Elderly northeast woman charged with theft after picking plants for curry

Photo by Daily News.

An elderly woman in northeast Thailand just wanted some fresh produce for her curry but ended up being charged with theft. The woman, 70 year old Chaweewan, had headed out on June 11 to pick a handful of galangal sprouts from her village in Phang Khon district of Sakhon Nakhon province. Chaweewan says the area is public land, but one local woman said the area is their private property.

A neighbour who saw Chaweewan picking the sprouts called the woman who claims to own the land. The neighbour told the woman, 64 year old Natda, that someone was picking the sprouts. Natda drove over, and the two women argued before Chaweewan drove away on her motorcycle.

Now, Natda has charged Chaweewan with 5,000 baht, but Chaweewan says she can’t afford this. Chaweewan is being charged with theft using a vehicle, and her motorcycle was confiscated as evidence. On July 20, she presented herself at Phang Khon Police Station to acknowledge the charge. She insisted, however, that she was innocent.

Chaweewan says there are galangal shoots on both private, and public land in the area, and she picked them from the public land. She says other villagers have picked plants from the area. Since there are no security cameras in the area, there is no footage of Chaweewan picking the galangal. Police, as well as the village chief, are working to find a solution for the two women.

SOURCE: Daily News

Northern Thailand News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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