Thai man commits suicide for funeral fund to pay off debts

Photo via DailyNews

A Thai woman sought help from non-profit organisation Saimai Survive after her husband decided to commit suicide to get money from a government funeral fund so she could pay off their debts.

The 60 year old woman, Yupin, and Samai Survive founder, Ekkaphop Luengprasert, revealed that she and her 59 year old husband were vendors selling shallots and garlic in the northern province of Uttaradit. They also had to look after two grandchildren aged 17 and five.

Yupin revealed that prior to the pandemic, they were earning enough to cover their expenses. However, the economic downturn caused financial difficulties, leading them to borrow money from a loan shark as they lacked funds for investment.

Unfortunately, their sales were insufficient to repay the debt, resulting in additional borrowing from other loan sharks, with a daily repayment obligation of 3,000 baht.

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Yupin recounted the distressing turn of events, citing November 23 as the worst day. The loan shark, known as the Very Handsome Man among debtors, contacted her husband, demanding payment. With only 103 baht, her husband pleaded for a reduced payment of 70 baht, but the request was denied.

In the end, her husband handed over 100 baht to the loan shark, leaving them unable to afford meals for the day. Faced with the grim situation, the husband warned his wife about the measures they might need to take to appease the money lender.

“The loan shark will come again tomorrow. If we cannot find money for him, one of us will have to die to get money.”

Trading life to settle debt

Yupin said she did not expect her husband to commit suicide. He had feigned interest in meeting a relative, persuading her to bring them to the house. Obliging, she left to fetch the relative and returned to the devastating discovery of her husband’s lifeless body.

Yupin recounted how she had strongly encouraged her husband to leave the area and start anew, but he insisted on staying and settling the debt. She also empathized with her two grandchildren, who lacked the means to attend school and had to seek food from teachers and neighbours.

Despite receiving 160,000 baht after her husband’s demise, Yupin found it insufficient to cover all the debts. Uncertain of the total amount she owed and grappling with the challenge of generating enough income to settle it, she faced an overwhelming and uncertain financial future.

According to Saimai Survive, Yupin and her husband borrowed a total of 665,000 baht, including 400,000 baht from the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC), 160,000 baht from a financial institution, 20,000 baht from the Very Handsome loan shark and 85,000 baht from the other three informal financial sources.

Saimai Survive helped Yupin to register the government’s debt relief campaign and took the matter to the police and the Uttaradit provincial governor. The officers are now summoning each loan shark to question them about their abusive debt collection practices and to negotiate Yupin’s debt payment.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai), or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai). Please also contact your friends or relatives at this time if you have feelings of loneliness, stress, or depression. Seek help.

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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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