Monday, February 11, 2008

VICTORIA — The Thai wife of a Victoria-born oilfield worker is accused of having him killed as he slept in their home in Thailand by paying a gunman close to $2,000, according to Thai reports.

Dale Henry, 48, was killed by a gunshot to the head. Marie-Christine Lilkoff, a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs, confirmed Sunday that the killing took place Feb. 3. She was unable to provide further details of the case due to privacy concerns.

Henry’s brother Richard Henry, owner of a Victoria window-washing company, and his sister Mary-Jane Henry, of Calgary, left Sunday for Thailand. A funeral is planned for Wednesday.

Henry’s 27-year-old wife, Nee, and two other men, allegedly her lover and a hitman, have been arrested and charged in the killing, which took place in Ranong, southern Thailand.

According to Thai Visa Forum, a website for Westerners working in Thailand, the three accused have been identified in Thai media as Maneerat “Nee” Henry, Amornsak Ketkaew and Jinda Sae Tae. Reports allege the hitman was paid about 60,000 baht, or $1,912.

None of the accusations has been proven in a court of law.

Henry, who was born in Victoria, moved to Thailand about 10 years ago after working as a firefighter in Cochrane, Alberta.

According to his sister, Henry met Nee in Thailand and married her about six years ago.

But Henry spent only half his time in Thailand, as he worked for an oil company in Nigeria. He typically would work for five weeks, then spend five weeks at home.

His relatives all say he was very happy with Nee.

“He fell in love with her right away and took the family and bought land in her name and bought them new vehicles so they had shelter, and a good sense of security, and so they felt comfortable,” Henry’s niece, Charmaine Van Der Ahe, told Global National Sunday.

Richard Henry also said his brother was kind-hearted and generous with his money, funding a June trip for his wife’s family to go to Hong Kong.

“He treated her so well,” said Richard. “He made $10,000 US a month and the bank account was shared. A lot of guys, if they had a Thai wife, they just gave them an allowance.

“My brother wasn’t like that. He took joy in doing things for his wife’s family.”

Richard Henry said his brother had a $1-million life insurance policy in his name.

“We’re having a Thai funeral for him beginning on Wednesday. He’ll lay in the temple for three days.”

Richard is worried possible corruption in the Thai justice system might see the case against the three accused dropped.

“If it’s known internationally, then there’s pressure on them to do everything properly,” Richard said.

According to friends, Dale Henry had recently broken his leg, and had been recuperating at the couple’s home, perhaps delaying his return to Nigeria.

Henry is the second Canadian killed in Thailand this year.

Last month, Leo John Del Pinto of Calgary was shot to death by an off-duty police officer.