Aunt evades the cops
Pathum Thani Police are looking for a mysterious loan shark lender to answer claims they hired a man to beat a seller who owed their money and cause permanent brain damage.
The 65-70-year-old woman simply dresses and lugs around a large trash bag that supposedly contains the money she lends to vendors in local markets, including the one outside of the Zeer Rangsit IT center where the Attack took place on March 12th.
Despite her humble appearance, she has been referred to as “a 100 million baht aunt” in media reports and linked to a gang that uses brutal methods to pursue unpaid debts.
63-year-old merchant Weerapat Kampiranon, who has been running a market stall outside Zeer with his wife Patcharaporn Parakunna, who has been selling fried crab rice for eight years, complained to the Kukot police last week about the attack that took place when he and his wife packed up for the day.
The couple later went before the media with prominent attorney Ronnarong Kaewpetch, who urged Pathum Thani police to explain why loan sharks were able to trade in the market when the government ordered police to use informal lenders during the Covid-19 -Virus put out of business epidemic.
Weerapat Kampiranon and the so-called “100 million baht aunt”.
Mr Weerapat said he was getting on his motorcycle while his wife was visiting the restrooms in the store when the attack took place. A man in a cap and face mask hit him four times over the head with a solid object, leaving internal bleeding and temporary loss of function that required two months of hospital treatment.
He did not see the man, but Ms. Patcharaporn said she heard the sound of her husband being beaten and ran out in time to see his assailant, who had fled the scene.
“Doctors say I’ve lost 10 percent of my brain capacity and the damage is permanent,” he said, pointing to a large, collapsed area on the side of his head. “I had to learn to walk again and was still stammering a bit.”
Ms. Patcharaporn said the past two months have been stressful. The medical bills for her husband’s care were 100,000 baht, which she received from relatives. “He was in critical condition for four nights and I wasn’t sure he would make it. I was scared of losing the mainstay of my life,” she said tearfully. Regarding his rehab, she said it was like raising a child. “He had to start again.”
Mr. Weerapat said “100 Million Baht Auntie” has a lot of customers in the market outside of Zeer. At the end of 2016, he initially borrowed 60,000 Baht from her when he wanted to sell Bike for Dad T-shirts and open a new branch of his stand.
She charged monthly interest of 10 percent. He kept borrowing and his debt eventually hit 80,000 baht, despite the fact that she agreed to cut interest rates in half two years ago when the economy turned sour.
He said her problems started in early 2018 when aunt said she wanted to leave the store. She asked him to repay his principal of 60,000 baht. He replied that he couldn’t afford the flat rate and she threatened him saying she would make someone attack Mr Weerapat if he didn’t pay.
“She told everyone in the market that she wanted to set an example for me so that others would be afraid to pay their debts,” he said. They did not speak to each other for the next two years, even though Mr Weerapat said he saw them and they crossed paths in the parking lot two days before the attack.
Mr. Ronnarong, the attorney, said Rangsit is known for its loan shark lenders. “It’s a shocking case. They attacked an old man and it’s not far from Bangkok. The police need to show whether they can control illegal credit activities or not.
“Why aren’t these underground lenders afraid of the law? Do they think they can sort this out with the cops?” He had received many complaints about loan sharks who are wary of leaving a paper trail, which makes law enforcement difficult.
Pol Col Ekkniruj Wansiripak, superintendent of the Kukot Police, who issued a 10,000 baht reward for information leading to the aunt’s arrest, said the police were unable to determine her name and had little to say about her knowledge.
She rents a place in Bang Khen for 1,200 baht a month but hasn’t been back in more than a week. She lives modestly, he said, without a permanent residence. No utility bills have been found in her name and she does not leave any traces of paper when making loans to customers. She has “many dozen” customers and does not usually borrow more than 100,000 baht a time.
She usually takes the bus to the market around 5 p.m., collects her interest and leaves at around 8 p.m. “As far as we can tell, she does everything herself,” he said, adding that she is unlikely to be as rich as her nickname suggests and that she is not a member of any gang.
Couple in suicide pact
A couple’s decision to commit suicide, ostensibly to flee debt collectors, confuses their families, who say they gave little warning that something was wrong.
Chon Buri police found Sompong or “Piak”, aged 70, and Issaree or “Aom”, aged 49, in a rented room in Bang Pla Soi, Muang District on June 26 after relatives sounded the alarm . Their last names were not disclosed.
Issaree was found on the bed, apparently after a drug overdose, and Sompong’s body was hanging in the bathroom. The room showed no signs of struggle, and the couple left a farewell letter in rough sketch. The note that Sompong wrote stated that the couple were deeply in debt and ruled that they had no choice but to kill themselves as the debt collectors were on their trail and would attack them.
“I helped repay many hundreds of thousands of baht (to no avail). Aom said we had no other way out. She decided that I should follow her (by taking my own life) so that no one could belittle us,” it says the note.
“I don’t want to go on, but Aom said it will be daylight soon and it will be even more difficult to do.” He also asked those who found the note to sell the furniture in order to pay the rent.
Sompong called his family around 3:00 a.m. in Nakhon Nayok that day and said he would kill himself. Stunned by the news, they rushed to the rented room in Chon Buri. After finding the couple together, they concluded that Sompong viewed Aom as his mistress, although only Aom’s family had any inkling of the arrangement.
Sompong’s daughter Wannapa, 37, said her father lived with the family in Nakhon Nayok and she did not notice any problems. “I don’t know Aom and my father never mentioned that he was in debt.” Occasionally he traveled to the provinces, but her father said he would go fishing trips with his friends.
He didn’t play or drink, and the family wonder if Sompong met Aom when she was already in debt and tried to help her.
Aom’s son “A”, 32, who had traveled from Chiang Rai to identify the body, said he knew his mother was seeing Sompong. His father died when he was three or four years old, and Aom moved to Chon Buri to find work. The room has a picture of three children on the wall and was probably Aom’s own.
“I go to mom’s when I’m free. I didn’t know much about their relationship and I’m not sure why, even though mom said when she was once heavily in debt,” he said. The police are investigating.
Cat enchants brave workers
Internet users praise the actions of a Lao worker who rescued a cat after it was hit by a car and, despite his low income, offered to pay for medical expenses himself.
He rescued the Laotian worker with the injured cat.
Thatborworn “Terl” Lertpornsuksawat wrote on social media telling the story of worker Sommit “Bunthiang” Duangprajan, Bun for short, who turned up at a city veterinary clinic last week when he had just seen a cat hit on the street.
Bunthiang was on his bike but threw it on the street when he put the injured cat in a sack and hurriedly took a taxi to the nearest vet.
“He knocked on the window and asked if the vet had a charitable foundation that could help,” recalled Terl, who had brought his dog to clean a wound.
“He opened the sack and inside was the cat, which was bleeding profusely,” he said. The vet was initially reluctant to accept the animal, seeing that Bunthiang was a laborer and might not be able to afford the bill, which he estimated at 8,000 baht.
“He feared Bunthiang would leave the cat. However, he changed his mind and agreed to take care of the animal, but asked for bail of 6,000 baht. Bun started begging and said he only had 1,000 baht with himself. He offered to withdraw the cat. ” Quiet as an advance against his wages, “said Terl.
Pet owners in the waiting room who heard this story took pity on Bun and offered to come up for the bill. “People called and offered to pay 3,000 baht here, a thousand there. We pooled our resources and managed to raise 9,000 baht. However, we suggested that he take the cat to Chulalongkorn Animal Hospital as it is likely have a charity that could help with this, “he said.
The vet gave the cat basic care, called a grave taxi, and sent the couple to Chula. “The vet charged 450 baht and helped us all pay that bill, and Bun went with the cat,” he said. The next day, Terl visited Bun on his construction site. He said the cat was now in the care of the Mahanakorn Animal Hospital in Tha Phra because Chula would not accept the animal. They initially charged 5,000 baht.
“I said if there is anything I can do, report it, but Bun said we’d done enough and he would take care of the rest.” Terl said Bun only made 300 baht a day as a worker and admired his generosity. “A bill this size would take six months to pay off. I really admire it, but if someone wants to help you can call or contact the clinic.”
The clinic said internet users had started transferring so much money to pay the cat’s medical bill that they had to ask for a break until they found a third party to handle the amounts. However, the public can still donate over the counter. The cat is badly injured and has a 50-50 chance of survival.
Meanwhile, admiring internet users joke that Bun fell under the cat’s enchanting ways from the start. “He looked into his eyes and was lost from his charms. He even got off his bike,” said one.