Loan shark bagman shot in Phang Nga
PHUKET: A debt collector for a local loan shark survived a bullet wound to his back inflicted by a gang of teenagers in Phang Nga yesterday afternoon.
The victim, Somchai Chaonalai, arrived by motorbike to Thung Kha Ngok District Police Station after the shooting to ask police there for assistance in getting to hospital.
Lt Prajuab Wongthong, who was on duty at the station at the time, escorted him to Phang Nga Hospital with two other officers.
“He is now safe. The bullet did not penetrate very deep into his back,” Lt Prajuab said.
“He told police during questioning that he worked collecting debts for a local loan shark in neighboring Thai Muang District. Before he was shot, he was collecting daily interest payments in Lumphee Subdistrict,” said Lt Prajuab.
Mr Somchai is listed as a resident of Uthai Thani province, he said.
“As he was making his rounds, two teenagers riding a motorbike began trailing him. After they were in the right position, the passenger, wearing a camouflage shirt and no crash helmet, shot him in the back,” Lt Prajuab explained.
Local residents are quite familiar with Mr Somchai and his associates, who are known locally as the “Helmet Gang”.
They offer people high-interest loans, then threaten violence against those who fail to pay off their debts or keep up with the interest payments.
— Siangtai Daily
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