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Fugitive in Taiwan murders surrenders

The prime suspect in the murder of a Thai couple in Taiwan, his business partners, surrendered to police in Chiang Mai province on Friday morning.

Santi Supa-apiradeepailin, 35, was handed over to crime suppression police by his 63-year-old father and other relatives at the 335th border patrol police division in Chiang Dao district about 8am.

The suspect was immediately taken to Bangkok. His surrender ended a police manhunt and extended negotiations with his relatives and friends.   

Mr Santi is wanted in Taiwan for the murder of Prasert Norat, 32, and his 35-year-old wife Potjanee, who was five months pregnant with twins.

The victims’ bodies were found in their BMW X4 vehicle parked outside Taoyuan high-speed rail station near Taipei last Sunday.

Mr Santi was seen in security camera footage on June 8, when the three had an appointment. The suspect drove their BMW to the train station in the early morning of June 9.

The suspect arrived in Thailand later on June 9, landing at Suvarnabhumi airport, and immediately went to Chiang Mai.

It was reported that Mr Santi and the murdered woman were childhood friends.

Taiwan media reported that the victims were beaten to death elsewhere. The vehicle had a strong smell when the bodies were found. Police said the victims had both been beaten about the head.

Investigators suspect a conflict over a series of loans made to Mr Santi led to the murders.

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