Thai murder suspect arrested

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
British national Toby James Nelham on his way to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday in handcuffs. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The alleged mastermind behind the murder of a British web designer in Thailand last month was arrested by Cambodian immigration police on Tuesday for his involvement in the murder and for illegally living in Cambodia.
Toby James Nelham, 44, was sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court for questioning after his arrest, said Deputy National Police Commissioner Chhay Sinarith.
“He allegedly committed crimes in Thailand and fled to Cambodia,” he told Khmer Times yesterday.
“He was arrested yesterday by Cambodian immigration police in Phnom Penh.”
Cambodia’s General Commissariat of National Police recently received a report of the murder that was allegedly committed by a group of foreign suspects in Pattaya who fled to hide in Cambodia, said General Sinarith.
However, Thai authorities had not requested Cambodia’s cooperation in arresting the suspects, he added.  
Kong Sarith, an officer with the Interior Ministry’s immigration police, said Mr. Nelham was the chairman of Springtide International, which was based in Phnom Penh as well as in Preah Sihanouk and Siem Reap provinces.
“He was arrested by Cambodian immigration police because he illegally entered Cambodia and illegally stayed and worked in the country,” he said.
“He was accused of allegedly crossing the border and illegally entering Cambodia, staying in Cambodia without authorization and working in Cambodia without legal documents.
“Besides this case here, he’s also involved in extorting money from businesspeople in Thailand and the murder of a British man in Pattaya last month. But he fled to  Cambodia.”
According to a Thai police investigation, Mr. Nelham was linked to a group of four foreign nationals that included a Briton and South African involved in the execution-style killing of Tony Kenway, 39, in Pattaya last month, said Mr. Sarith.
Ly Sophana, the deputy prosecutor and spokesman for the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said Mr. Nelham was still being questioned at the court.
“The prosecutor is now still questioning him and inspecting documents that have been confiscated from him,” he said.
“The prosecutor has not completed the questioning,” he added, without going into detail about the case.
A senior officer with the Interior Ministry’s immigration police, who asked not to be named, told Khmer Times yesterday that according to Cambodian laws, if Mr. Nelham is charged and found guilty by the court here, he must serve the term of his punishment in Cambodia.  
“After completing his sentence, he would be immediately deported from Cambodia if there was no request for his extradition from Thai police,” he said.
Seang Sok, the deputy prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court who is in charge of this case, could not be reached for comment yesterday.  
It was falsely reported on Saturday that Cambodian authorities were expected to hand over Mr. Nelham to Thai authorities, with Cambodian police denying knowledge of the report on Sunday.
According to Thai police sources quoted by the Bangkok Post, Mr. Nelham was the alleged mastermind behind the killing of Mr. Kenway, who was shot dead in broad daylight while sitting in the driver’s seat of his red Porsche Cayenne GTS outside a sports club in Pattaya.
Mr. Nelham was a business partner of Mr. Kenway and it is believed that business conflicts led to the murder, Thai police said.
Thai police had sought help from their Cambodian counterparts to hunt down several foreigners suspected of being involved in the murder of Mr. Kenway after they reportedly fled to Cambodia.
Two other men wanted under warrants issued by the Pattaya court are South African national Abel Caldeira Bonito, 23, the suspected gunman, and British accomplice Miles Dicken Turner, 27, who allegedly rode the motorcycle that took the killer away from the murder scene.
The two fled to Cambodia on the same day as the murder.

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