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English squire murdered, then burned

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PETCHABURI (The Nation): An English country squire was killed and his body burnt on a charcoal fire after he divorced his Thai wife because of her gambling debts.

After being burned, the body of Toby Charnaud, 41, was then dismembered and parts scattered in Kaeng Krachan national park, a court in Phetchaburi was told on Monday.

Charnaud had sold Latimer Farm near Chippenham in Wiltshire, after falling in love with a bargirl in Bangkok. He went to live in Hua Hin, where he bought two bars to run with his new wife, Pannada.

But after he took Pannada home to visit his parents in Britain, the marriage began to fall apart. Charnaud eventually divorced Pannada because of her gambling debts, giving her a 777,000-baht settlement. They shared custody of their five-year-old son.

In April last year Pannada, 35, reported Charnaud missing to police, but in court on Monday she admitted she had lied; on March 27 last year she had in fact helped five relatives and friends from her home province of Yasothon in the Northeast to dispose of his body.

Pannada denied premeditated murder and being an accomplice to murder but Boontin Puipong, Sattri Sripatum and Nipit Satabut admitted murder with provocation. They have said they were provoked because Charnaud had interrupted them while they were drinking whisky.

Pannada said, “I was at the market and returned home to find my ex-husband dead.”

All four were also charged with possessing a gun in a public place, deceiving police, and concealing the body.

Two other defendants, Somsak Papai and Wisan Samaksri, denied all charges. Their only involvement, they said, was that they moved Charnaud’s car after the murder.

In Britain, after Charnaud was reported missing, his sister Hannah Allen and his parents, Jeremy, 67, and Sarah, 65, became suspicious. They hired a Thailand-based Scottish private detective, who checked mobile-phone records and discovered that Toby had been at his ex-wife’s house on the day he supposedly disappeared.

When police raided the house, two of the defendants confessed and led police to where they had dumped the body parts.

Toby Charnaud had arrived to visit his five-year-old son Daniel, Phetchaburi Provincial Court was told. At first the relatives and friends of Pannada tried to kill him with a long-barrelled hunting musket but it misfired. They then clubbed him to death with an iron bar and wooden staves.

They burned his body on a charcoal fire, using 20 kilograms of charcoal they had bought earlier in the day. They then cut up the charred body and distributing the parts around Kaeng Krachan National Park on the Thai-Burma border.

The Charnaud family’s lawyer, Boonchu Yensabai, who is jointly prosecuting the defendants said: “The only motive can be that Pannada expected to inherit everything through their son. If she is acquitted of conspiracy to murder, we will appeal.”

In a letter to the court, Mrs Sarah Charnaud said: “For me, his mother, one of the worst horrors of his death is the fact that the first attempt to kill him failed and he would have been aware of his murderers making their fatal attack. His fear and concern for his son would have been overwhelming.

“Toby was a wonderful father to his son and it is so unfair that a small boy has been deprived of a great father and a father has been deprived of seeing his son grow up.

” It is difficult to come to terms with the fact that this woman was behind the murder of the father of her child.

“I trust the court will judge fairly and also understand that I cannot be there to hear the defence downgrade the value of human life and to hear more details of my son’s horrific death.”

Gentleman farmer Toby Charnaud predicted his own death in a short story competition organized by a magazine in Bangkok, his sister Hannah Allen believes.

The story, entitled Rainfall, is about a British man called Guy who falls in love with a Thai woman and whose life then falls apart.

She does not come home at nights. She builds up gambling debts. Eventually he is murdered by his best Thai friend, who – though Guy does not know this – is one of his wife’s lovers.

The story won first prize.

Said his mother, “The story is eerie. I am sure he had his suspicions.”

The case was adjourned until September 6.

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Tourism

Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs | The Thaiger

Phuket Airport is officially ready for tourists as authorities say they have finished installing Covid screening labs in an effort to welcome international travellers. The 5T Model for Covid-19 is being used at the airport with the goal of screening large groups of people in a quick and efficient manner. The Phuket health chief says the 5T’s stand for Target, Testing, Treating, Trusting and Tracing.

Phuket has one large airport at the north end of the island but is separated into two separate terminals – a domestic terminal (the original airport terminal), and a new international terminal opened in 2016.

The target category refers to the target groups of tourists while the tracing stands for software that will be used to monitor their movements. The testing category refers to Covid tests that will be implemented to travellers upon arrival along with the treatment and trust categories signifying the readiness of resources for medical treatment and confident communications between all parties respectively.

The Covid-19 lab container module has been set up at Phuket airport’s Terminal X (the terminal opened for charter flights opened in 2014) and will be tested tomorrow with its operation to start on September 30. As large groups of tourists could arrive (later in the year, the lab is reportedly capable of testing 96 people at a time with test results becoming available in 6 hours. What the airport would do withe tested passengers whilst waiting for 6 hours, has not been detailed at this stage.

Such a readiness plan to welcome foreign tourists originally singled out Phuket due to its popularity with travellers, and as a so-called guinea pig model to test in a controlled environment (Phuket is an island joined to the Thai mainland by a single 300 metre road bridge). Once dubbed the Phuket Model, authorities have proposed to rename the plan to “Special Tourist Visa” due to the confusion and opposition it reportedly caused. The scheme is reportedly now being proposed for all areas of Thailand but only allowing foreigners from specific countries.

SOURCE: Pattaya Mail

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Politics

Phuket’s Sri Panwa Resort’s land title deed to be investigated for legality by DSI

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket’s Sri Panwa Resort’s land title deed to be investigated for legality by DSI | The Thaiger

Back in the news again. Phuket’s Sri Panwa Resort’s land title deed is now to be investigated by the Department of Special Investigation after a petition was filed to determine whether the deed was procured legally. Veera Somkwamkid, the secretary-general of the People’s Network Against Corruption, filed the petition along with 167 pages of documents pertaining to his accusations that Thawatchai Anukun, a land fraud suspect, had unlawfully issued land title deeds to plots of land in Phuket before he mysteriously died in a detention room while in DSI custody in 2016.

He was allegedly being investigated for falsifying land deeds between the years of 1998 and 2001. Veera claims before the title deed was issued on the plot, the land was part of a forest known by locals as Pa Kae.

“Back then, 10 families that had occupied the plots for about 40 years had title deed requests rejected. The reason given was the land was part of a forest reserve used by the navy.”

However, Watchara Buathong, Phuket’s current land official, says the Sri Panwa resort had legally acquired its 56-rai, none of which was ever state land. Local resident Khwanjai Khumban, backed this claim, saying her father and cousins had sold most of the land to the resort, and she could produce documents to account for at least 12 rai of the disputed area.

Phuket's Sri Panwa Resort's land title deed to be investigated for legality by DSI | News by The Thaiger

Meanwhile, the Social Security Office, is also under fireas it is being asked to explain why it invested in the hotel’s trust fund. The department, which is under Thailand’s Ministry of Labour, in which its minister says he doesn’t know if the property has been legally built and points to the responsibility to the DSI to investigate. This was echoed by at least one opposition MP and anti-corruption activists.

The hotel, situated on Cape Panwa, in Phuket’s Muang district, has been under recent scrutiny due to its owner, Vorasit Issara, accusing Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, a co-leader of the anti-government United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration group, of offending the monarchy at last weekend’s protest at Sanam Luang.

Vorasit posted on Instagram that Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul should be jailed, further falsely claiming that she is not Thai when, in fact, Panusaya was found to have been born in Nonthaburi and is a Thai citizen.

“This bullshit has got to stop. She is not Thai. Who is she working for? This one needs to be in prison”.

Such a statement has received wide backlash from netizens with some taking to Trip Advisor and other websites to post bad reviews of the resort, prompting it to suspend advertising on such sites.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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Phuket

Female prisoner on the run after escaping from Phuket Hospital

The Thaiger

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Female prisoner on the run after escaping from Phuket Hospital | The Thaiger

A female prisoner is on the run after escaping from Vachira Hospital in Phuket during a doctor’s appointment. 58 year old Siri Phodam allegedly escaped after asking her prison escort officer to use the toilet. But she took a long time to come back, and was found to have escaped. CCTV cameras caught her dressed in a blue hospital patient shirt and a sarong leaving the hospital quickly. A Phuket prison officer says the woman is 158 centimetres tall and has dark skin.

“Some of our own officers are searching for her, and we have also sent the prisoner’s description to all Phuket police stations. However, at this stage we have not found any clues.

Female prisoner on the run after escaping from Phuket Hospital | News by The Thaiger

“If anyone finds a person matching the prisoner’s appearance, please inform us by calling 076 212 104.”

Siri was imprisoned after being charged with posessing illegal drugs and lived in Moo 2, Rawai.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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