Thailand: Russian murdered in Phuket cannabis grow house

The Bangkok Post

A Russian man was found slashed to death on Wednesday afternoon in a rented house in Phuket where cannabis plants were being grown.

Police found the body of Artur Mkhitarian, 42, in a pool of blood, with many severe cuts to his throat and body. Police believed he had been dead for at least 12 hours.

According to local reports, the victim’s Russian girlfriend said he had rented a car two days earlier then disappeared. She went to the car-rental firm and asked the staff to track the vehicle.

The white Honda City was later found in front of a house on a hill on Soi Sai Nam Yen in tambon Chalong. The two-storey house was locked from the inside.

Police broke into the house and found the body. There were signs of a fight and the house had many cannabis plants. Police also found the car key near the house.

Mkhitarian arrived in the country on Jan 28 and his visa was due to expire on April 26.

Detectives said a Thai woman rented the house for her foreign boyfriend. It had housed a tour business but later was turned into a cannabis farm. Neighbours said foreigners often visited the place to buy and use cannabis.

Police suspect the killer was another foreigner who had arrived in the country on Jan 12 and departed on Tuesday night.

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