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Phuket police catch up with Songkran bike burner

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Phuket police catch up with Songkran bike burner | Thaiger

PHUKET: : A man who was drunkenly celebrating Songkran on April 13 was picked up by police yesterday after being tracked down through CCTV images that showed him setting a motorbike on fire with a cigarette butt.

Panuphon Prutisarn, 36, confessed to Kathu Police yesterday that he torched the bike, but claims it was unintentional.

“It was Songkran Day and I was drunk,” Mr Panuphon told police. “I smoked a cigarette, and when I threw away the butt it hit the bike. I didn’t do it on purpose.”

CCTV footage taken along Sai Nam Yen Road confirms much of Mr Panuphon’s story.

“The footage shows Mr Panuphon riding his motorbike down the road. He stops
his bike to smoke a cigarette,” explained Lt Col Somsak Tongkliang. “When he finishes smoking, he flicks away the cigarette butt and it lands on a nearby motorbike. In the film we can see a small flame start as Mr Panuphon rides away.”

“The bike that burned was an old one and there was probably oil on it. It was also a very windy day –both these factors would have helped the flame spread,” explained Col Somsak.

Mr Panuphon has been charged with recklessly causing damage to property.

“I am willing to take full responsibility for my action,” Mr Panuphon told police after his arrest.

This is the second fire from a cigarette butt caught on CCTV this month (story here).

“If a cigarette butt causes damage, there is a high penalty, even if it is not intentional,” he said.

— Namsai Wongsaeree


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