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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Couple hangs themselves to escape Covid-19 debt

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Covid-19 debt drove couple to suicide. (via US Money Reserve)

A couple who were said to be deeply in debt due to Covid-19 in Mueang Chon Buri were found hanging in their home, apparently by suicide. Neighbours say the man and woman were both food cart vendors who struggled to find enough customers to make ends meet and had turned to a loan shark for help paying their bills.

Yesterday morning, the police received a call about the bodies being found at their rental home in Na Pa. When police arrived, they saw the man hanging from the front door by a rope. He was 57 years old and from Chiang Rai originally. His wife was found inside the house hanging from a cable. She was 52 years old and a native of Na Pa in Chon Buri.

Police who found the bodies examined the scene and saw no signs of struggle or violence and their bodies were unbruised and unharmed, indicating it was a suicide. A neighbour said that it was the loan sharks that first found the couple when they came around looking for money. Police are looking into the allegations of the debt of the couple and the possibilities of threats.

The neighbour shared information about the couple’s situation to the police, saying that Covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns had devastated their food cart businesses, and customers were few and far between. The couple couldn’t make money and fell deeper and deeper in debt, and turned to loan sharks to pay bills. The neighbour even shared the harrowing detail that the loan sharks pressuring them to make payments suggested they kill themselves if they couldn’t pay.

The tragic deaths highlight the struggle of many workers who depend on tourism to bring customers and have been pushed to extremes during the Covid-19 closures. Many workers in the food and beverage and entertainment industries have taken to protests demanding government assistance or reopening.

[If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai) or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai).]SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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