Finnish Man Murdered In Pattaya

A 64-year-old Finnish man, Mr. Erkki Aaltonen, was stabbed to death in Pattaya, Thailand, late on Monday night. 
As reported in the local daily Pattaya Daily News, Mr. Aaltonen was found assaulted in his room in the Grand Condotel Hotel near Jomtien Beach. He had been stabbed over fifty times and died of his injuries in hospital.
There were plenty of signs of struggle in Mr. Aaltonen’s room, and a 30-centimetre-long knife was found.
According to the Pattaya Daily News, he had managed to drag himself onto his balcony to call for help. As a leg amputee, Mr. Aaltonen suffered from restricted mobility. 
A woman living in the next-door room heard his cries and called for assistance.
Mr. Aaltonen lived in Pattaya with his Thai wife. At the time of the stabbing the wife was in Bangkok.  Mrs. Aaltonen returned from Bangkok on receiving news of her husband’s death.  48 year old Mrs. Aaltonen, also a lawyer, said that both she and her husband ran a law business mainly catering to Finnish customers requiring visas and formation of company businesses.  She knew that her husband was having a relationship with the ‘other’ woman, a bar girl named Nipaporn Phuto, aged 27 from Nakhon Sawan in Central Thailand.  In fact, in the past the bar girl had stolen a number of valuable items and an amount of cash from Mr. Aaltonen.  A report was made to the police but Mr. Aaltonen decided to forgive her, dropped the charges and carried on with their relationship.  
Evidence from the hotel CCTV shows that a man and woman were seen riding a bike very fast from the building after the incident, and a hotel guard remembered that the woman was a regular visitor to Mr. Aaltonen for at least one year.
Officers think that Nipaporn Phuto came to see Mr. Aaltonen on that fateful day in order to demand money.  He refused and so she attacked him with the knife, possibly assisted by her male friend.  An arrest warrant has now been made and a search is on to find the two suspects, Phuto and her male friend to be charged with the murder of Mr. Aaltonen.   The case is being closely followed by the Finnish Consulate and community in Pattaya.
The Finnish Ambassador to Bangkok Lars Backström verifies the information of the Finnish man’s death. The Thai police are looking into the case as manslaughter.
“As far as I know, the police have not arrested anyone yet”, Backström reported on Tuesday. The Embassy has informed the man’s next of kin of the tragedy. 
According to Backström, around half a dozen foreigners have been killed in Thailand since the beginning of the year. The latest incident took place just over a week ago in Phuket, where a 27-year-old Swedish female tourist was stabbed to death on the beach.
Prior to Monday’s case, the most recent violent death of a Finnish tourist in Thailand happened in 2003, when a 31-year-old man was knifed at the conclusion of an attempted mugging.


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