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A professional disagreement

PETCHABUN: In any profession, accepting the rise of a younger generation can be difficult; no one likes to see their skills being surpassed by up-and-coming youngsters. Going by a recent incident in Phetchabun, the world of hired killers is no different, apart, perhaps, from being a bit more dangerous. In the early hours of April 14 Maj Kittiphong Phromsuwan, an Inspector at Phetchabun Muang District Police Station, received a report of a shooting in the district’s Wang Chomphoo area. At the scene police found the body of 32-year-old Phailak Yoongam slumped next to a marble table. He had been shot in the chest with a shotgun. The victim’s twin brother Phairam and friend Wanchai Khammuangjai, 32, were waiting to give a statement to the officers. K. Phairam said that himself, his brother and K. Wanchai had been drinking liquor at his house to celebrate Songkran. When they ran out of liquor, they went to get some beer instead and carried on drinking at K. Wanchai’s house, where the incident happened. They then stopped at another friend’s house to invite him to join in the festivities. Finding only their friend’s father, 57-year-old Saleang Nakkham, they invited him to join them instead. Saleang joined their drinking circle but, after a few drinks, fell into heated discussion with K. Phailak about the hired killing business, with both sides challenging each others’ abilities, K. Phairam said. K. Phairam explained that he thought the pair were just joking around and warned his brother to respect his elders. After a while, the pair broke into an argument, forcing K. Phairam to take Saleang home, he said. About 15 minutes later, Saleang returned with a shotgun. Standing next to the garden fence, he raised the gun and shot K. Phailak. When police went to Saleang’s house, they found him waiting to give himself up. He told police that K. Phailak had been boasting to him of how he was an expert killer and had shot dead a countless number of people. “If you knew my past, it would leave you shivering,” Salaeng quoted K. Phailak as saying. Apart from boasting, K. Phailak also mocked Salaeng by saying that his generation was already passed it and couldn’t challenge K. Phailak, Salaeng said. Salaeng tried to tell him that it wasn’t good to speak to your elders like that, but to no avail and a fight soon broke out. K. Phailak’s friends quickly broke up the fight and escorted Saleang away. As he was leaving, Saleang said, K. Phailak shouted after him, “Do you want to test me daddy? Don’t run away, we’ll meet here.” K. Phailak then shouted again, this time using the pronouns koo and meung, very rude when not used between close friends. “Koo am not going anywhere…I’ll wait for meung here you old dodderer,” he shouted. “The anger at being insulted by someone of my son’s generation was too much. I went home, grabbed my shotgun and then went back and shot Phailak. After that I bought a beer to drink while I waited for the police,” Saleang said. The reporter added that Salaeng’s past illegal deeds were well known in the area. As for K. Phailak, boasting about his killing skills while drunk was apparently par for the course. At the time of his death he was fighting a rape charge and an assault charge, among many others.

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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