BANGKOK, THAILAND — 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 on Wednesday.
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 31 July as a tourist.
Police found body parts at a rubbish dump in Koh Pha Ngan that are 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.
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 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 to its notoriously wild “full moon” parties.
In 2017, another Spaniard, Artur Segarra, was convicted of murdering a businessman in Bangkok and discarding dismembered body parts into the Chao Praya River.