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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 May, 2005, 11:34 GMT 12:34 UK
Trio quizzed over Briton's murder
Map of Thailand showing Hua Hin
Hua Hin lies about 200km southwest of Bangkok
Three people have been arrested in connection with the murder of a British bar owner in Thailand, police say.

Remains believed to be those of Toby Charnaud, 41, formerly a farmer in Wiltshire, were found on his ex-wife's property after he disappeared in March.

The ex-wife, Panada, and two of her relatives were held by police pending the identification of the remains.

Mr Charnaud owned a Western-style bar called Rainbow in the beach and golf resort of Hua Hin.

Speaking from his home in Chippenham, Wiltshire, Mr Charnaud's father, Jeremy, said he had hired a private detective in Bangkok to try to trace his son's killer.

We have feared the worst for quite some while
Jeremy Charnaud

"He has pushed things forward to finally end up with this possible discovery," he said.

"We have feared the worst for quite some while.

"It was just completely out of character for our son because he had never not communicated with his son and his son's carers on a very frequent basis."

Police searched Toby Charnaud's ex-wife's property after an investigation revealed that she may have been involved in his disappearance.

DNA testing

"We have found the burned remains and ashes on a plot of land that belongs to his ex-wife and we're detaining her and her relatives for questioning," said police Colonel Amnuay Warayavisut.

No charges have been filed yet, and the remains were being DNA tested, he added.

Mr Charnaud had a five-year-old son with Panada before they separated and he went to live with another Thai woman. He was awarded custody of his son.

Jeremy Charnaud said he and his son had farmed together in Wiltshire before Toby moved to Thailand about five years ago.

We are keeping in touch with the authorities
Foreign Office spokeswoman

"Farming wasn't for him. He wanted to work in Thailand and he was very happy indeed out there.

"He was distraught about his divorce but there was no question of him coming back to the UK."

Mr Charnaud said he was preparing to fly to Thailand to settle his son's affairs.

The Foreign Office, which said it believed that Toby Charnaud had been born in Cornwall, said it was aware that remains had been found.

"Obviously those remains have to be identified so we are awaiting further information," a spokeswoman said.

"We are aware that police have made a number of arrests in relation to this and we are keeping in touch with the authorities."


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