Maid inherits B100m from French woman

Nutwalai Phupongta, 49, said her employer had said she had cancer but had not spoken about wanting to take her life. (TV screenshot)
Nutwalai Phupongta, 49, said her employer had said she had cancer but had not spoken about wanting to take her life. (TV screenshot)

A French businesswoman reportedly left about 100 million baht worth of assets to her Thai maid after she died on Koh Samui on Monday.

Catherine Delacote, 59, the landlord of five pool villas on the island, reportedly left the assets to Nutwalai Phupongta, 49, her maid of 17 years.

Ms Nutwalai said the assets included the villa she was living in at the time of Delacote’s death, a two-rai land plot near the villa, cash, a car and other assets.

Delacote and her ex-husband, who is also French, moved to the island 12 years ago, Ms Nutwalai said, adding that the couple later divorced and the woman lived in the villa alone.

According to police, Delacote was reported to have died by a firearm on Monday.

Her body was found on a daybed next to the swimming pool in her villa, with a gunshot wound on her left temple and gunshot residue on her left wrist.

A 45mm automatic firearm, a bullet shell, a glass of vodka, a pair of sunglasses and a pack of cigarettes were found near the body, police said.

A spent bullet was found inside the house, and a gunshot hole was found in a villa door.

A pool maintenance worker found Delacote’s body and a pool of blood at 8am, then called his supervisor to notify the police.

Delacote had previously transferred 500,000 baht to Ms Nutwalai to pay for her funeral, police said.

Ms Nutwalai, who resided in another house, believed her employer committed suicide, saying that Delacote sent messages to several people shortly before her death saying that she would give her assets to her maid.

The deceased had reportedly told Ms Nutwalai that she was suffering from cancer. However, she did not say anything about wishing to commit suicide, the maid said.

The gun found at the scene was acquired by Delacote following a break-in at the villa earlier, according to Ms Nutwalai.

Learn from listening

Click play to listen to audio for this story, or download to save the file
: :


  • asset: a thing of value - สิ่งที่มีคุณค่า
  • break-in (noun): an entry into a building, car, etc., using force, usually to steal something - การบุกรุกเข้าไป (เช่น บ้าน, รถ, ที่ทำงาน)an entry into a building using force, usually to steal something
  • cancer: a serious disease in which growths of cells, also called cancers, form in the body and kill normal body cells. The disease often causes death - มะเร็ง
  • deceased: dead - ซึ่งตายแล้ว
  • divorce: to take legal action to end a marriage - หย่า
  • firearm: a gun of some type - อาวุธปืน
  • funeral: a ceremony that takes place after someone dies - งานศพ
  • landlord: a person or organisation that owns a building or an area of land and is paid by other people for the use of it - เจ้าของที่ดิน
  • maid: a female servant in a house or hotel - สาวใช้, หญิงรับใช้
  • residue: a small amount of something that remains at the end of a process - ส่วนที่เหลือ, เศษตกค้าง
  • shell: a metal case filled with explosives, to be fired from a large gun -
  • spent: used - ใช้ไป
  • suicide: the action of deliberately killing yourself - การฆ่าตัวตาย
  • temple (n): each of the flat parts at the sides of the head, at the same level as the eyes and higher -
  • wound: an injury in which your skin or flesh is damaged - บาดแผล
Do you like the content of this article?