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Bangkok Post
Bangkok Post

Aem Cyanide's police husband arrested

Pol Lt Col Withoon Rangsiwuthaporn, the ex-husband of suspected serial killer Sararat “Aem” Rangsiwuthaporn, is seen outside a police dormitory in Kanchanaburi on April 26, when investigators conducted a search for items possibly linked to his former wife. (Photo: Piyarat Chongcharoen)

A police lieutenant colonel who is the ex-husband of suspected serial cyanide killer "Aem Cyanide" has been fired from the force, arrested and charged with related crimes.

Pol Lt Col Withoon Rangsiwuthaporn, deputy superintendent of the Suan Phueng police station in Ratchaburi province, was charged with receiving stolen property, jointly forging official documents and jointly using forged official documents.

National police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas has also expelled Pol Lt Col Withoon from the force, said deputy national chief Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn.

Investigators sought an arrest warrant after learning that Pol Lt Col Withoon, 39, had picked up his former wife, 36-year-old Sararat “Aem” Rangsiwuthaporn, in Udon Thani after the death of her boyfriend Sutthisak “Dae” Phoonkhwan.

The pair then took Sutthisak’s white Chevrolet Captiva vehicle from the northeastern province to Nakhon Pathom where they pledged it as loan collateral, said Pol Gen Surachate.

Sutthisak, a 35-year-old native of Ratchaburi, died in Udon Thani on March 12. He passed out at a petrol station in Nong Han district after making merit with Ms Sararat at a local temple and having a meal with her at a restaurant.

Rescuers rushed him to Nong Han Hospital. He was treated and later discharged but died later that day at a dormitory in Muang district of Udon Thani.

Ms Sararat began a relationship with Sutthisak after divorcing her husband. She was four months pregnant when she was arrested last month.

Despite the divorce, Ms Sararat continued to live in her former husband’s house. Pol Lt Col Withoon earlier told police that they divorced over financial issues.

Police believe Sutthisak was one of 15 victims of Ms Sararat, who has been dubbed Aem Cyanide because cyanide was believed used to kill them. Fourteen of the victims died.

Two policewomen, one a major and the other a captain, are among the dead, Thai media reported.

All told, 14 arrest warrants have now been issued for Ms Sararat, Pol Gen Damrongsak said.

The suspected serial murders began in 2020 and continued until last month when the latest victim, a woman named Siriporn Khwanwong from Kanchanaburi province, died while making merit with Ms Sararat in Ban Pong district of Ratchaburi on April 14.

Cyanide was found in the victim’s body and police suspected Ms Sararat of mixing cyanide in Siriporn’s food. The suspect left the scene with Siriporn’s car and valuables.

Pol Gen Surachate earlier said Ms Sararat wanted her victims’ assets because she had run up huge debts from credit card spending, informal lenders and online gambling. Police are still looking into her debts and the financial status of her ex-husband.

Pol Lt Col Withoon told investigators earlier that he sometimes gave money to his ex-wife to lend out. When she made profits, she transferred the money back to him but the amounts were not high, he reportedly said.

Investigators are also continuing to examine items taken during a search of the two-storey police residence of Pol Lt Col Withoon near the police flats in Kanchanaburi on April 26, the same day his ex-wife was arrested.

Pol Lt Col Withoon told officers at the time that he used to stay in the house while working in Kanchanaburi before moving to Ratchaburi province.

Forensic officers collected nine items, including some clothes of Ms Sararat and a bottle containing some black liquid, which was found at a garbage burning site about five metres from the house.

During the search, Pol Lt Col Withoon reportedly expressed shock upon learning what his wife had been accused of, and said he was willing to give full cooperation to investigators.

On the same day, Provincial Police Region 7, local police and forensic officers searched a townhouse in Muang district of Nakhon Pathom after learning that it belonged to Ms Sararat. 

Her two children with Pol Lt Col Withoon, a 13-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son, were inside the house at the Monthathip housing estate.

Forensic officers collected evidence inside the house, as well as fingerprints and DNA samples from a Honda car and a motorcycle.

Investigators gather outside a police residence in Kanchanaburi where Pol Lt Col Withoon Rangsiwuthaporn was staying on April 26, the day his ex-wife was arrested on suspicion of murder. (Photo: Piyarat Chongcharoen)
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