Sunday, 2 October 2022

Pomelo justice, second wife blues, ambush fantasy

Lookalike takes karma rap

Montree ‘Ton’ Changwad and Polwat ‘Pol’ Changwad

A Sa Kaeo mother is appealing for justice after an old man in their village stabbed her son, mistaking him for his elder brother with whom he had argued earlier.

Montree “Ton” Changwad, 26, from Khao Chakan district, died after Lin Pawong stabbed him fatally outside his mother’s home on Sept 21.

The victim’s elder brother, Polwat “Pol” Changwad, 31, said he argued with Mr Lin earlier that evening as he was hunting for frogs close to Mr Lin’s place, about 150m from his own.

Mr Lin turned up at his family home shortly after, evidently bent on reprisal, but mistook his younger brother for himself, and stabbed him.

“When he saw me out hunting for frogs the old man cursed me and told me to go elsewhere. I responded saying I was on public property and can hunt for frogs where I like,” Mr Pol told reporters.

The response angered Mr Lin. “He turned up at my mother’s place shortly after when he ran into my younger brother Ton, who had just turned up on his motorcycle. In the darkness he mistook Ton for me and stabbed him.”

News reports said Ton, who had not spoken to Mr Lin before, did not have a chance to defend himself. Nor did he know about his elder brother’s argument with Mr Lin.

The two brothers look alike and can be hard to tell apart in the dark. “He took karma on my behalf, an innocent victim,” Mr Pol said, referring to Ton.

After the argument, Mr Pol returned to the house briefly to attend to his fishing gear, before leaving home again. “I had gone just 100m when I heard my brother call out for help.

“I ran to help, and saw the old guy lunging at him with the knife. Ton was holding on to his stomach, as his insides were coming out.

“I punched the old man, who had parked his vehicle across the driveway to stop others from leaving. He was determined to inflict harm,” he said.

In time-honoured fashion, Mr Lin fled the scene after his crime, though he later handed himself in to police, admitting he had stabbed Ton but insisting he acted in self-defence. He handed over the pocket knife he used. Police took a record of what happened and released him without charge.

Ton’s mother, Duay Purachathammo, 50, took her injured son to the district hospital. He was transferred to Somdet Phra Yuparat Sa Kaeo owing to his serious condition, but died about 4am.

Ms Duay visited Khao Chakan police the next day to alert them, and they called in Mr Lin to face charges.

Ms Duay said police should never have let him go in the first place, as he could have come back to attack Mr Pol after realising he stabbed the wrong man. She complained to a justice ministry clinic at the Sa Kaeo district office, and to the police themselves.

Ton’s mother said she was also unhappy with Mr Lin’s family, who had offered compensation for her son’s death of just 100 baht, plus 10 pomelo fruit. “Is this really how much my son’s life was worth?” she asked. She was forced to borrow 60,000 baht to pay for his funeral costs.

Deputy head of investigations at Khao Chakan police, Pol Lt Col Udom Intharaprasert, said Mr Lin was charged with killing with intent, and officers were preparing to send the file to court. “The family can rest easy,” he said.

Two-timer strains patience

Penchan ‘Tui’ Chaisit

An Udon Thani woman lost patience with her philandering husband after not seeing him for more than 12 months and finding out he had shacked up at his second wife’s place.

Penchan “Tui” Chaisit, 61, says she stabbed her husband’s informal wife Wilai “Nang” Timinkul, 53, in self-defence after the victim hit her with a piece of wood. Wilai was to die later from her injuries. The stabbing took place outside Wilai’s home in Non Sa-At district on Sept 23.

Ms Penchan said she had been married to Thongbai Chaisit, 63, a labourer, for 40 years and the couple have three children. However, nine years ago he started seeing Wilai, who lived in the same village.

“At first he would come home, but then stopped. I found out later he had a minor wife and was living with her openly. If he did come home he would get drunk and abuse me, though he never hit me. I finally learned to let it all go,” she told reporters.

 The victim hit Ms Penchan with this stick
Ms Penchan moved alone to a simple farm hut where she tends animals and supports herself. Despite her husband’s transgressions, she did not divorce him, though if she ran into his second wife the pair would often argue, family members say.

A year ago, Mr Thongbai took up work in central Udon Thani. He was joined by other men in the village, but when the work ended last week and they returned home, Mr Thongbai was not among them.

“When I called, he claimed his vehicle was broken and could not get home. However, when I went over to the minor wife’s place, I saw his pickup there,” Ms Penchan said.

“I called him, but he refused to come out. His second wife started abusing me, and turned up at the front of the house when she started beating me with a piece of wood. I reached for a fruit knife in my bag and stabbed her once in the chest,” she said.

The victim was making a meal for Mr Thongbai, her younger brother Athit Sonnarong, 50, and Wilai’s two children when Ms Penchan arrived about 7pm.

Mr Athit said when the argument broke out he paid no attention, as the two wives often bickered. After being stabbed his elder sister called for help, and he and Mr Thongbai took her to the district hospital.

“I knew they had problems but didn’t expect it would go this far. I had told my sister to do things correctly, but she didn’t listen.

“I said Penchan and her husband were still married and they should quit properly first before she carries on,” he told reporters. Wilai and her own husband had parted many years ago.

When Wilai fell to the ground, Ms Penchan took off on her motorcycle. She dumped the knife in front of a coin-operated petrol refill booth before heading home, about 2km away.

About 10pm, Ms Penchan visited district police to complain Wilai had attacked her, and went to hospital for a checkup. She was not aware that the injuries she inflicted on Wilai were potentially fatal.

Wilai was later transferred to Udon Thani hospital, but died at 11pm. After hearing the victim had died, police called Ms Penchan, asking her to surrender. She was charged with murder with intent.

Rubbery tale falls apart
Siriwan Kraiwan

A Trat woman who shot her husband after she discovered he was seeing someone else initially claimed he was ambushed on a rubber plantation.

Siriwan Kraiwan, 27, took her injured husband Supawit Moh-klung, 42, to Trat hospital following the Sept 25 shooting.

She initially told Muang police that he had been ambushed and shot at a rubber plantation about 1km from their home in Tha Kum sub-district. He had turned up injured at their place in his saleng seeking help, she claimed.

Police liaised with local officers who inspected the plantation. However, they found no signs of a struggle and no signs of blood in the saleng.

In any event, they doubted Mr Supawit would have the strength to get home unaided, and suspected he might have been shot there instead.

At his house, police met the injured man’s father, Chid Kraiwan, 70. While it is unclear what he told them, police stepped up their questioning of Ms Siriwan, who confessed she had shot her husband in the chest with an unlicensed, Thai-modified .38 calibre handgun.

She discovered he had been seeing someone else and the two argued fiercely. He started to hit her and she shot him to defend herself, she said.

Family members said they had no idea where she obtained the gun. Police charged her with attempted murder. Her husband is in Trat hospital recovering.

Sunday, 25 September 2022

Cornfield slaying stumps, fatal gold lust, naked escapee

Welter of kill motives

Sombat ‘Noi’ Ritmontree’s body was discovered on the cornfield

The family of an Udon Thani woman killed on a cornfield suspects opportunistic thieves are responsible for her fatal stabbing injuries.

The brutal murder, which has shocked locals in Ban Dung district, comes five months after the victim, Sombat “Noi” Ritmontree, 56, and her husband, Prakong Ritmontree, also 56, sold a prized family buffalo and one of her offspring for 36,000 baht.

Mr Prakong said his wife had spent most of the money paying off debts and had just 1,700 baht left when the killers struck. They took the cash, but left her with two old-model phones and her carry bag.

She was stabbed nine times and beaten over the head. Her body, discarded in the field where she had been gathering crops, also showed signs of a struggle as if Sombat had tried to run from her attackers but failed. A bag in which she was collecting corn was found about 6m from her body, which is where family members suspect the attack began.

Mr Prakong said he and his wife split up about midday on Sept 18 to work the fields. The pair regularly sleep in their hut, looking after the family buffaloes.

He took 12 buffaloes that morning to the opposite side of the creek; at about 3–4pm, he brought them back but could see no signs of his wife.

When he called on her phone, no one answered. “I called my daughter, who said my wife hadn’t come home, so she went out in search of her,” he said.

She called her mother while walking into the cornfield, and started to hear the ringtone. The sound led her to her mother’s body.

Sombat 
Mr Prakong said he suspected a family inheritance dispute might lie behind the killing, or opportunistic thieves. He said his wife had clashed with her younger sister over land left to them by their mother.

Regarding his second theory, he said three local men had come to see him at the field hut two days before. They said they were hunting for frogs. They stopped for a chat and Sombat, as was her generous way with locals, gave them some farm produce before they left.

Police called in the three men, Jaruad, Uwan and Mol, who said they hadn’t been back to the hut since that visit two days before. Sombat’s body was found about 500m from the hut, and about 2km from the village.

Mr Prakong said another possibility was that some locals, having heard about their sale of the buffaloes in April, turned up hoping to rob her of the proceeds. Theft was a common problem in the village.

Rampan Seesing, 36, a niece of the victim, said the inheritance motive is a non-starter as no one in the family was so brutal they would kill each other over land. However, the village has many people hooked on drugs, and farm gear such as fish nets, tyres and scrap metal goes missing constantly, she said.

Samret “Hum” Seesing, 67, an elder brother of the victim, denied his younger sister had any issues with Sombat, as their mother had divided up her land equally: seven rai for each of her five children.

He suspects simple robbery as the motive, as someone had stolen his tractor and water pump, kept by the side of the hut, shortly before.

Udon Thani regional police, and officers from Ban Dung district, are investigating. They say they have ruled out no motives, including the family inheritance angle.

Too handy with a weapon
CCTV footage shows Prakit Keowsen while he robs the gold shop

A former contract painter who tried his hand at gold robbery was shot in the back for his troubles and died shortly after.

Prakit Keowsen, 35, was found slumped in front of a shop in Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima on Sept 16 after robbing a gold shop in a nearby Tesco Lotus store of 34 strands of gold, or 68 baht gold weight worth about 2 million baht.

The owner of the store, Weerawat Asaitham, 38, pursued him from the store.

Prakit shot in the air with his 9mm calibre handgun to clear an exit path. He also fired at Mr Weerawat, but missed.

The owner returned fire three times, with one bullet entering Prakit’s back and lodging in his lung.

Outside the store, he tried to steal a woman’s motorcycle but failed when she grabbed her keys and fled.

Prakit did not make it much further as his injuries grew too much to bear. News footage showed him moaning in agony outside a nearby store as rescue workers treated him. He succumbed to shock later and died.

Police found a homemade smoke bomb in his bag, and another 9mm calibre gun along with eight bullets.

Pol Lt Col Worachai Bangyeekhan, deputy head of investigations at Pak Chong station, said Prakit was a house painter in Samut Prakan, and also took on a resort-painting job in Khao Yai.

The resort in Toscana, Khao Yai, said he painted out the place three years ago, but were not sure what happened to him after that.

His wife also worked in Samut Prakan. Prakit held a bachelor’s degree and before the robbery told his family he was heading to Pak Chong to look for work. He liked to play the share market and may have run into debt, Pol Lt Col Worachai said.

Police charged shop owner Mr Weerawat initially with the shooting, though they are also taking into account his argument that he acted in self-defence and was protecting his property.

Suspect loses fight with mozzies

Anon flees a police holding truck into a nearby forest

A man who fled a police holding truck into a nearby forest lasted just two hours before police found him, naked and covered in insect bites.

Anon (no surname given), 24, was being led from a police holding van up the stairs to Phra Samut Chedi station in Samut Prakan on Sept 15 when he bolted from the sole police officer’s custody.

He ran down the road and dived into a dense 20 rai forest about 100m away.

Anon, who emerged naked from the forest 
Two hours later, aided by an aerial tracking drone, police found him covered in grass, hiding, though reports say he seemed pleased to see them. He did not know the area and was having a tough time in the dense forest, they said.

Anon was set upon by mosquitoes and wasps and the bites grew so bad he shed his clothes. News footage showed him being led naked from the forest until a policeman wrapped a white towel around his waist. His face and body were covered in bruises and welts from the encounter with the insects.

Sakla sub-district police nabbed him that morning on firearms charges and after questioning the suspect were transferring him to the larger Phra Samut Chedi station in a van to await a court appearance.

Sakla police have to send their suspects to the larger station as they are renting commercial premises and do not yet have a station of their own.

Before the journey Anon asked if he could travel without the customary handcuffs, claiming his wrists were sore.

Police obliged, only to find later that he wanted his hands free so he could escape. Asked by reporters as he was being led from the forest why he did it, Anon offered a one-word, cryptic explanation: “I was scared.”

Police have charged him with fleeing custody in addition to the original firearms charge.

Sunday, 18 September 2022

Left high and dry, lacklustre thief, funeral omen for drunk

Easier than robbing houses

Engine parts from stolen water pumps 

A husband and wife couple in Buri Ram have been nabbed for stealing water pumps from villages across the province in a crime spree going back three years.

Buri Ram provincial police last week arrested Bunjob “Noi” Dankratork, 48, and his wife, Liam Srisupan, 54, from Nong Ki district. They admitted stealing water pumps, stripping them for parts and selling them to a second-hand goods store.

Mr Noi would head out at night, find a pump he hadn’t yet stolen, and bring it home with a plastic or metal basin covering his misdeed. When morning broke he would strip it down and ask his wife to take the parts to the obliging second-hand goods store.

Mr Noi put the proceeds towards investing in gold necklaces. While his wife was initially sceptical, she said his efforts at saving money were starting to bear fruit at the time of their arrest.
 Bunjob ‘Noi’ Dankratork
“My husband told me he had a dream of buying necklaces worth five baht in gold weight,” Ms Liam told reporters. 

“I thought it was unlikely at first, as we live from hand to mouth. But slowly, he started getting there, buying necklaces worth 50 satang of gold weight at a time.

“Most recently he was able to buy a necklace worth two baht gold weight, though he didn’t want me wearing it, as he wanted to show off to the ladies. I was quietly pleased for him that he was able to save that well and decided he might just reach the five baht goal eventually,” she said.

Police said they have been pursuing the case for months. Locals in at least 14 districts of the province and on the border with Nakhon Ratchasima had complained that someone had stolen their water pumps, leaving them high and dry. Villages in remote areas rely on pumps to provide running water.

“They stole from more than 50 villages; in some cases the pumps had been stolen twice,” said Pol Maj Gen Ruthapol Naowarat, head of Buri Ram provincial police.

Announcing the arrest, police laid out the stolen property they seized at the couple’s house, including so many motor parts from pumps that the scene looked like a trade fair.

While it is unclear how they cracked the case, Ms Liam said she had an inkling that something was wrong on the night before their arrest. “A crow landed on the fence of our place and nodded his head three times. I took it as a bad sign. Then, as I was preparing food to give the monks on their morning alms round, police turned up at our place and charged us.”

Asked why he chose water pumps, Mr Noi said they made easy targets. “They are easy to steal, as all villages with running water have their own pump. The pumps are usually located outside the community, and easier to rob than people’s homes. When you see a water tank, you know a water pump must be nearby,” he said.

Ms Liam claims she didn’t know her husband was stealing them.

“When I asked where the pumps came from, my husband would say a friend gave them to him,” she said. Unpersuaded, police charged the pair with stealing goods.

Gold haul in a rice hut

 Chotphong ‘Pee’ Thumprada shows how he stole the gold

A Sa Kaeo man who stole 1.8 million baht worth of gold from a local store says he needed money to pay off debts.

Chotphong “Pee” Thumprada, 35, robbed a gold shop in the Tesco Lotus store in Aranyaprathet district of necklaces worth 61 baht gold weight, or 1.8 million baht, on Sept 8.

While his haul was impressive, his chances of getting away with it suffered an immediate setback when shop staff asked him to remove his motorcycle safety helmet and his sanitation mask. Mr Pee did as he was told, revealing his identity to the store’s CCTV cameras.

He asked to see some gold necklaces. As staff were helping him, CCTV vision shows him pulling out a gun from his bag, jumping on the counter and grabbing a handful of necklaces, which he stuffed in his bag. He fled the scene on his motorbike.

Police identified Mr Pee and turned up at his home in Nong Sang sub-district that afternoon, only to find the suspect had fled moments before. They did, however, find his “gun” — a fake weapon — inside.
Pee
Police heard Mr Pee had fled to a hut by the river, some 2–3km away. About 100 officers surrounded the spot but he fled into a forest, where officers sealed off the area and kept up the pressure for almost 24 hours until they caught him, hungry and tired, the following afternoon.

Officers say Mr Pee took the gold with him, but had no food or supplies to keep him going. As he gave himself up he offered a wai of apology. 

Later, when his mother visited following his arrest, he prostrated himself at her feet to say sorry.

Police mounted a huge operation involving 100 officers from Provincial Police Region 2, Sa Kaew provincial police, and officers from Aranyaprathet district. A reward of 20,000 baht was offered.

Aranyaprathet police charged him with the gold theft. They say they are not sold on his story about financial hardship, as Mr Pee has a history of drug use.

Funeral drunk meets maker

The bikes parked at the funeral

A Chiang Rai man who started arguing with a friend at a funeral was to die hours later after threatening him with a gun.

Jirayut Kamsamorn, 53, attended a funeral in Phaya Mengrai district on Sept 7. He had too much to drink and when he went out to fetch his motorbike could no longer find it.

Jirayut accused a friend, Chan Kengkla, 41, also attending the funeral, of taking the motorbike.

Mr Chan denied it but Jirayut was adamant and the two started exchanging blows. Locals broke them up and sent them home.

The victim, still angry about their altercation, turned up at Mr Chan’s place a short time later with a Thai-modified rifle. He stood at the door and threatened Mr Chan, who had been sleeping.

Alarmed about the turn of events, Mr Chan raced inside, grabbed a 30cm fruit knife, and stabbed Jirayut with it repeatedly. He said he feared for his safety and that of his wife, who was also at home.

Chatchawan Khamsamoi, a relative of the victim’s, said he tried to get Jirayut to calm down at the funeral, but he refused to listen.

The victim’s elder brother, Cham (assumed name), 60, said he didn’t see the stabbing but heard the commotion.

“I raced out there and found the victim lying on the ground. Chan was running away, heading towards the village head’s house where he was to give himself up,” he said.

Mr Chan told police that Jirayut accused him of taking the bike, which was not true. The victim was drunk and merely forgot where he left it, he said.

Mr Chan had given up drinking during Buddhist Lent, so still had his senses about him. As he was stabbing the victim, the top of Jirayut’s gun barrel struck him in the eye. He grabbed the top of it and kept stabbing, news reports said.

The accused’s family said they were worried about their mother as Mr Chan was her principal carer, and the household’s financial mainstay. He knew he would have to go to jail for the killing.

Both families had met to clear the air since the fatal stabbing.

Victim Jirayut’s family had given them 10,000 baht to help meet expenses as both sides had suffered losses.

Sunday, 11 September 2022

Cunning trap, hotel shocker, drugs bonus, bomb plot

Cops hatch surprise for thief

 Marosati Je Ali

A minibus driver led a gold thief right to the arms of Chon Buri police after liaising with his victims in Chanthaburi.

Ten police from Ban Bueng station last week set up a checkpoint on Highway 344 after hearing a gold thief, Marosati Je Ali, 30, was on board a minibus heading to Bangkok.

Mr Marosati had fled a durian plantation in Makham district, Chanthaburi where he worked as a casual labourer after stealing a gold necklace and bracelet from a Cambodian co-worker, identified as Phan, and making off on his boss’s motorcycle.

He stopped the bike in front of a local’s house where he persuaded the occupants to give him a ride into Muang district. There, he sold the gold necklace for 13,000 baht, put the bracelet on his wrist for safekeeping and bought a minibus ticket for his trip to Bangkok. After that he intended to travel to Yala to see his ailing father.

Nisarat Sangkanak and Teethawat Hiranrangsee, a husband and wife team who hired Mr Marosati to harvest durian, and kept him on to tend to the trees after the season ended, contacted police after realising their employee had stolen their motorbike and the co-worker’s jewellery.

“We have worked with him before and after hearing him complain that he would have to go and visit his sick dad, we decided to pay his wages [early] the next day so he could leave. However, he went and stole our bike first,” the pair told reporters.

“We tried contacting him, but had no luck; we also heard he had pinched gold from a co-worker."

One of the pair asked an elder sister who works at the bus terminal to tell the driver to stop in front of the police booth on the way to Bangkok but without telling their passenger.

Alerted via the 191 callline that the suspect was on board the vehicle, officers set up the checkpoint. When the minibus parked in front of their booth in Nong Chak sub-district, as the victim had arranged previously with the driver, officers got in the van and asked to check the passengers.

They found their suspect sitting on the right side towards the rear. They asked to check his ID and compared his likeness with a photo which the victims had sent. Realising they had caught their man, they arrested a surprised Mr Marosati, who admitted the robbery and put up no resistance.

The thief said he had stolen the gold to pay for his trip and intended to send the bracelet and the rest of the cash to the owner once he got home. However, he was caught first.

Police also found tin foil in his bag, similar to that which druggies use. A urine test showed Mr Marosati tested positive for speed.

His bosses, meanwhile, handed over a gift basket to police in thanks for their quick work in nabbing the thief.

Electrifying last act
 The body of Opas Saengchan is retrieved from behind a chute at the hotel.

A burglar who climbed to the second storey of a city hotel received a fatal shock when he touched a live wire installed to deter theft.

Opas Saengchan, 34, from Rayong, climbed to the second level of the eight-storey hotel in soi Sukhumvit 5, Wattana, hotel on Sept 4.

When he reached the second level he touched an electrified wire which the hotel had installed after it was last burgled about a month ago. He fell off the balcony and into the gap between a large air vent chute and the side of the hotel.

Opas’ right foot, which was still entangled in the electrical wire, carried burn marks.

The thief may have climbed a large tree on the right side of the hotel or the air chute to help reach the second storey. It is the same spot where the thief broke in a month before.

On that occasion, a tourist complained that his items had gone missing. News reports said hotel staff tried to catch the thief but were unsuccessful. Management installed the electrified wire to deter further break-ins.

The hotel would not comment to the media, and news reports did not identify it by name. It is unclear if Opas was the same man who broke in a month ago. Police found him with a bag containing 2,600 baht and the man’s ID card.

News reports say the current is switched on between 10pm and 5am. It was unclear if the hotel posted warning signs to deter theft, but a lawyer contacted by Amarin TV said the hotel was unlikely to suffer any legal consequences, as it had been burgled previously, and the electrical wire was not in a publicly accessible place.

Gold thief’s drugs sideline
Pratin ‘Tee Lek’ Nakkaemthong

Surprised police found a stash of 800 speed pills as they arrested a Nakhon Pathom man for a flawed gold shop theft.

Nakhon Pathom provincial police, and officers from Bang Len station, nabbed Pratin “Tee Lek” Nakkaemthong, 31, after he robbed the Golden Swan gold shop at Hong Thong Yaowarat, in Bua Thong market, Bang Len, on Sept 1.

Tee Lek, dressed like a farmer, entered the shop and asked the owner, Wetchayan Prathumchat, to look at some gold necklaces. Mr Wetchayan presented three necklaces, each worth 2 baht in gold. When his attention was averted, Tee Lek grabbed them and fled the shop on a green Honda Sonic. He claims he dropped one necklace during his getaway; it has yet to turn up.

Police checked CCTV cameras which led them to a house in Naraphirom, Bang Len, where Tee Lek had gone into hiding. When they found him, he had spray-painted his getaway vehicle from green to black.

Tee Lek admitted staging the robbery. In an unexpected bonus, a search inside found 800 speed pills, and Tee Lek tested positive for speed when police asked him to take a urine test.

Police charged him with the gold shop robbery, taking speed and having drugs in his possession with intent to supply.

During a crime re-enactment at the shop, Tee Lek offered a wai of apology to the owner. Mr Wetchayan asked Tee Lek what had happened to the missing necklace, but he insisted he dropped it as he fled the shop.

Nabbed in the nick of time
Anuchit Chuangjamsai is nabbed with speed pills and the grenade (below left)

Police in Trang spared a mother-in-law a nasty shock when they arrested a young man planning to throw a grenade at her house.

Crime Suppression Division police last week nabbed Anuchit Chuangjamsai, 26, at a hut in Nong Prue, Ratsada, after hearing that young people had gathered there to take drugs.

When police arrived they found him sitting there alone. Searching the place, they found a grenade in his bag.

They also found 10 speed pills hidden inside the hut, though Mr Anuchit insists they weren’t his.
A urine test, however, showed he tested positive for drugs. Asked about the explosive device, Mr Anuchit said he bought it from a friend for 500 baht.

He intended to throw it at his mother-in-law’s place to seek vengeance after she barred him from seeing her daughter.

Police charged him with taking drugs and having a weapon in his possession without permission.

Sunday, 4 September 2022

Granny asset-stripper, drive-by killing, monk’s valour

Lender throws weight around

Subin Butgnam

A Surin granny was stripped of almost all her assets by a gang of loan sharks who came after debts run up by her granddaughter in Krabi.

Subin Butgnam’s family has complained to police after three people turned up at her place late last month to demand she honour the 80,000 baht debt run up by Apinya Sangkaewkeaw, 28, who had missed repayments.

Ms Subin, 65, knew nothing about Ms Apinya’s debt problems and was shocked when the trio, two women and a man who claimed to be a local policeman, demanded she make repayment on her behalf. Ms Subin was not listed as a guarantor and the trio apparently presented no documents to back their claim that they had any right to be there.

Nonetheless, over the course of three visits they bullied Ms Subin into parting with a gold necklace worth one baht weight, or 30,000 baht; a gold bracelet; a motorcycle owned by her daughter, Boonchit Wangsan, 40; and finally the family’s prize cow, which Ms Subin had bought with 20,000 baht in lotto winnings to help pay for Ms Apinya’s education.

Ms Subin said she was shocked to get the trio’s demands that she repay her granddaughter’s debts, which were accompanied by various threats. She told them she had no money to give them so they demanded she part with her belongings instead. On their last visit, the intruders also made her sign a document agreeing to accept responsibility for the debt.

Ms Boonchit, who filed a complaint with Ban Nong Chok police in Sikhoraphum district on her mother’s behalf, suspects one of the women in the group was the lender, who had known her daughter Ms Apinya for several years and lent her money on various occasions. She was identified in news reports as Nisarat Raksa, 28.

While Ms Boonchit’s daughter is in Krabi, Ms Nisarat is thought to rent a place in Surin’s Samrong Thap district. The man who accompanied them is thought to be her elder brother. Since Ms Boonchit went to police and contacted the media about their plight, the dispute has escalated, with Ms Nisarat’s side threatening to sue the family for bringing them into disrepute.

Ms Subin, meanwhile, said she didn’t know what to do as her husband had died three months before and felt defenceless against their coercive behaviour. Their most recent visit was on Aug 28.

Ms Boonchit, who lives with Ms Subin in Surin and has spoken to her daughter in Krabi about the debt, said Ms Apinya was repaying the loan at the rate of 1,300 baht a day. However, when Covid-19 struck she lost her job and was unable to come up with the money for two days. The lender grew annoyed and visited her mother’s place with the other two in tow.

After seeing Ms Subin, the lender’s side contacted Ms Apinya again and demanded she increase repayments to the rate of 1,500 baht a day. When she failed to pay they went back to Ms Subin’s place and seized the motorcycle and the cow.

Head of Ban Nong Chok police, Pol Col Settakorn Samaijaruwat, said Ms Nisarat had been called in for questioning. Charges have yet to be laid.

Village lads fall out
‘Bow’, nabbed after the fatal shooting

A young man in Rayong was shot to death in a dispute over a supposed love triangle which did not involve him.

Dee Yodsoi, 20, was killed by a shot to the heart when he accompanied a friend, Krissana Mankong, also 20, to a rendezvous with the shooter on a road leading to the Khao Chuk dam in Klaeng district on Aug 29.

Krissana, who was shot in the leg as the pair made their way out of the dam area, had made time to clear the air with the shooter, Panchapol or Bow, 18 (surname withheld), after Bow accused him of hitting on his girlfriend.

The two lads live in the same village and had been at loggerheads for some time, with Bow having threatened Krissana with a firearm previously, according to Krissana’s elder brother.

Dee accompanied Krissana on the back of his motorcycle as his friend. The pair arrived first, but when Bow turned up later in a pickup he refused to get out of the vehicle, which meant their reconciliation talks could not take place.

When the dam area was about to close for the evening, the lads had to leave. As Dee and Krissana were heading back to the road on their motorcycle, Bow drew alongside in his pickup and opened fire.

He shot at the pair four times and fled the scene. Friends took the pair to hospital but Dee died of his injuries.

“No one expected shooting to break out but the lads were wary of Bow because they knew he kept a gun in his vehicle,” Krissana’s elder brother said later. “Dee ended up the innocent victim.”

Dee’s mother said she agreed with her son going as Krissana’s friend because she thought it might help end the dispute.

She said they were planning to have a meal together when he returned. She was cooking it when Dee’s twin brother told her that Dee had been shot.

The family hails from Laos. Dee, who worked at a durian orchard, moved with his family to Thailand when he was a child. Klaeng police arrested Bow the next day at a rubber tapping hut where he had fled. He was found with his 9mm calibre handgun and put up no resistance.

Bow admitted shooting the pair and said it was a spur of the moment decision. Police charged him with intentional killing, attempting to kill and firearms offences.

Monk goes beyond call
Phra Whiti To

A monk in Chon Buri is being hailed for his brave actions after helping stop a bag thief in his tracks.

Phra Whiti To, of Chong Lom temple in Muang district, gave chase on the back of a friend’s motorcycle after a man snatched a bag belonging to a temple visitor.

Chollada Leesom, 21, said she had turned up at the temple with her partner and their young child to attend to some business. She said she put her bag down briefly as she returned to their motorcycle. When she turned back, her bag had gone. With it, she lost 4,000 baht in cash, her ID card and her phone.

CCTV cameras showed a man wearing a motorcycle hire vest with the number 1 grabbing her bag and speedily leaving the scene. She complained to Muang district police.

Ms Chollada did not have to wait long to be reunited with her bag, however, as Phra Whiti To was on the job. First, he visited the motorcycle hire queue nearby to ask the guys if they knew the man wearing the No 1 vest. No one did, and they suspect the thief was bogus and wore the vest to confuse onlookers.

Half an hour later, the monk was sitting talking to a friend about the theft when he saw the man in the vest double back on his bike. Phra Whiti To and his mate headed off in pursuit.

Wuttichai Niekasem
They were on Sukprayoon Road, heading towards Phanat Nikhom in Muang district. The pair hemmed in the thief, identified later as Wuttichai Niekasem, 38, forcing his vehicle to the side of the road. 

He came off his bike and the two held him there until police arrived. “We quizzed him but he made no sense as he was drunk,” the monk said.

Police recovered the money and the phone which Mr Wuttichai had stolen from the victim. However, her wallet and ID card were missing. After collaring the thief, police found in his vehicle a bottle of white Thai whisky and newly opened bottle of beer. They charged him with theft.

On social media, Thais heaped praise on the monk for his good deed. Phra Whiti To said he was delighted to help. “News about the monkhood is mainly bad these days. This makes a nice change,” he said.