Who is Mae Moo?

Sunday, 21 May 2023

Sex for drugs deal, polling day attack, kids fight back

Payment in kind

Suspect 'M'

A Buri Ram woman claims her husband forced her to have sex with another man to pay off his drug debts.

“A”, 31, complained to Nang Rong police last week that her husband, “M”, 27, a convicted drug user and thief, had twice forced her to have sex with a man at a local motel. He took a video clip of them in bed and threatened to release it on social media if she complained.

A, who has been married to M for 10 years and with whom she has two young daughters, said her husband asked her out for a meal in late December last year, and tricked her to the motel, claiming he had some business to do there. When she walked into the unit she found a stranger waiting.

“My husband ordered me to have sex with him and refused to say why. I tried to flee but M threatened to hit me as he has done in the past, so I agreed in fear of my life,” she told police. She claims her husband secretly filmed the couple having sex, and later threatened to release it. “I tried to quit with him but M said if I did that or found someone else he would release the clip.”

A month later, M told her to have sex with the same man again. She refused, and he brought out the clip for her to watch. Reluctantly, A again agreed to take part.

The young woman said she grew depressed and saw a doctor. Finally, on May 10, she asked an aunt from Pakham district to rescue her and the kids. She has now gone into hiding, hopping between relatives’ homes as she is worried that M will track them down and harm them.

Neighbours who spoke to reporters said A is attractive and her husband appeared to be exploiting her good looks to make money.

A said her husband has a history of assaulting her and messing with drugs. While she did not know why he forced her to have sex, she suspected it was to pay off drug debts, given his past.

“I didn’t know he was caught up in drugs, but found out when someone in the village told me,” she said.

“I told him to quit the habit but he didn’t listen and was eventually nabbed for possessing drugs and for theft,” she added. “However, he always goes back to drugs.”

Police tracked M down to Wang Saphung district, Loei province, where his family lives, and where he and his mother had been hired to plant potatoes. Media reports say he put up no resistance, but denied his wife’s claims.

A, he said, was keen on group sex and asked him to find men for her via a dating site. He confirmed she had sex with a stranger twice at a motel, but said she was a willing party and also consented to the videos, as she wanted something to look back on.

Unconvinced, police charged him with joining rape and rape of others by threats and use of violence, and filming the acts for unlawful exploitation.

Brazen attack on street
Samorn attacks her husband
An Ayutthaya woman is facing attempted murder charges after ambushing her errant husband and his girlfriend as they went to vote last Sunday.

“Samorn”, 61, travelled to Samut Prakan after hearing her husband, “Somkid”, 63, a serial womaniser in her telling, was taking his latest fling to vote in soi Wat Dan of Dan Samrong district.

CCTV footage shows her trying to stop his Isuzu pickup truck as he and the girlfriend left the polling station.

Somkid refused to park the vehicle, so she pulled out his .38 revolver and fired at it. Then she jumped on the bed of the truck, shot a hole in the rear window, and carried on firing into the cab.

Miraculously, Somkid was not hit. The CCTV footage shows him stopping and starting his vehicle in a jerky motion to knock his wife off balance, who kept firing regardless.

The shooting encounter ended dramatically when he crashed his vehicle into a nearby power pole in front of startled onlookers.

Somkid next opens the door to his vehicle and tries to flee but his plucky wife jumps off the back and stabs him with a knife. Somkid’s girlfriend, meanwhile, flees through the front passenger door and quickly leaves the scene. Police were looking for her.

Onlookers managed to prise Samorn and her husband apart and call police. Somkid was sent to hospital where doctors patched him up with three stitches to the neck, five stitches to his left hand, and six stitches to the trunk of his leg. He escaped many injuries from the shooting, even though police found five spent shells at the scene.

Samorn said she had been married to her husband for 20 years but the two were estranged thanks to his philandering. She last saw him late last year when Somkid broke up with one of his girlfriends and came back to her.

“He has done this many times and always ends up broke,” she told police. “Later he found someone else, and was taking her about the place in his pickup, and rented a house for them in Lat Krabang in Bangkok.

“When I heard he intended to take her to Samut Prakan to vote, I travelled there and lay in wait.”

Samorn claimed she merely meant to intimidate her husband, not harm him. However, she was wearing a hood in the clip, suggesting an attempt to disguise her identity. The revolver, she said, belonged to her husband. Police also found her with two knives.

They charged her with attempted murder. No word was available on her husband’s reaction.

Breach of trust
The victim and a supporter
A Chaiyaphum man denies claims that he and a neighbour conspired to molest his stepdaughter.

Police are looking for the neighbour, identified as Komsorn, after the alleged victim and her younger sister, accompanied by their mother, complained to Thep Sathit police. They have already spoken to the stepfather, Saichon, 39, who denies any knowledge of the abuse and said he was shocked to hear his neighbour was involved.

Earlier, “Mink”, 9, told reporters that her stepfather and Komsorn had molested her elder sister, “A”, 12. She had seen A abused twice in her bedroom, and the men persisted even when she cried and begged them to stop.

Her stepdad and his neighbour would wait until her mother was outside home attending to errands, she said. The older girl confirmed she had been molested, news reports said.

She would not answer directly when quizzed about Komsorn allegedly molesting her at a reservoir in the village on May 14. However, she was scared and frightened, the reports said.

Chumphae, 32, their mother, took the girls to police to make a complaint. While their stepfather denied it, police say they found Line messages on A’s phone from neighbour Komsorn written in a flirtatious vein.

Chumphae said she went out to collect water with her husband Saichon on May 14 and left Komsorn and A alone at home. When she returned the pair weren’t there. She contacted them on chat, and learned that Komsorn had taken A out for a treat. He brought her home later before Komsorn travelled back to the provinces to resume work, she said.

Sunday, 14 May 2023

Brutal pool villa murder, holey casket, one row too many

Social media post invites peril

A man shot and killed his ex-lover through this air vent.

Teerasak ‘Jeap’ Chobprai
An unhappy gunman turned up at a pool villa where his former girlfriend was staying and shot her dead, with her new boyfriend only narrowly escaping the same fate.

Teerasak “Jeap” Chobprai, 42, from Ratchaburi, turned up at the Cha-am, Phetchaburi villa on May 7, surprised his ex-girlfriend, dessert trader Khanittha “Nid” Suwanlue, 33, and shot her twice in the back, killing her.

He was led there by a social media post put up by the victim herself. She had gathered with a group of 14 friends and family including her new boyfriend, “Ong”, to celebrate a birthday, and posted about it.

Nid left Mr Jeap more than a year ago as he used to beat her up, news reports said. However, Mr Jeap couldn’t let the relationship go.

Mr Jeap saw the post and tracked his ex-girlfriend to the spot. When he arrived, Ong could see the visitor was drunk and carrying a firearm.

“He asked where Nid was, and I told him there was no one here by that name,” Ong said daringly. Mr Jeap, he said, did not appear to recognise him as her new boyfriend.

Nid, who decided she did not want to see Mr Jeap and did not reveal her presence, hid in the kitchen at the rear of the villa.

Mr Jeap, who told Ong that he intended to hang about anyway hoping to meet her, spotted her from a narrow opening behind the building.

Angry he had been misled, he shot her through an air vent. That done, he strode back inside the villa, held his gun to the head of a pregnant woman who was also among the guests, and demanded to know: “Where’s her new boyfriend?”

Another guest exclaimed: “Hey, she’s pregnant. You’re not going to shoot a pregnant woman, are you?”

Mr Jeap decided better of it, and fled to Kanchanaburi, where police found him later.

Talking to reporters, the suspect’s family presented a tangled picture of the couple’s relationship, saying Nid’s elder brother had conned Mr Jeap out of money, some of which she spent on entertaining other men.

Relatives of the victim, meanwhile, said Mr Jeap had no work and was himself constantly asking her for money when they were together.

At the police station where the suspect was taken for questioning following his arrest, cameras caught a man identified as Beer, who was apparently Nid’s first husband and with whom she had three children. Later she took up with Mr Jeap and then Ong. “Hey, Jeap, you’ve left them as orphans!” he shouted at the suspect angrily.

Police charged Mr Jeap with premeditated murder and firearms offences.

They’re just air holes
The garment factory owner charges into the casket shop firing his gun.
A Bang Khun Thian garment factory owner says he had no intention to cause harm when he shot up a funeral casket store belonging to his neighbour, who now has a white casket with seven bullet holes to show for it.

Dramatic CCTV footage shows Saman Boonyor, 46, charging into the Po Suk Heeb Sob casket store in soi Ekkachai 76 of Bang Bon on May 5 with a handgun, firing it in the direction of the caskets which are stacked on top of each other.

A young employee, bare-chested Anucha Kongjai, 19, who was having a sleep at the time, flees in fear of his life.

Mr Saman had just found out about a parking dispute involving his store and staff from the casket shop and came in to express his anger. Staff from both shops, which sit opposite each other, park in front of the garment store as space is scarce.

Saman Boonyor
On this occasion, Khanittha Sawangpop, owner of the casket shop, said her staff had parked a sedan in front of the garment shop. Staff there asked them to move the vehicle so they could store a motorcycle inside their place.

“I am not sure if the person behind the wheel could drive or not, but he bumped into the motorcycle, which set off a row,” she told reporters.

The person taking the motorcycle inside the garment store also revved the engine provocatively, which further stoked tensions.

Moments later, Mr Saman strides into the casket store firing, and shortly after walks back out again. He calls someone on the phone while standing outside the shop as if nothing had happened, media reports said.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Saman denied intending harm, saying he aimed merely to intimidate. Police charged him with firearms offences.

Debt woes end in death
A Loei man shot his wife dead by the side of their house then took his own life.
A Loei man shot his wife dead then took his own life amid a row over money, after discovering she had borrowed against their pickup without telling him.

The body of Boonperm Kanphan, 64, a former vehicle spray painter, was found inside the couple’s home in Wang Saphung district on May 9. He had shot himself in the mouth with a shotgun.

The weapon was still in his left hand. Police say there was no sign of a struggle and believe he used his right thumb to pull the trigger. Earlier, they say, he killed his wife outside.

Later, relatives found the body of his wife, Payom Kanphan, 57, by the side of the house. She had been shot in the left temple.

Neighbours did not hear the sound of gunfire. Boonperm’s niece, aged eight, was playing at the house that evening and noticed him lying on the ground but did not see any blood. She told her mother, but she thought nothing of it.

It wasn’t until the next morning when Payom’s younger sister Sarida Sangsrinual, 53, paid a visit that she found Boonperm’s body and alerted police. Later she went in search of her sister and found her body outside.

She said the couple argued often over finances, and that Payom, without telling her husband, had a couple of days before quietly refinanced their pickup. She suspects the revelation they were now even deeper in debt as a result set off the latest row.

Boonperm, his former workmates say, was a happy-go-lucky type who quit spray painting after developing kidney disease.

He turned into a recluse and later told a large amount of property to build the couple’s home.

However, as the disease progressed he needed dialysis every five hours, and the couple quickly ran out of money.

Sunday, 7 May 2023

Gunman caught short, greedy burglar, paranoid neighbour

Wrong place to seek relief

A gunman hired to kill a local body politician

Police in Pathum Thani nabbed a gunman hired to kill a local body politician almost by chance, as the gunman was urinating by the side of the road.

Nong Sua police arrested Athorn Amaiphakdee, 30, from Prachuap Khiri Khan, after he pulled up on a motorbike in Bueng Cham Aor sub-district on April 30 to relieve himself.

He was riding pillion and thought to be waiting for the man who hired him to point out his target.

When the driver of the motorcycle saw police he fled, leaving Mr Athorn to face the music alone. Police say Mr Athorn was carrying a Colt Gold Cup handgun with the registration filed off, and 26 bullets. He admitted he had been hired to kill an elected politician in the district.

Police would not identify the target, though one report said the politician’s first name started with the Thai letter Nor Noo, and he works for the Democrat Party. Nor would they not comment on any connection with the campaign for the general election on May 14. Police passing by the area said they thought the pair looked suspicious so asked to talk to them.

Mr Athorn, who has a history of drug offences, said he took on the job to return a favour. The man who hired him, whom he identified as "Noom", had given him 200,000 baht in the past when he had no money.

This time Noom offered him another 100,000 baht to kill the politician. Police believe he was waiting for his boss to point out the intended target, and that Mr Athorn may have planned to kill the target that very night.

Police found a voice message on the gunman’s phone from Noom, asking if he was free to do the job. Mr Athorn said yes, as he had no money. As police approached, he hurriedly tried to delete the messages on his phone, without success.

Someone came to pick up the gunman from his home province and they stayed the night in Nakhon Pathom before travelling on to Pathum Thani.

He had booked into a hotel and ventured out that night when he was caught by the side of the road. Mr Athorn said he had been paid 80,000 baht of the kill fee so far, with the rest to be paid on completion of the job. Police, who have yet to identify Noom, have charged Mr Athorn for the time being with firearms offences.

Caught red-handed

Chitipat Panthieng points to a hidden stash of stolen goods

Don Muang police caught a greedy burglar at a house he had broken into two times previously, after he came back for a third time to steal some more goods.

Police were investigating a complaint filed by the owner of the two-storey home occupied previously by retired Pol Lt Gen Wiboonsak Sitthidecha, former head of Metropolitan Police Division 7, who died in 2015.

The burglar, Chitipat Panthieng, 37, a driving instructor, said he was passing the place some months ago when he noticed a “Buddha room” (room where Buddhist icons are kept) on the top storey of the house, and that the place appeared to be unoccupied.

He decided to break in. Mr Chitiphat said he parked his motorcycle by a nearby hotel and climbed a fire escape at the rear of the property so he could gain access to the house. He stole three Buddha images which he stuffed in a sack and later sold to his mates for 3,000 baht each.

Emboldened by those easy earnings, he broke in again on April 28 when he stole some more amulets, which he hid behind water tanks at the rear of the hotel. The next day he went back to retrieve them but on the spur of the moment decided to break into the house a third time to lift some more goods. This time, however, he was caught.

The homeowner had reported the theft earlier that day. Police examined CCTV in the area and saw a man driving up to the hotel on April 28 on his motorcycle. When they visited the house as part of their inquiries they saw the same motorcycle parked by the hotel again and realised the burglar must have come back.

They called for reinforcements, surrounded the house and started searching for him inside. They found Mr Chitiphat hiding in a wardrobe, clutching a statue of King Rama IX and 63 Buddhist amulets which he hoped to steal.

A search of his place in Sai Mai later found more amulets, a porcelain Chinese doll and an emerald Buddha statuette.

Mr Chitiphat, who has been charged with theft, said he gained access to the house via the verandah at the rear of the hotel. He climbed a tree, and let himself in through the second-storey window.

Sitting target

Kasem Ad-ae, in the back of the truck, after his arrest for murder.

A man in Lampang killed a neighbour in the paranoid belief that his own life was under threat, the village headman says. In fact, the victim didn’t give his killer a moment’s thought.

Chae Hom police found the body of Patipon Chaichat, 49, shot in the left rib cage with a rifle.

His killer, Kasem Ad-ae, 63, lived nearby and was waiting to surrender to police.

Mr Kasem said he had a grievance against the victim dating back years and when he saw him park his vehicle by the road on April 1, nearby his own place, decided to kill him.

“He believed that if he didn’t act first, the other side would do the job,” one news report said.

He grabbed his rifle, walked over and shot the victim once, killing him.

A 12-year-old girl, chatting to her father at their family home nearby, was also shot by the bullet, which appears to have gone astray after hitting the intended victim.

The bullet entered her left arm. She was treated at a local hospital but doctors declared her out of danger.

Wasana Jaimun, 49, the village head, said Mr Kasem was paranoid as the victim in fact posed no danger, as far as she knew.

“He was simply a trader. If they had a problem, I don’t know the details. Patipon was talking to three or four mates over a beer when Kasem just walked up and shot him.

“The killer’s place was 30m away and the victim had no time to respond,” she said. Police charged Mr Kasem with the cold-blooded killing.

Sunday, 30 April 2023

Body in a hole, just deserts, drinker’s courage

Surprise twist in probe

The sign which the suspect erected.

Police in Prachuap Khiri Khan have charged a man with the brutal murder of his younger sister, weeks after he appealed publicly for clues leading to her killer.

In a surprise move, Thap Sakae police last week nabbed Kwanchai Khowpreecha, 54, for allegedly killing his sister Boonruen, 49. Her body was found stuffed in a storage compartment under her single-storey cement house in February.

The house itself is set in a coconut grove spread over many tens of rai. The victim, who also raised 10 prime beef cattle, was a millionaire, media outlets said enthusiastically, as they reported news of the arrest.

Boonruen’s body was found wearing work clothes including boots. Her head had been smashed in and a hoe found on top of her body.

Police suspect she was killed behind the house with the hoe and body stuffed in the storage hole. Family members found the body after noticing Boonruen, who lived alone, had not taken the cows out to be fed that morning.

Initially, police pursued a theory that her death was prompted by jealousy. When her body was discovered on Feb 9, her relatives said they suspected a local headmaster was behind the murder.

The headmaster, who was not identified in news reports, was a regular visitor to the house, which is surrounded by a natural fence line of trees. Thought to be heavily indebted, he would ask Boonruen to help pay off his debts, and when she refused, they would argue, her relatives told police.

“If something ever happens to me, that man will be to blame,” she reportedly told her family before she disappeared. Boonruen is the youngest of nine children, several of whom including Mr Kwanchai were involved in the search which turned up her body.

Relatives said they never spoke to her admirer, even though he had been visiting Boonruen for five years. “If he saw us, he wouldn’t get out of the car,” they said.

Mr Kwanchai was among those who suggested the headmaster was to blame. On March 27, as police inquiries continued, Mr Kwanchai had a large sign made appealing for clues leading to the capture of his sister’s killer. He attached it to his pickup and drove it around town.

The sign offered a reward of 300,000 baht for clues leading to the killer’s arrest, and ironically, given subsequent events, urged locals not to come up with scapegoats for the murder, but the real thing.

Police called the headmaster in for questioning which lasted hours. He denied having anything to do with the murder.

The probe also drew on the results of Boonruen’s autopsy. Relatives refused to have the body cremated and sent it for a second autopsy, which found she died of asphyxiation and head trauma.

Police charged Mr Kwanchai with killing with intent and disguising a body. Mr Kwanchai declined to answer questions and said he’d rather wait for his lawyer.

They have not disclosed what evidence points towards Mr Kwanchai as the suspect, though news reports said they now thought an inheritance dispute may play a factor.

Relatives last week were pulling together the 1 million baht demanded by police to secure Mr Kwanchai’s bail. One of his elder sisters said she believed he had been accused unjustly. The case continues.

Nasty ex-con gets comeuppance
The home where the ex-con was killed.
An ex-con in Samut Sakhon was stabbed to death when he attacked a man and his family out of jealousy.

Muang police last week arrested Wongnoi Voradit, 38, for killing ex-jailbird Manat Termsaithong, 40, with a 50cm sword. Manat was found with slash wounds all over his body.

Mr Wongnoi, who says he acted in self-defence and surrendered at the scene, said Manat invaded his home after threatening to kill him, his wife and their child.

The suspect has lived with Manat’s ex-girlfriend, unnamed in news reports, since Manat himself was sent to prison for selling drugs 10 years ago. The two had a young child together before Manat was sent away.

Mr Wongnoi said he raised Manat’s child as his own while the child’s father was in jail but Manat showed no gratitude. All he wanted was his old girlfriend back.

When Manat was freed from jail early this year he tried to reconcile with his ex-girlfriend, but she had “moved on”, news reports said, and was no longer interested. The rejection upset Manat, who would call Mr Wongnoi and threaten to kill the entire family, including his child.

“He’s ungrateful. I tried avoiding him but when he turned up to attack us, I had to defend myself,” Mr Wongnoi said.

News reports did not explain what actions the ex-con took before Mr Wongnoi pulled out the sword. Police charged Mr Wongnoi with the killing, though they also want to talk to his ex-girlfriend, who fled the scene before they arrived.

Neighbours said she may be having trouble accepting the fact that Mr Wongnoi has killed Manat, despite her ex-boyfriend’s nasty ways.

Wrenching decision
The hut where the man’s body was found.
A Phuket man lay dead for three days after a drinking friend hit him over the head with a wrench in an argument.

Thalang police arrested Thaksin “Tong” Pholawong, 49, for killing his mate, identified simply as Kuan, in a fruit plantation close to Bang Niao dam in Si Sunthon sub-district.

A wrench was found alongside his body, discovered by locals some three days after Kuan died on April 20. The two had been drinking at a plantation hut when Kuan criticised his mate and questioned whether he was man enough to respond.

“You can’t look after yourself; even your own wife abandoned you. Even if you’re like the dirt on my feet, I can do whatever I like with you,” he said provocatively. The victim threw the wrench to the ground and said: “With the courage of a woman, you wouldn’t dare.”

Unfortunately for him, Mr Tong was up to the dare. He grabbed the wrench and smashed it into his friend’s face two or three times until Kuan lay still.

Mr Tong fled the scene, and handed himself in to police last week after the body was found.

He admitted striking his mate, though said he did not realise he was dead. After the attack he slept the night at a pavilion alongside the dam. Police charged him with murder.

Sunday, 23 April 2023

Last heroic act, ex-GF turns attack decoy, timorous robber

Ex-boyfriend on the warpath

The scene outside the hotel

 Chon Buri woman shot by her marauding ex-boyfriend sheltered a friend from his wrath as he opened fire on them in front of a Pattaya hotel. She managed to spare her friend’s life, but in the process lost her own.

Jutathip Ahyuyuen, 32, a dancer at a local pub, was shot twice to the nape of the neck outside a hotel in North Pattaya Road in Bang Lamung district. She had stayed there the previous two nights after her ex-boyfriend, Putthajak Muleethe, 37, a fitness trainer, attacked her at her family home the week before.

A CCTV camera at her home shows Putthajak jumping on Jutathip as she drove up to her house. He pressed to her neck a device for administering electric shocks. The CCTV vision shows her dragging her body along the ground as she begs for air. After that horrendous ordeal, Jutathip complained to local police, but Putthajak’s parents apologised on his behalf and the two sides settled the matter.

Jutathip, still worried about her safety, decided to leave home and move into the hotel. Her employer arranged for two staff to escort her to the hotel for her own safety each night after work. On the night of the shooting, she was also accompanied by a friend, Apassanun Trisopin, 31.

CCTV vision shows Jutathip and Apassanun arriving at the hotel in a sedan. They were followed by a man travelling on a motorbike behind, who acted as their escort. Another man travelled inside the car itself for their protection.

When they arrive at the carpark, the man in the car gets out, farewells the women, and leaves on the back of the other man’s motorcycle. However, CCTV from on the street behind them shows Putthajak was also quietly tailing the vehicle as it headed to the hotel.

As soon as the women were alone, Putthajak parks his motorcycle, runs towards them and opens fire. Apassanun said Jutathip grabbed her heroically in an embrace to shield her from the bullets. Both fell to the ground, with Apassanun playing dead.

Putthajak fired twice, hitting Jutathip twice in the back of the neck. CCTV shows him running away without saying a word. Rescue workers patched up Jutathip and sent her to hospital, but she died from her injuries. They found Apassanun unhurt but in a state of shock.

The saga came to a brutal end shortly after when Putthajak shot himself in the head with his .38 calibre handgun alongside a Korean-style eatery nearby. His Honda motorcycle was found next to his body.

Jutathip’s father, unnamed in news reports, said the couple were together three-and-a-half years and argued often. He told Putthajak to stay away from his daughter as long ago as last year, and paid him a 50,000 baht debt he claimed Jutathip owed him.

However, Putthajak refused to leave his daughter alone, attacking her at their home with the electric shock device and again at the hotel. Putthajak’s mother said Jutathip and her son broke up about a month ago, with media reports saying Jutathip asked to end the relationship as she caught Putthajak being unfaithful.

Conniving ex-GF lays trap
The decoy girlfriend hands herself in
A Rayong woman acted as a cold-blooded decoy, luring her ex-boyfriend into a trap so her new boyfriend could settle scores with him.

Charupha (no surname given), or Bam, 19, contacted her ex-boyfriend, Noppawat Ngachang, 24, last week claiming she had argued with her new lover and asking if he could sleep at her place to keep her company.

First, however, she asked if they could meet for a meal. Mr Noppawat, who suspected nothing was amiss, agreed. Ms Bam, he said, picked him up at his place and took him to a nearby eatery. There, her new boyfriend, Phakphoom “Aon” Ratcheewin, 22, and a young friend, Naphat “Kew” Suwan, 18, sprang from out of the shadows and confronted him.

First, ringleader Mr Phakphoom shot at Mr Noppawat, but his intended target managed to swat the weapon away. Abandoning that plan, Mr Phakphoom, accompanied by Ms Bam and Mr Naphat, then set upon the victim, kicking and beating him until he was unconscious. They left him for dead by the side of the road and fled.

Someone saw Mr Noppawat and called rescue workers, who sent him to hospital. Mr Noppawat, who has a fractured skull, was told he’d need an operation to relieve bleeding on his brain.

However, while waiting for his operation he was able to tell police what happened, who proceeded to arrest the trio.

The three admitted attacking Mr Noppawat, with ringleader Mr Phakphoom claiming he and the victim ran into each over Songkran, and exchanged hostile looks. He asked his girlfriend’s help to set up the attack.

The victim lives with his grandmother, Latnee Suaysod, 61, who earlier appealed to the media for help, saying the case was making slow progress.

As police met to plan the arrests, Ms Bam was the first to surrender, after her father intervened. She led police to the other two.

When the victim’s relatives heard of the arrests, they raced to the station hoping to confront the trio, media reports said. However, police had already taken them in for questioning and they missed their chance.

They did manage to escort ailing Mr Noppawat from hospital so he could identify the trio as the culprits.

That done, they carried him back to his motorcycle. A group of five including the victim squeezed onto the bike for his trip back to hospital.

Police found a spent shell from a .380 calibre gun in soi 1, Rajbamrung Road close to the carpark entrance of the Happy Zone restaurant where the attack occurred. They seized the Thai-modified gun at Mr Phakphoom’s place.

Police charged the suspects with firearms offences and assault causing serious harm.

Don’t mind my plastic gun
Yothin Kortwong.

The fake submachine gun.
A Kalasin security guard is winning praise for tackling a bank robber who earlier demanded 1 million baht from customers but also added he would not harm them.

Security guard Mongkol Phuying, 55, said he jumped on Yothin Kortwong, 25, after he walked into a department store branch of Kasikornbank where he works and demanded the money.

Two customers were present at the time. “I want 1 million baht — but I won’t do anything,” said the timorous bank robber, who admitted later he was new to this kind of thing.

He had invested 99 baht in a fake sub-machine gun which he wore on his waist. Mr Mongkol said he could tell it was fake and noticed from the robber’s demeanour that this was probably his first time.

So, he took him at his word that he wouldn’t do anything and subdued the man. He and a customer tied him up while bank staff called the police.

Mr Yothin, who works as a cashier for a petrol station, regularly deposits the station’s earnings in its bank account.

However, lately he had been diverting the cash to his own account to feed his online gambling habit.

Recently he ran into trouble after running up a 300,000 baht gambling debt (30,000 baht, according to some contradictory reports), so on a whim decided to rob the bank.

Police found 70,000 baht under his motorcycle seat, which the suspect said belonged to his employer.

He planned to add that to the proceeds from the bank heist to pay off his debt and also help raise his three-year-old child. Police charged him with theft.