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Sunday 26 May 2024

Monk caper; bullet in bed; undertaker’s woe; polite robber

Naughty in the saffron robes

Sanan cries while calling his wife.

An Uthai Thani man is calling on his estranged wife to reconsider after she allegedly ran off with an errant monk.

Sanan (no surname provided), 61, pleaded tearfully via the media for his wife, Nanthawan (no surname provided), 53, to return to their marital home in Nong Chang district, which she left on May 9.

Sanan said he is willing to forgive her indiscretions with the monk, Phra Thongkham. He also wants her help caring for their 30 cats and dogs, not to mention paying off their combined 500,000 baht debt.

The couple were together more than 30 years when Nanthawan took a liking to the monk from nearby Wat Nong Krathum.

Phra Thongkham, 58, originally from Surin, was booted out of the temple about the same time as Sanan’s wife disappeared after the abbot caught them together, confirming her husband’s suspicions that they had drawn too close.

The abbot, Phra Athikanrawai Mahawiriyo, chased Phra Thongkham out of the temple on May 8 after witnessing him and Nanthawan behaving inappropriately.

“What are you doing?” the abbot, who had secreted himself behind the temple kitchen where he knew the couple liked to meet, bellowed at the pair when he saw them standing so close to each other they could have been hugging.

Phra Thongkham
Like naughty school children, they quickly pushed each other away.

Nanthawan was a frequent visitor to the temple under an arrangement with the abbot where her husband would pick up leftover food to help defray the cost of feeding the large number of cats and dogs they raised at home. Nanthawan would do the dishes at the temple in return.

The abbot used to oversee the arrangement himself, but after Phra Thongkham, whose quarters were nearby, and Nanthawan exchanged numbers, he left the job of overseeing things to the monk, who was with the temple for five years before he strayed.

“I had heard about them carrying on for some time. If locals found out, the temple would suffer, so I tossed out the monk when he refused to swear that he had done nothing wrong,” Phra Athikanrawai said, while cheerfully showing reporters the spot where he saw the couple standing. Monastic rules forbid contact between monks and women.

Sanan said he had been suspicious about his wife’s contact with the monk for the past year or so. “She would often get home from the temple as late as 10pm even though the temple is just 2km away,” he said.

The monk’s name would show up on her phone when he called. When she left on the morning of May 9, she dropped off their saleng vehicle with a relative at a local market and he hasn’t seen her since.

“The night before she left, I took my wife into my arms and told her that I loved her. I asked if she loved the monk. She denied it, as she said he already had a wife,” he added.

Talking to reporters on May 21, he said his wife had called their daughter a few days before to say she wanted to be with the former monk.

However, his wife’s elder sister, who denied Nanthawan had strayed, told him his wife had found a job on a building site in another province and would return.

“When I called her back she said my wife in fact would not be coming back as she was upset I had gone to the media,” he said.

“You told them the story that she had run off with the monk, harming her reputation,” the sister complained. The saga continues.

‘Friends’ cross the line
Pichet holds a gun as he confronts his girlfriend outside her room.

A teen in Samut Prakan shot an older acquaintance after catching him getting too close to his girlfriend.

Bang Phli police found the body of Pongsakorn Chuenmee, 22, on the bed of a rented place which he shared with a bunch of youngsters, including the killer’s girlfriend.

They found four shells from a .38 nearby and the room festooned with drug taking gear, including syringes. Pongsakorn was shot four times including once in the eye and the neck.

The killer, Pichet, or Arm (no surname given), 18, took a motorcycle taxi to the police station to hand himself in following the shooting.

He said he burst into the room to find Pongsakorn and his girlfriend in each other’s arms. They were sleeping there along with four or five others.

He and Pongsakorn argued while the others, including his girlfriend, waited outside. When the sound of gunfire rang out, they ran for cover.

Arm, who shot the victim twice initially, followed his girlfriend outside and the pair argued.

Still unhappy, he went back inside and shot the victim another two times before leaving out the back and hailing the motorcycle taxi.

Arm said he and the victim would run into each other often. When he met his girlfriend, he introduced them, and before long suspected they were up to no good.

“I opened the door once and saw both in each other’s arms. Before the latest incident, I took a look at her phone and found a chat there which removed any doubt,” he told police.

He shot the victim with a gun which a trades student friend had left in the room with him.

His girlfriend, unnamed in news reports, said Arm misunderstood. She and the others including the victim lived together and were simply close friends, she said.

However, he was jealous and could not accept their friendship. Police charged him with premeditated murder.

Undertaker meets grim fate
Two brothers arrested for killing the undertaker.

Two brothers in Udon Thani were nabbed after stabbing to death the local undertaker for charging too much for a relative’s funeral.

Police in Kut Chap district found the body of Urai Khampeng, 65, undertaker at the village temple, lying in front of a grocery store.

He was killed in a fight, captured on CCTV, with brothers Yutthapong Chaiwan, 32, and Adisak Chaiwan, 30. They took off on a motorcycle, leaving their weapons behind.

Police found a fruit knife, sugar cane knife, and Sparta knife at the scene, though the Sparta knife may have belonged to the undertaker, who earlier used it to stab Mr Yutthapong in the hand when the row first erupted.

The brothers, who were drunk and had taken ya ba pills the night before the attack, accused the undertaker of over-charging for their grandfather’s funeral.

Police following up the attack found Mr Yutthapong in front of his house on a hammock, listening to music.

A machete and an axe were by his side.

Wary officers deployed a hook, forked stick and shield to nab him. However, he was in no fit state to resist.

“He said he didn’t know they had killed the victim,” one officer said later. The victim and his two attackers were relatives but it made no difference.

Officers searched for his brother Adisak for an hour, without success, so asked his relatives to bring him in.

Both suspects, who tested positive for drugs, were still groggy and hallucinating.

“They said they took three ya ba pills the day before, and drank lao khao (a fiery Thai spirit).

So fortified, they decided to go and seek vengeance for the stabbing,” police said. The brothers were charged with premeditated murder and taking drugs.

A ‘wai’ for your gold
 Nopparat gives a wai before robbing the gold shop.

A gold shop robber in Samut Sakhon distinguished himself with his good manners when robbing a store, but nonetheless brought two guns.

Nopparat “Mo” Rompho, 22 robbed the Hang Thong Yaowarat Krungthep goldstore at Big C Mahachai 2 in Muang district on May 17. He took five necklaces each worth three baht weight in gold.

The young man fled on a motorcycle but police tracked him down three days later to a hideaway in Muang district.

CCTV images show the man was unusually polite. Walking in on the day of the robbery, wearing a crash helmet and the green livery of a delivery man to help disguise his identity, Mr Nopparat gave staff a wai and said, “Please give me permission to rob you.”

That was an unusual opening line, and must have taken staff by surprise. One woman behind the counter, in fact, appears to be smiling.

It was to be followed by: “Please grab your necklaces, and put them in the bag if you don’t want to get shot.” Mr Nopparat lifted his shift to reveal two guns on his waist. “And please do it quickly, too,” he added.

Mr Nopparat said he stole the gold to ask for a girl’s hand in marriage. He knew he would need money for a dowry and hoped the robbery would help pay for it.

He wore a rider’s uniform as he used to work as a rider, though had since quit. As for the guns, they belonged to his Dad.

Asked why he asked staff for permission to rob the place, he said his good manners came naturally because his parents taught him to be polite. “They taught me well, but didn’t finish the job as I ended up a robber,” he said.

Police charged him. It was unclear how much of the gold they were able to recover.

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