The stolen valuables saga which is causing headaches for the family of actress Kemanij "Pancake" Jamikorn is likely to come to an end next week when police agree to formally abandon their probe.
From left, Pattaranun ‘Putter’, Nuannong ‘Noi’ and Kemanij ‘Pancake’ Jamikorn.
Pancake, her parents, younger brother and lawyer visited Min Buri police on Friday to formally withdraw a complaint laid last month that Pancake's valuables had been taken from her home.
Police say they detect nothing odd about the case, in which Pancake's younger brother Pattaranun "Putter" Jamikorn admitted breaking into his sister's home, but only to check on its occupants.
He denied stealing the valuables, which his mother, Nuannong "Noi" Jamikorn, early this month declared she had recovered herself after a memory lapse.
Min Buri police insisted the family pay them a visit regardless of Mrs Jamikorn's discovery, after forensic evidence taken from Pancake's home showed Putter had left his prints in the bathroom and on the balcony leading into the house.
The family finally obliged the police late on Thursday night, after telling the media for two days they were too busy to attend.
Min Buri police called them back for another three hours of questioning on Friday. At the request of police, Mrs Jamikorn also took along the valuables to prove that they had in fact been recovered.
Police say they will now propose to the Metropolitan Police Bureau that the case be withdrawn, as they believe it was a simple misunderstanding.
On Feb 1, Mrs Jamikorn went before the media to say she intended to withdraw a complaint she had laid the previous month that Pancake's valuables had been stolen from her home.
Accompanied by some of the city's top police chiefs, she said she had collected them from the wash basin herself and put them elsewhere. She realised her mistake when she found the items.
A day later, the case took an unexpected turn as police said fingerprint evidence from Pancake's home pointed to Putter.
Police found his prints on the balcony and on the window sill above the wash basin where Pancake says her Rolex watch, ring and set of diamond earrings went missing.
As suspicions swirled over whether Pancake and her family were withdrawing the complaint to protect Putter, Mrs Jamikorn refused to confirm reports that he had a football gambling problem.
The police visit topped a torrid week for Pancake and family, as a posse of reporters staked out their home wanting answers, and helpful news stories reminded Mrs Jamikorn of the dangers of giving perjured evidence.
Thai Rath reported on Friday that a high-ranking member of the government called Min Buri police and told them to speed up their probe.
Pancake had helped out with various public campaigns on behalf of the government, the police were told.
Early in the week, both Pancake and Mrs Jamikorn defended Putter's actions.
"Putter slept at Pancake's place before the theft, so it's no surprise if they find his fingerprints and footprints, Mrs Jamikorn said.
"If he really wanted to steal stuff, he could, as there are plenty of valuables around, and nothing is stored away."
Pancake said she didn't want to single out her brother.
"Everyone is part of the same home and can do what they like. Now that we have the items back, it has all ended happily," she said.
The family's story had changed by Friday, however, with Putter admitting he broke into his sister's home, after he heard strange noises inside.
The actress claimed she deposited her valuables by her wash basin in the early evening of Jan 22.
She woke the next day to find them missing, and a set of footprints trailing into the bathroom from her home's balcony.
The Channel 7 actress and her family live in a 12 million baht, three-house compound in Min Buri. Pancake shares a two-storey home with her mother and younger sister.
Her father and Putter live in the house next to hers, and her cleaner and drivers in the house beside that.
In his statement to police, Putter said that on the day the items went missing, he visited the house occupied by his mother and sister, only to find the place locked. He heard noises inside, so scaled the wall and let himself in by the first-floor balcony.
He found no one inside, so let himself out again.
On Wednesday, Pancake, her mother and her pet dog recorded a television show for Polyplus Entertainment, even as the family claimed it was too busy to visit police.
Emerging from the studio, Pancake and her mother deflected questions about whether Putter was the thief.
"Thanks, all of you," Mrs Jamikorn said nervously, when asked if Putter took the items.
"I have no response to that," she said, when asked if Putter had a gambling problem.
Hours earlier, Pancake and her family eluded reporters staked out at her home.
When reporters called Mrs Jamikorn, she claimed Pancake was busy working.
At midday, however, the front doors of all three houses in the Jamikorn family estate opened at once, and four cars _ a Honda Accord, a Toyota Alphard and two Mercedes-Benz _ left hurriedly.
Three headed for the front of the housing estate, and the other to the rear. Reporters likened the vehicles synchronised departure to a presidential motorcade.
"They left at the same time, heading in different directions so we couldn't tell which vehicle Pancake was in. It was like something out of a movie," one said. No one gave chase.
Tak to take the plunge next month
Actress Bongkot "Tak" Khongmalai plans to marry her fiancee, billionaire Dtac founder Boonchai Bencharongkul, next month, though her mother denies it's because she's pregnant.
After earlier declaring she wanted to put off marriage by up to two years, Tak, 27, has now relented and agreed to an earlier date, her mother told reporters last week.
Boonchai Bencharongkul and Bongkot ‘Tak’ Khongmalai.
Voluptuous actress Tak and art lover Mr Boonchai, 58, were engaged at a lavish ceremony at his Museum of Contemporary Art on Vibhavadi Road late last year.
"She's getting married because Boonchai wants to marry her, even though the foundations of their marital home have barely been put in the ground," the actress's mother, Thanapa "Lek" Kongmalai said.
Mr Boonchai is building a bridal home for himself and Tak on a 40 million baht, 32 rai plot of family land in the Ram Intra area.
He had earlier talked of plans to start a family early this year, but said the bridal home ideally should be finished first.
Mrs Thanapa denied Tak was pregnant before marriage, but said it wouldn't worry her even if she was.
"Tak is engaged, and I want a grandchild, as I'm getting old," she said.
Mr Boonchai moved into Tak's family home after they were engaged, though sleeps on the couch in deference to the fact that they are not yet married.
The couple regularly publish images of themselves on the internet on outings or giving alms to monks.
"Boonchai proposed they marry this month, but I told him that this might be too fast, as Tak won't have time to lose weight for the big day," Mrs Thanapa said.
She had prepared a wedding dress for Tak, but her daughter would have to lose weight before she could wear it.
"Boonchai went in search of another auspicious day, and came up with March 28. They will marry at the Mandarin Oriental, but it won't be a big bash.
"They will probably marry in the morning, have a religious water-pouring ceremony, and a dinner at night," Mrs Thanapa said.
About the author
Writer: Mae Moo