Update: Sa Kaeo teen murderers’ parents fined for deadly deed

Photo courtesy of The Nation

In a landmark ruling, the parents of five teenagers responsible for the death of a 47 year old woman in Sa Kaeo province have been fined 10,000 baht each by the provincial juvenile and family court.

The lifeless body of Buaphan Pansu was discovered on January 12 in a pond near a school in Aranyaprathet district, Sa Kaeo province, bearing grievous head and facial injuries. Initially, her husband Panya was arrested, only to later admit to the crime.

However, a startling twist emerged when security camera footage, unearthed by a Channel 8 News reporter, unveiled the true perpetrators: the teenagers. They savagely assaulted Buaphan before transporting her unconscious body to the pond where she was ultimately discovered.

Following the broadcast of this damning evidence, the authorities finally apprehended the five teenagers, subsequently exonerating Buaphan’s husband.

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The fallout from this case has seen Police Colonel Pichet Srichantra, the Aranyaprathet Police Station commander, transferred to an inactive post at the Sa Kaeo police headquarters for 30 days, following the emergence of audio clips hinting at misconduct during the investigation.

In an unprecedented move for Thailand, the parents of the juvenile offenders have been deemed liable for negligence.

Despite attempts to evade media attention, the parents of the five teenagers clandestinely departed after the verdict. However, the grandfather of one of the boys disclosed that the fine was halved after they assumed responsibility, reported The Nation.

Conversely, the father of another teen, known as Big, decried the severity of the fine. He maintained that no parent would knowingly condone or neglect such actions, asserting that when teenagers are out of sight, monitoring their activities becomes challenging. He expressed readiness to accept the court’s decision.

ORIGINAL STORY: Thai man wrongly arrested for wife’s death, CCTV exposes 5 teenage murderers (video)

Police arrested a Thai man who confessed to murdering his wife, only to later discover his innocence and identify five teenagers as the guilty perpetrators of the crime in the Isaan province of Sa Kaeo. Police discovered their error upon reviewing CCTV footage.

Aranyaprathet Police Station officers in Sa Kaeo were alerted to the discovery of a dead body in a pond near Sriaranyithai School and an abandoned petrol station in the Aranyaprathet district at 12pm on January 12.

The lifeless body of Buaphan Thansu, a 47 year old woman, was discovered submerged in a pond, lying face down. She was dressed in a sleeveless shirt and long black trousers, showing injuries to her head and face. Residents revealed Buaphan was battling with mental health issues and often roamed the area.

An initial autopsy revealed that Buaphan was murdered and died at least one day before her discovery. Her husband, 54 year old Panya Kongsaenkham, was arrested as the main suspect.

Panya confessed to officers that he and his wife were drunk and argued. Panya added that he hit his wife on the head with a chair until she died. Officers then took Panya to court for temporary detention before transferring him to the Sa Kaeo Provincial Prison.

Police later discovered that Panya was also mentally ill and provided a false confession statement to officers. He was not the murderer and was not involved in the death of his wife as he confessed. Officers then checked CCTV cameras near the crime scene and discovered that five teenagers were the murderers.

Officers witnessed footage of five teenagers physically assaulting Buaphan at around 10pm on January 10 until she lost consciousness. The teenagers were seen carrying Buaphan into their pickup truck and driving to Sriaranyithai School. They continued to assault the married woman at the school until she died and discarded her body in the pond.

The five suspects, aged between 13 to 16, were summoned for questioning and admitted to the murder. They claimed that Buaphan threw a bottle at them making them angry so they attacked her.

According to the police, the murderers were juveniles, so more detailed questioning would take place later with child specialists and child psychologists. Officers would question Panya again about why he confessed to the crime even though he was not involved.

One of the teenage suspects is reported to be the son of a police officer in the area, raising concerns about whether or not the police officer was involved in Panya’s confession.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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