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Spanish actor’s son detained over Thai murder

BANGKOK (AFP) – The son of a Spanish actor who confessed to killing and dismembering another foreigner on a popular Thai tourist island has been placed in pre-trial detention, police said yesterday.

Police on the island of Koh Pha Ngan told AFP they have enough evidence to charge Daniel Sancho Bronchalo, 29, with pre-meditated murder after he appeared in court on Monday.

“We have enough evidence and it is now up to the court to start the trial process,” chief investigator Somsak Nurod said.

“He is now in detention.”

Sancho – who worked as a chef and is the son of well-known Spanish actor Rodolfo Sancho – travelled to Thailand on July 31 as a tourist.

Police found body parts at a rubbish dump in Koh Pha Ngan believed to belong to Edwin Arrieta Arteaga, a 44-year-old Colombian plastic surgeon.

CCTV footage obtained by local media showed Sancho and the victim on a motorcycle together shortly before the remains were discovered.

A Thai police officer detains Spanish Daniel Sancho Bronchalo on suspicion of murdering and dismembering a Colombian surgeon in southern Thailand. PHOTO: AP

Police said Sancho’s motive for the killing was unclear.

On Sunday, Sancho accompanied investigators to multiple sites where he allegedly dumped body parts.

Sancho’s lawyer told reporters on Tuesday that his client was feeling relaxed and was undergoing a 10-day coronavirus isolation period at the jail.

Under Thai law, pre-meditated murder convictions carry the death penalty.

Sancho’s family is in touch with the Spanish Embassy in Bangkok and an agent for his father issued a statement asking for “maximum respect” for their privacy, “in these delicate and completely confusing moments”.

Thailand is a relatively safe country where violent crimes are rare.Koh Pha Ngan is famed for its white sandy beaches and draws thousands of backpackers.

In 2017, another Spaniard, Artur Segarra, was convicted of murdering a businessman in Bangkok and discarding dismembered body parts into the Chao Praya River.