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Northern Ireland man held as Thai police discover dead, dismembered body inside locked fridge

By Claire Williamson

A man thought to be from Northern Ireland has been arrested after a dismembered body was found hidden in a fridge for more than three years.

It was discovered in a locked freezer cut into pieces during a raid of an apartment in the Phra Kahnong district of Bangkok.

Guns, drugs and fake identity documents were also found during the major operation.

Authorities are trying to determine the identity of the victim and have called on the FBI for help. Results of the autopsy are expected to be released soon.

Colonel Kissana Phathanacharoe from the Thai police said: "We managed to find a big freezer. We opened it and found a dead body inside it. The body was chopped into different parts. It was concealed in many rubbish bags and put in the freezer."

Dual British US national Peter Andrew Colter, who is also known as American citizen Peter Johnson, was among the three suspects. Local reports have said that Colter is from Northern Ireland and is key to the probe.

He was arrested alongside James Eger and Arron Gabel, who both claim to be American.

Peter Andrew Colter told police he is a British national, born in London who grew up in the US. However investigators are treating the names and nationalities given by the men as suspicious because a number of passports were found documenting different birthplaces.

Thai police believe Colter to be the ringleader of the gang.

According to reports, Colter is currently in hospital receiving treatment for injuries sustained after allegedly shooting a police officer during the raid.

The three men have been charged with offences including concealment of a body, obstruction of justice, possession of fraudulent passports and possession of drugs including ketamine and crystal meth. The FBI and UK authorities are being asked to help with identification.

Police Major-General Surachate Hakparn said: We have contacted both the FBI and UK authorities to check fingerprints, DNA and dental records to see if there are any matches. Although we don't know his nationality, we do believe him to be European. We believe he has been dead for more than three years."

Hakpan told Sky News that checks by investigators had shown no record of Colter entering the country with a UK passport.

He told the broadcaster: "The main thing that we are focused on is establishing the identity of the corpse and answering the question 'who is Peter?' That will lead us to other links."

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