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Man denies chopping off thumb to grab insurance

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Man denies chopping off thumb to grab insurance | The Thaiger

PHUKET (Gazette, The Nation): Kathu apartment owner Pichet Porntantipong, who stands accused of chopping off his thumb to collect 16 million baht in insurance, on May 21 insisted he suffered a mishap in the kitchen and welcomed a police investigation.

“I’ve got nothing to hide…I’m ready for the police to investigate the facts,” he said.

He declined, however, to go into the details of the case, saying he had hired a lawyer to represent him.

In January, Siam Commercial Samakki Insurance asked police to investigate an accident claim filed by the 38-year-old K. Pichet in October.

In the claim, K. Pichet said he accidentally chopped off his left thumb while chopping pork bones and that the digit fell onto a stove, where it was badly burned.

K. Pichet told police the accident happened when his close friend Naret Phadda walked in the kitchen and accidentally knocked a pot onto the floor, startling him and causing him to lose concentration.

Upornrat Boonwong, a representative of the insurer, said the firm doubted K. Pichet because he had so many insurance policies.

He had taken out policies totaling 60 million baht with 30 companies; all of the insurers had agreed to ask police to investigate the loss of K. Pichet’s thumb, K. Upornrat said.

The insurers also question why K. Pichet was chopping pork bones with his thumb extended.

In 2005 and 2006, K. Pichet purchased four policies from Siam Commercial Samakki that insured him to the tune of 5 million baht. Compensation for the loss of a thumb is equal to one quarter of that amount.

On May 21, K. Pichet said that immediately following the accident he went to Bangkok Hospital Phuket, where doctors told him they could not reattach the severed thumb. Staff there took photographs of his thumb-less hand.

He then contacted the insurance companies, told them what happened and invited them to inspect the accident scene.

He said that the purchase of numerous policies is normal and many people are insured for far larger sums.

“I lost my thumb in an accident and I don’t understand why the insurance companies are suspicious,” he said.

He dismissed reports that he had gone into hiding, saying he was living and working in Phuket as though nothing had happened.

Crime Suppression acting commander Pol Col Pongpat Chayaphan said 13 officers were investigating the case. If they conclude that K. Pichit chopped off his thumb as part of an insurance scam he will be prosecuted, Col Pongpat said.

Forensic evidence suggests that it took more than one chop to sever the thumb.

Forensic expert Pol Lt Col Dr Pattana Kitkrailas was shown photographs of Pichet’s hand and severed thumb. After analyzing the skin, he told investigators that the thumb could not have been completely severed in one chop and that the actual separation of the thumb from the hand occurred after an initial cut was made.

If found guilty of fraud K. Pichit faces up to two years in jail, a fine of 6,000 baht, or both.



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Phuket

Slow loris released back into Phuket forest

The Thaiger

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Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Department of National Parks

Officers from of the Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Area have helped in the release of a slow loris back into the wild yesterday.

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation reports that the head of Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Area, Pongchart Chueahom, yesterday released the slow loris to the Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Are in Thalang.

The slow loris was found near a furniture factory in Thalang last week. It was being treated at a pet hospital before being handed over to Khun Pongchart when it was ready to be set free.

Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | News by The Thaiger Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Seastead structure dragged back to shore by Royal Thai Navy

The Thaiger

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Seastead structure dragged back to shore by Royal Thai Navy | The Thaiger

A floating seastead has today been towed by a naval vessel back to the Port of Phuket in Cape Panwa. Meanwhile the Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam is challenging the owners and builders of the structure to take the Thai Government and Navy to the International Court of Justice.

The Royal Thai Navy’s Third Fleet ventured out with a group of reporters on Saturday to inspect the floating seastead, the first of about 20 planned Ocean Builders for the open waters about 22km from Phuket’s Koh Racha Yai.

Nothing valuable was found on board the octagon-shaped steel and aluminium structure which was attached to a floating platform.

Two vessels were used in today’s operation. The living quarters were detached and placed on the first vessel and the second towed the floating platform to the shore for safe keeping pending legal action against its owner as well as the builder, Ocean Builders Company.

Dr. Wissanu said yesterday that Thai authorities were authorised to remove or dismantle the floating housing unit with or without the consent of its owner after finding the structure could pose a threat to Thai national security and sovereignty in accordance with Article 119 of the Criminal Code.

He said that the structure also posed an obstacle to vessels and was located not far from an oil rig.

Regarding the threat by Ocean Builders Company to sue the Thai government in the International Court of Justice for the removal, the deputy PM says he welcomes the move, noting that no government anywhere would allow a seastead settlement near their maritime territory.

Seasteader Chad Andrew Edwartowski and his Thai wife, Mrs. Nadia Summergirl, are wanted by the Thai police for questioning after Thai immigration revoked the American’s non-immigrant visa and blacklisted him.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Phuket

Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung

The Thaiger

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Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phattalung Rescue

Two people have sustained serious injuries after a Phuket taxi slammed into a tree in Phattalung last night.

Phattalung rescue workers were notified of the accident in Mueang Pattalung District at 7.57pm last night (Sunday).

They arrived at the scene to find the Phuket registered taxi resting in front of the big tree on the side of the road near a temple. The front of the vehicle had extensive damage following the collision.

The two people who sustained serious injuries were 58 year old Wanchai Srithong and 64 year old Jamras Srithong. They were both taken to the Phattalung Hospital.

Pattalung City Police are continuing their investigation. There has been no explanation given at this stage as to why a Phuket taxi was in Phattalung.

Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | News by The Thaiger Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | News by The Thaiger

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