Thai man armed with ammunition terrorises Chumphon

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

A 56 year old Thai man has been terrorising his community in Chumphon, threatening to kill residents and local officials.

This wave of fear escalated after the authorities attempted to arrest Somchai at his home in Chumphon province yesterday, only to find he had already escaped, leaving behind a cache of ammunition.

Somchai, a resident of Visai Tai subdistrict in Chumphon, is currently on the run from law enforcement after a warrant was issued for his arrest on April 18 for firing a gun without cause and attempting murder.

The police raid at his residence yielded 194 rounds of .22 calibre ammunition but Somchai had fled the scene before their arrival. The search, sanctioned by a court mandate, was part of an intensified effort to apprehend him following a series of violent incidents.

The situation reached a critical point earlier this month when Somchai reportedly blocked the road with his vehicle, preventing passerby 53 year old Montri and his 30 year old daughter Chayapha from accessing their palm plantation.

An altercation ensued when Montri confronted Somchai, who in response, aimed a shotgun at Montri’s daughter. A gunshot was fired during the confrontation but fortunately, no one was injured. The incident was captured on video by Chayapha, further infuriating Somchai who threatened to shoot the family.

Montri, a relative of the fugitive, revealed that he has never had a dispute with Somchai but suspects that the hostility may be rooted in a past issue related to inherited property. According to Montri, Somchai had been allowed to reside on the land with certain conditions, which he violated by making modifications, potentially fueling his anger.

Violent history

The local community has been living in fear as Somchai is known to have threatened several villagers. However, many have refrained from reporting these threats to the authorities due to a cycle of arrest and release that has previously characterised Somchai’s encounters with the law. The situation has become so dire that some villagers have been afraid to leave their homes.

Local leadership, including the village headman and the Subdistrict Administrative Organisation’s Clerk of Sui subdistrict, have also been the subject of Somchai’s threats.

The headman reported that Somchai has a history of violent behaviour, including damaging a forestry official’s vehicle and attacking a police checkpoint with a machete. These incidents have led to a growing concern among officials and residents alike.

Somchai’s erratic behaviour is thought to be partly due to his bipolar disorder and lack of medication. Witnesses reported that Somchai was heavily armed and had installed CCTV cameras in the area, which he used to monitor and evade police movements, reported KhaoSod.

The authorities and local community are urging Somchai to surrender and face his charges in court.

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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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