The bodies of a wealthy British businessman and his Thai wife have been recovered near their luxury home in northern Thailand after they were allegedly murdered in a contract killing ordered by the woman’s brother, the police confirmed on Tuesday.
Alan Hogg, 64, originally from Edinburgh, was reportedly shot next to the couple’s duck coop and his wife Nott Suddaen, 61, bludgeoned to death with a wrench beside the garage of their three-storey house in the northern province of Phrae.
Three men, including the alleged mastermind and Mrs Hogg’s older brother, Warut Satchakit, 63, have been charged with premeditated murder.
The couple’s disappearance last Thursday sparked a massive police search involving sniffer dogs and specialist divers after blood was found smeared in a sink and on the walls of their swimming pool changing room.
On Tuesday morning the authorities used an excavator to dig deep into a freshly dug patch of land on the Hoggs’ sprawling 32-acre property.
“We have found the bodies of the couple, they are buried by the canal,” Thai Police Major General Sanpat Prabpudsa confirmed to The Telegraph. The bodies had been hidden in graves two metres deep.
The police had earlier said they suspected the case was connected to a “long-standing conflict within the family.”
Mr Warut was initially arrested after CCTV showed him entering the couple’s gated property and leaving in their new white Ford Ranger pick-up truck, which was sold to a Lao businessman the day after they were reported missing.
It was recovered on Monday 300 miles away in Ayutthaya near the capital, Bangkok.
Mr Warut was charged with theft but denied any involvement in their disappearance and was released on a £2,400 bail, after which he briefly vanished.
According to the Bangkok Post, Mr Warut was caught again on Tuesday. He still denies the charges, but his alleged accomplices Pia Khamsai, 63, and Kittipong Khamwan, 24, claimed he paid them 50,000 Baht (£1,175) to carry out the double murder.
During questioning they also revealed where the bodies were buried. Next of kin have been informed.
The Post reported that Mr Pia had confessed to shooting Mr Hogg in the chest when he went to feed his ducks. Mr Kittipong then allegedly held Mrs Hogg while Mr Warut hit her on the head with a wrench he took from the garage. The three suspects used a farming hoe to dig the grave.
The couple were reported missing by a friend last Thursday, two days after they had been due to meet them in the city of Chiang Mai.
Their daughter Robyn Hogg, 31, a production assistant, flew to Thailand from the UK after being alerted to her parents’ disappearance.
Mr Hogg, who has links with several UK businesses, is described on Companies House as an offshore construction manager. He moved to Thailand several years ago after working as an engineer in Australia.
He was born in Zambia and married in 1986 in Edinburgh, where his mother and brother still live.
The police said that the Hoggs had planned to live in Spain but Mr Warut had persuaded his younger sister and her husband to move instead to Thailand to be close to family.
Officers are investigating reports that Mr Hogg and his brother-in-law, who is said to have had money problems, did not get along.
Neighbours described Mrs Hogg as “the most beautiful woman in town” and said Mr Hogg was “very friendly” and often helped them. They told local media he was a millionaire.
He and his wife were known to rear ducks, geese and cattle on their property, and made frequent and long trips to Australia.