Police in Thailand have arrested a woman who is suspected of poisoning at least 13 people with cyanide, with only two individuals managing to survive the ordeal.
Thairath reports that 36-year-old Sararat Rangsiwuthaporn or ‘Am’ was apprehended in Bangkok on Thursday last week as she was believed to be involved in the death of 32-year-old Siripon Khanvong, also known as Koy. The former wife of a police superintendent was revealed to be four months pregnant at the time of her arrest.
Police said an autopsy had found cyanide traces in Koy’s body and also at the suspect’s residence before the police issued a warrant to arrest the suspect.
The suspect and the victim were captured on CCTV camera when they traveled to make merit in the central province of Ratchaburi, Thailand before her death. A vendor who witnessed the incident said that when Koy fainted at the river pier, Am fled the scene with her belongings and phone instead of helping her out.
Koy’s family refused to believe that she had died of natural causes and her mother also reported that Am owed Koy THB 50,000, and she was unsure if the accused had paid back her daughter. Soon after, the police discovered four more people who had died of heart attacks since last year and had been close contacts of Am and had invested money in her business.
Upon further investigation, the death toll in connection with Am has now risen to 11, and most of the families of the deceased had not immediately reported the death due to a lack of evidence that they had died of unnatural causes.
Surachate Hakparn, Thailand’s Deputy National Police Chief, said the suspect was a friend or close relative of all the victims and the police suspected her key motive was seizing the financial assets of the deceased individuals.
During the interview, he stated that the suspect may have poisoned the victims’ drinking water and food with cyanide, which led to most of them vomiting and fainting before collapsing and dying.
Relatives of the victims are in the process of assisting the police with their investigations by providing additional evidence. Am was denied bail by the Criminal Court of Thailand yesterday, which also issued a detention notice for her until May 7.
During this time, the court will question the 10 witnesses and look into the autopsy result of the latest victim. Am was denied bail so she was unable to intervene in the investigation or worse still, try and escape it.