Fearing for her life

Inheritance disputes can be ugly and the daughter of late actress Wandee Sritrang now says she fears for her life and wants DSI protection.

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Sobeda Pongsawang, a daughter of businessman Somchai Pongsawang, known as Yong Bai Khan, an influential figure in Lop Buri, seeks protection from the Department of Special Investigation. THITI WANNAMONTHA


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Yong Bai Khan's daughter seeks DSI protection

King-oua Laohong

Wandee Sritrang appeared in 15 movies from 1972-1975 Photo: http://www.thaiworldview.com

The daughter of a late actress is seeking protection from the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) in a multi-billion-baht inheritance dispute.

Sobeda Pongsawang, a daughter of businessman Somchai Pongsawang, who was also known as Yong Bai Khan, an influential figure in Lop Buri, says she fears for her safety as the inheritance dispute heats up.

Ms Sobeda's mother was former actress Sathana, known as Wandee Sritrang, who was famous 40 years ago.

She said her aunt Rassamee Khan, who lives in Saraburi province and claims to be the executor of her parents' estate, was pressuring her to give up land on which she lives and which she owns. Ms Rassamee had asked her to transfer the land to her, she said.

She also said a group of men had tried to abduct her daughter from Sacred Heart College in Chiang Mai province. The abduction scare forced her and her family into hiding for six months.

Ms Sobeda has already sought protection from the Justice Ministry, which provides bodyguards to her family, but she would like additional protection from the DSI.

Ms Sobeda said her father had owned billions of baht worth of land in many provinces and a transport business in Nakhon Ratchasima province.

Her mother died when she was just five months old. Later her father sent her to study in Pakistan.

Ms Sobeda returned to Chiang Mai but on her father's advice kept a low profile for her own safety.

In 2002, her father was shot dead and the inheritance battle began.

She said she was the only child whose birth her father had registered.

Although Mrs Rassamee claimed her father had another wife, Watcharee Jantherdthai, and a daughter Chayanit, Ms Watcharee and the daughter refused to take a court-ordered DNA test.

DSI director-general Tarit Pengdith said that he would provide protection if his department found Ms Sobeda's family was in danger.

Somchai, also known as Yong Bai Khan, was the sixth son of notorious Muslim godfather Bakhan Pathan, known as Bai Khan, a Pakistani who left his home country for Thailand in 1930 and married a Thai.

Bai Khan's influence covered Lop Buri, Saraburi, and part of Nakhon Ratchasima.

Somchai followed in his father's footsteps by expanding his family influence.

He met Wandee when she was gaining popularity and took her to live in Pakistan for a time before returning to Thailand.

Wandee was found dead in 1975 at the age of 25 under suspicious circumstances. Somchai was killed in a gun attack in 2002 in Saraburi.

influential figure – a person who has the power to affect a situation, especially in a bad way ผู้มีอิทธิพล
protection – the act of protecting somebody/something; the state of being protected  การอารักขา, การปกป้อง
(DSI) Department of Special Investigation – a police department investigating serious crimes involving influential people, organised crime, or crimes using highly sophisticated technology กรมสอบสวนคดีพิเศษ
late – dead ที่ล่วงลับไปแล้ว
inheritance – money or objects that someone gives you when they die มรดก
dispute – a serious disagreement การโต้เถียง, ความขัดแย้ง
aunt – the sister of your father or mother; the wife of your uncle ป้า,น้าผู้หญิง,อาผู้หญิง
claim – to say that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it อ้าง
executor – someone who makes sure that things are done according to the wishes in a dead person's will ผู้จัดการมรดกตามพินัยกรรม
estate – all the money and property that a person owns, especially everything that is left when they die  มรดก
pressure – to try to make someone do something by forcing, threatening, or persuading them in a determined way กดดัน
transfer – to officially arrange for someone else to be the owner of something โอน
abduct – to take somebody away illegally, especially using force ลักพาตัว
scare –  to make someone feel frightened or worried ทำให้กลัว
sought (past tense of seek) – asked for something, or to tried to get something พยายามได้มา
bodyguard – a person or a group of people who are employed to protect somebody องครักษ์,คนคุ้มกัน
transport – moving people or things from one place to another การขนส่ง
advice – an opinion or a suggestion about what somebody should do in a particular situation  คำแนะนำ
keep a low profile –to try not to attract attention ลดบทบาท
register – to put your name and other information on an official list in order to be allowed to do something, e.g., vote, study, stay in a hotel etc ลงทะเบียน
refuse – to say you will not do something that someone has asked you to do ปฏิเสธ
notorious – famous for something bad ซึ่งมีชื่อเสียงในทางไม่ดี
godfather – a very powerful man in a criminal organization, especially the Mafia เจ้าพ่อ
follow in someone’s footsteps – to do the same job, have the same style of life, etc. as somebody else, especially somebody in your family ดำเนินรอยตาม
expand – to make or become larger ขยาย
popularity – a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people ความเป็นที่นิยม, ความเป็นที่ชื่นชอบ
suspicious – making you believe that something is wrong, dangerous or illegal น่าสงสัย
circumstances – facts or conditions that affect a situation เหตุการณ์แวดล้อม

Related search: Sobeda Pongsawang, Wandee Sritrang

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Writer: Terry Fredrickson
Position: Education Marketing and Support Manager