Humpbacked beggar illegally earning over 100,000 baht a month sent back to Cambodia

A compassionate Thai man says he feels deceived after he tried to help a disabled Cambodian beggar get treatment only to discover he earned over 100,000 baht per month illegally.

Guntouch “Gun” Pongpaiboonwet, aka Gun Jom Palang, last week announced on Facebook that he would contact the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security (M-Society) to help the Cambodian man get treatment after seeing a video of him on Thai social media walking doubled over in a market in Chon Buri province. Watch the video here.

Many people wanted to donate and help him get proper treatment after Gun highlighted his plight. But Gun was horrified to find out that the man had an organized family begging operation in place after talking with people from the M-Society.

M-Society told Gun that the man, 47 year old Kom Pormee, was well known to the Thai authorities and had been arrested and sent back to Cambodia four times already.

The Thai government welfare body stated what he and his family do is considered to be human trafficking because they use their 10 month old baby to beg for money. The whole family, including his wife, baby, and mother in law, are beggars and operate a lucrative team in different places in Chon Buri earning about 700–1,500 baht per day.

Gun shared the disappointment with his followers on Facebook on Saturday, September 3.

“I was deceived. The man is a fake beggar, has a beggar gang and earns over 100,000 baht per month. They even bring a 10 month old child to beg for money. He entered the country illegally via Thailand and Cambodian border. He was sent back many times.

“I don’t know how I feel about it. I helped a lot of people, but became a victim because of my kindness.”

The Cambodian beggar and his family were arrested at their rental house in Chon Buri on Saturday night and brought to Mueng Chon Buri Police Station for questioning.

Kom informed the police that he had lived in Thailand for 30 years and met his Cambodian wife in Thailand. He had a health problem that made his backbone bend at the age of 22.

Kom revealed he has been begging in Thailand for 20 years and did so because Thai people were kind and the country is prosperous.

Kom added he would come back to Thailand if he couldn’t make a living in Cambodia.

The man and his family were charged with illegal entry and violating the Begging Control Act and sent back to Cambodia today.

According to Section 13 of the Begging Control Act, begging is illegal in Thailand. People must not beg for money by doing any act to induce compassion, like showing disabilities, or illness, or using pregnancy or children to induce compassion.

If anyone fails to follow the rules, the relevant departments, like the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, would take care of them differently depending on each case.

In Thailand, people can only obtain money on the streets if they have a talent to perform, like singing, dancing, playing a musical instrument, or dressing up in an artistic way to entertain audiences. They are required to register with the district office and inform them of where they will perform before starting.

SOURCE: Thairath | Kapook | Khaosod

Crime News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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