‘Blind’ beggar found driving SUV, fined

PHOTO: A screenshot from Tuesday's viral YouTube video -

Further to a story already reported by The Thaiger, a gambler, pretending to be a blind beggar to pay his debts, is blaming his daughter’s refusal to send him money.

Somporn Kueyen’s ruse was exposed after a video on social media went viral, showing him parking a Toyota Fortuner outside a temple in Nonthaburi, near Bangkok. He was wearing ragged clothes and was seen later posing as a blind beggar, complete with dark glasses, in a nearby market.

The clip was posted by Facebook user Chutala Joy on Tuesday, and drew strong criticism of the “beggar.” Some people speculated he might be an undercover policeman masquerading as a beggar to gather information. It also came to light that the man was busking, playing music, to attract voluntary donations. It also came to the attention of local police.

Somporn told the police yesterday that he is a gambling addict and was rebelling against his daughter’s refusal to send him money.

The 65 year old told police he used to have a shrimp farm and sell pork, but fell into debt and shut the business down. He then returned to his home province of Nakhon Pathom to raise chickens, but that business failed as well.

He asked his daughter, who works in the US for 15,000 baht, but she refused. He decided to “get even” by busking, masquerading as a blind man to get sympathy.

Somporn admitted to begging “two or three times.” He liked to sing and earned 100-200 baht a day, police say. Police fined him the maximum 1,000 baht for violation of the Beggar Control Act. He has promised not to do it again.

SOURCE: The Bangkok Post

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Jack Burton

Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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