Police arrested internet “idol” and self-professed gambler Apirak “Sia Po” Chat-anon who allegedly shot 2 men outside a massage parlour on Bangkok. Sia Po had turned himself in to police, saying he was at the shooting, but wasn’t carrying a firearm. Police arrested him on charges of attempted murder, illegal possession of a firearm, carrying the gun in public and firing shots.
The shooting happened around 10:30pm Tuesday night outside the Saree Sauna & Shop on Ratchaphurek Road in the Phasicharoen district, injuring 2 men. Reports don’t go into detail about the men’s conditions, or if they have been interviewed by police.
Sia Po told police he is a regular customer at the massage shop and was there on Tuesday with 3 of his friends while his brother was out on an “appointment” with 2 “rival” men at a nearby liquor store. Apparently, it didn’t go well. Sia Po’s brother along with 10 friends met up with him at the massage shop, but then the rival group arrived with possibly around 200 people. Sia Po says the rival men pointed guns at them and he estimates 60 shots were fired.
Sia Po claims he didn’t have a firearm and says he quickly fled the scene. He asked police to review surveillance camera footage. Police searched his family’s home and did not find any illegal weapons or other evidence.
The Bangkok Post once called Sia Po the “Gambler King.” Sia Po has advocated for the legalisation of gambling and the government even asked him to be an advisor on a committee reviewing the gambling law.
Sia Po is also a former boxer and a so-called “net idol.” Various Facebook pages and accounts are under Sia Po’s name. One account posts photos of himself with stacks of cash, many 1,000 and 500 baht bank notes, saying that he will pay girls who “make me happy.”
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