Man arrested in Thailand for assaulting teen during Songkran

Picture courtesy of KhaoSod

A 40 year old man was arrested yesterday for luring and assaulting a 16 year old girl in a harrowing Songkran holiday incident. Thai police apprehended the suspect, known as Arm Laisak, with an extensive criminal background, including prior offences related to drug trafficking.

The arrest followed a mother’s desperate rescue of her daughter, who was found in a traumatised state after the attack.

On the evening of April 13 last year, during Thailand’s New Year celebrations, the teenage victim was enticed by the suspect, a man she considered an uncle and a close friend of her father’s, with the promise of joining in the festivities. Instead, she was drugged and sexually assaulted until she lost consciousness.

The victim’s ordeal began with a seemingly innocent invitation to play in the Songkran water festivities. However, the suspect, identified only by his first name, Somphop, allegedly took her to his house under the guise of having a drink before heading to the celebration. Once there, he incapacitated her with alcohol and committed the assault.

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The teen’s mother, upon receiving a distress call from her daughter, rushed to the scene. She found her daughter hiding in the bathroom, shaking uncontrollably and crying. The suspect had attempted to force entry into the bathroom, in a state of deranged persistence before the mother intervened, pushing him away and rescuing her daughter.

Police, led by Major General Thitithorn Saengsuwan and his team, successfully executed the arrest in Phetchaburi province after obtaining an arrest warrant issued by Thonburi Criminal Court on July 11, 2023, for charges of sexual assault and abduction. The suspect’s capture was not without drama, as he initially refused to surrender until he realised escape was impossible due to the presence of police forces.

Somphop’s criminal history includes several drug-related arrests dating back to 2004 in the Bang Khun Thian area, where he was apprehended with 190 methamphetamine pills, and again in 2006 in the Tha Kham area with 120 pills. In 2013, in the Sutthisan area, he was part of a transnational drug smuggling operation involving Thai and Malaysian accomplices, leading to the seizure of 3 kilogrammes of ketamine and 400 ecstasy pills, reported KhaoSod.

Sexual assault

During the investigation, Somphop denied all allegations, claiming that he and the victim were just drinking together, and he had no recollection of the events due to his intoxication from alcohol and ketamine.

His defence pointed to his attempts to lead a law-abiding life after his release from prison in 2020, including selling food and working in parcel delivery, but the evidence and the victim’s testimony told a different story.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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