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Get up close and personal with the twists and turns of Thai dramas which capture local media headlines every week...

Here are some of the most popular stories with readers over the past 12 months or so. Click on the links below or go for a browse in the archives.

Sitthichai, the 'poor' taxi driver
A cash-strapped taxi driver ended up an overnight millionaire after his story of hardship was shared online and sympathetic netizens sent money to his bank account. However, the revelation that Sitthichai Klaichit, 72  had gone from rags to riches overnight prompted soul-searching among Thais as to whether they are too generous.

They were even less amused when a taxi depot owner came forward a couple of months later to say Mr Sitthichai still owed him money, had hoodwinked the public and was better off then he let on.  See the story here, and here.

A Grab delivery guy asked to deliver more than just food
GrabFood delivery boys say the social distancing rules in which Thais are spending days confined to home is throwing up some strange behaviour, with some more interested in “GrabSex” than the items they have come to deliver.

Two cases came to light on social media as GrabFood delivery guys sounded a warning to others in the trade. The young men say they were lured into delivering goods to the customer’s door only to be invited in for other activities. See here.

Hero 'Dear'
Tales of bravery and self-sacrifice emerged from the Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) shopping mall where a gunman went on a mass-shooting rampage in February, in a column well received by readers.

As the Terminal 21 shopping mall re-opened for business, shoppers, officials and well-wishers took part in a morale boosting “Korat Strong Together” event.

Among the visitors were shoppers caught inside the mall when gunman Jakrapanth Thomma’s killing spree began, making a tentative return to the centre after the tragic episode unfolded to say thanks to those who saved their lives.

Among those paying tribute to the fallen were eight shoppers who took shelter in the refrigerated storeroom at the rear of the Foodland supermarket. They hailed the brave actions of a teenager, Atiwat “Dear” Promsuk, 18, for helping save their lives.

Dear took on the duty of guarding the cooler door as he tried to keep those inside from danger. He lost his life the next morning when the shooter, looking for somewhere to hide, barged into the cooling area amid a volley of gunfire. See here.

'Nott 4G'
A colourful ex-monk from Samut Prakan managed to trick some of the nation’s top performers into a concert con which enabled him to fleece traders in Nakhon Si Thammarat of 3.2 million baht.

Somchart Phupeuk, or Nott 4G as he is also known, also left technicians, performers, caterers and sundry others out of pocket by a million baht or more in a parallel funeral scam hatched hastily at a temple in Nonthaburi.

He was finally caught by Chiang Rai police after potential victims of a new scam - another sham concert in which he had sought sponsors, sold tickets and used his girlfriend's name to enter legal and commercial agreements - alerted police after identifying him in the media. See here.
Former Future Forward Party spokeswoman, now deputy Progressive Movement leader Pannika "Chor" Wanich was full of compliments for netizens’ cheeky imitation versions of a now-famous suit she wore to parliament, which helped trigger a personal spat with two women politicians who thought it out of keeping with mourning wear.

However, she insisted the hi-so fashion suit was an appropriate show of mourning, and also strikes a blow for the right of women, no less than men, to wear a combination of black and white in the House. See here.
Former Bangkaew singer Pongpet “Ball” Sinsuwan denied paying the father of his former girlfriend, killed in a fire at his family home, 1 million baht as “hush money” in return for his withdrawing legal action claiming Ball killed her.

Ball's former girlfriend, Supanee “Benz” Sin-anantrakul, 27, died in a blaze which broke out at Ball’s two-storey family home in Pathum Thani in late 2018.

Her father, Mr Banyat, said the two sides agreed that Ball’s family would pay him 3 million baht in compensation for her death, in return for which he would withdraw a police complaint against Ball claiming he had lit the fire which killed his daughter. After Mr Banyat later delayed his daughter's funeral in protest at tardy payment, Ball asked acidly if he would have him buy tickets to attend the event. See here.
Anont, daughter Kan
A Chumpon durian trader who offered 10 million baht and ownership of the family business to any man who took his daughter’s hand in marriage and agreed to carry on the firm came under fire after calling off the arrangement.

Anont Rotthong, 58, made the offer on Facebook, then abruptly called it off after young suitors here and offshore swamped his family with offers to marry his daughter Kansita. See here.
Kan, during the standoff
A psychiatric rescuer worker claims Sek Loso’s former wife threatened to slash her throat with shards of glass amid stormy scenes as she stormed his home in an attempt to evict his new girlfriend.

Theerapong “Jod” Laksanawong, who was in the same team of psychiatric workers from Srithanya Hospital in Nonthaburi who earlier took Sek into care after a marathon FB live session sparked concerns for his safety, was called back to Sek’s family home again in late 2018. This time, however, he was acting on behalf of Sek’s girlfriend, who said his ex-wife, Wiphakorn “Kan” Sukpimai, was in need of help. See here.

Pin, Jaokun
Singer Jetrin “Jay” Wattanasin was puzzled by criticism of an image in which his wife, wearing a flimsy two piece bikini, nuzzled up to their second-born teenage son on a yacht.

His wife, Kejmanee “Pin” Pichaironnarongsongkhram, posted the image taken on a trip to Phuket in which the couple’s son, Jaokhun, 15, wearing a pair of swimming shorts, is lying on his back as his mother drapes herself along his right side, kissing his cheek and placing her arm across his waist. 

Some say Pin was showing too much affection, as the lad is growing into a man. "Farang would never do such a thing," they said, provocatively. Others, however, said the critics were too quick to apply "farang standards" in judging the correct boundaries between a mother and son. See here.

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