MAI KHAO, PHUKET: Last week’s suicide of well-known businessman Mann “Benz Phuket” Suksawee now seems increasingly likely to have been the result of strained finances.
Police were informed of the apparent suicide by local residents at about 10am on Thursday.
Mr Mann, whose official residence is listed as downtown Haad Yai, was the manager of the Sanguan Panich group of companies based in his native Songkhla province.
At the height of his success, from 1993 to 1995, the group had expanded across all 14 southern provinces. Mr Mann had investments in many businesses, including 10 car dealerships as well as firms trading in agricultural products. At one point, the group’s assets reportedly exceeded 1 billion baht.
However, his businesses suffered during the 1997 financial crisis and began to close down one by one.
In early 2009, Mr Mann finally stopped operating his Nissan dealership in Songkhla, leaving him only with his Mercedes Benz dealership in Phuket.
It has been speculated that with the onset of the latest financial crisis, Mr Mann found his economic misfortunes too much to bear and decided to commit suicide.
Mann was known to be close friends with the husband of Sudarat Keyuraphan, former deputy leader of the now-defunct Thai Rak Thai Party.
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