon Thani, reportedly was the marksman.
Panja Chareesaen, the alleged gunman arrested on Wednesday, was said to have confessed on Friday. Mr Banjerd has refused to give a statement so far.
During preliminary investigation, Pol Snr Sgt Maj Chanchai confessed that Mr Banjerd had hired him to arrange the killing of the monk for 300,000 baht.