Dead man walking – after being ‘dead’ for 25 years, Thai man receives new ID card

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” Mark Twain

And so it is with a 63 year old Thai man from Nakhon Sawan in central Thailand. He’s lucky to get to 65 because, according to the local district office, he apparently died in 1997. But his ‘resurrection’ has caused a number of issues for him as his Thai ID was cancelled because of his ‘death.’ a paperwork mistake when another man with the same name had died.

But Ong-art Boonyarit didn’t realise there was a problem with his walking around as a living citizen until he went to extend his Thai ID in 2013. It was only then he realised that, according to municipal records, he was already dead.

Except he wasn’t.

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But not only ‘dead.’ but he’d died from lung inflammation at the Central Chest Institute of Thailand in Nonthaburi province.

According to the Bangkok Post, an individual named “Chuchart Detkla” submitted a request to the Nonthaburi Municipality for a death certificate for the patient Ong-art Boonrit. This was back in 1997. He’d ‘died’ and no one told him.

He even missed his funeral held at the Wat Mahabut Bangkok’s Phra Khanong on November 6, 1997.

He recently filed a complaint with the Damrongtham Centre of Nakhon Sawan, leading to an investigation into his case. It appears that another Mr Ong-art had died and their ID numbers were mixed up on the certificate.

Nearly 25 years later, on July 24, the district chief and officials from the Damrongtham Centre (consumer protection office) visited Mr Ong-art’s house where he lives with his wife.

The officials interviewed relatives and examined documents to confirm Mr Ong-art’s identity.

Now the 65 year old has been issued with a new Thai ID card after missing out on all the things that a Thai ID provides, including free health care and welfare rights.

Ong-art Boonyarit gratefully received his shiny new Thai ID yesterday. He clearly wasn’t dead and was smily happily upon receiving the new clarification that he was, indeed, alive and kicking.

PHOTO: Chalit Poomruang

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Central Thailand News

Tim Newton

Tim joined The Thaiger as one of its first employees in 2018 as an English news writer/editor and then began to present The Thaiger's Daily news show in 2020, Thailand News Today (or TNT for short). He has lived in Thailand since 2011, having relocated from Australia.

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