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Murder & corruption: But still popular

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Found guilty of murder, godfather Kamnan Poh is in hiding but high-ranking govt officials still show up at his birthday party & many are his family.

Somchai Khunploem (Kamnan Poh) the "Godfather of Chonburi".



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CRIME

Lavish party for Somchai

1/10/2012
Jerdsak Saengthongcharoen

A lavish birthday party was thrown in absentia for the wealthy fugitive Somchai Khunploem in Chon Buri yesterday.

More than 200 well-wishers turned up at the Khunploem residence in Muang district to celebrate Somchai's 74th birthday, although the birthday man himself was not there to enjoy the occasion.

The guests of honour included Chon Buri governor Komsan Ekkachai and prominent local leaders and business people in the province.

A large portrait of Somchai was hung up at the house along with a welcome sign that read "A Man for All Seasons". The reception was hosted by Somchai's wife Satil; their son Sonthaya Khunploem and his wife, Culture Minister Sukumol Khunploem; and Somchai's other son, Chon Buri provincial administration organisation chairman Witthaya Khunploem. Guests were given souvenirs that included a T-shirt with pictures of Somchai playing sports with his wife.

Somchai, better-known as Kamnan Poh, has been found guilty by the Chon Buri Court of graft over the purchase of a 140-rai parcel of land valued at 93 million baht in Bang Lamung district, Chon Buri, by Pattaya City during 1992 and 1993 for use as a rubbish landfill.

He was sentenced to five years and four months in jail. He has also been sentenced to 25 years in prison for hiring a gunman to commit murder.

The conviction has been upheld by the Supreme Court. Somchai is reportedly hiding in Cambodia.

(Source: CRIME, Lavish party for Somchai, 1/10/2012, Jerdsak Saengthongcharoen, link)


Organized Crime Vocabulary

organized crime - organizations run by criminals for making money from crime, usually highly centralized with powerful local godfathers (See Wikipedia)
godfather - organized crime boss; a top crime boss in an organized crime organization เจ้าพ่อ (See Wikipedia)

Kamnan Poh -
Somchai Khunploem, "a Thai politician, businessman and organized crime boss, highly influential in his home province of Chonburi and the whole Eastern region and has therefore been dubbed "Godfather of Chonburi" or "Godfather of the East" by Thai media. Somchai was long-term mayor of Saen Suk, Mueang Chonburi District" สมชาย คุณปลื้ม กำนันเป๊าะ village chief Poh (See Wikipedia)

lavish - more than enough, especially if expensive ฟุ่มเฟือย
lavish birthday party

throw a party -
have a party (to celebrate some occassion such as birthday, anniversary or holiday)

in absentia -
the event happened but the person was not there (example: trial in absentia for a crime but the accused is not there)

fugitive - someone who has done something illegal and is trying to avoid being caught by the police (avoiding capture) ผู้หลบหนี

wealthy - rich, has a lot of money and assets มั่งคั่ง ร่ำรวย
wealthy
fugitive - a rich person running away from the law
the wealthy fugitive Somchai Khunploem 

A lavish birthday party was thrown in absentia for the wealthy fugitive Somchai Khunploem in Chon Buri yesterday.

well-wishers -
people who visit someone to "wish" that they will do "well"  (that they get well when they are in the hospital, for example)
turn up -
appear at a place (example: She turned up at the party late).

residence - home, place where you live ที่พำนัก ที่อาศัยที่อยู่อาศัย บ้านพัก
well-wishers turned up
at the Khunploem residence

celebrate
- to do something enjoyable like have a party to show that something is special (such as an event or a special occasion such as a birthday)  เฉลิมฉลอง, ฉลอง
have a party to celebrate the special occasion

celebrate a birthday
celebrate Somchai's 74th birthday

an occasion - some special event
enjoy the occasion

guests of honour - VIPs at an event; important people at an event

local - in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about ท้องถิ่น
local leaders

prominent - important and well known สำคัญ, มีชื่อเสียง, เด่น
prominent local leaders

More than 200 well-wishers turned up at the Khunploem residence in Muang district to celebrate Somchai's 74th birthday, although the birthday man himself was not there to enjoy the occasion. The guests of honour included Chon Buri governor Komsan Ekkachai and prominent local leaders and business people in the province.

portrait - a painting, photograph, drawing, etc. of a person ภาพวาดหรือภาพถ่ายคน
A large portrait of Somchai was hung up at the house

reception - a formal party at which important people are welcomed or congratulated งานตอบรับ
reception was hosted by Somchai's wife

administration - one government that a country has for a period of time
provincial administration organisation - the name of local provincial government

souvenir - something bought or given to a person so that they can remember a place they went to or an event they attended; a remembrance
souvenirs that included a T-shirt

A large portrait of Somchai was hung up at the house along with a welcome sign that read "A Man for All Seasons". The reception was hosted by Somchai's wife Satil; their son Sonthaya Khunploem and his wife, Culture Minister Sukumol Khunploem; and Somchai's other son, Chon Buri provincial administration organisation chairman Witthaya Khunploem. Guests were given souvenirs that included a T-shirt with pictures of Somchai playing sports with his wife.

guilty - proven by a court of law to have committed a crime มีความผิด
found guilty by court

graft
- corruption; using political power and authority to get money illegally (take bribes) การฉ้อโกง
found guilty by the Chon Buri Court of graft

purchase - buy
parcel of land - a piece of land; a plot of land 
the purchase of a 140-rai parcel of land

rubbish - garbage; waste material or things that are no longer wanted or needed ขยะ
rubbish landfill - a place where garbage is buried under the ground (to get rid of it; to dispose of it)

sentence
- to give a person a prison term (time they must live in prison as punishment for a crime)
sentenced to five years and four months in jail

hiring - when a company formally gives a person a job (a contract is signed) การว่าจ้าง

gunman -
a hired killer, a person who kills people for money มือปืน
hiring
a gunman

murder - the crime of intentionally killing a person ฆาตกรรม
commit murder

sentenced to 25 years in prison for hiring a gunman to commit murder

conviction - when someone is officially found to be guilty of a particular crime การพิสูจน์ว่ากระทำผิด
conviction upheld - when a higher court does not change legal decision of lower court (after "appeal" to higher court asking to change the decision)

the conviction has been upheld by the Supreme Court

reportedly ... - news sources with information say this is true ...
reportedly hiding in Cambodia

Somchai, better-known as Kamnan Poh, has been found guilty by the Chon Buri Court of graft over the purchase of a 140-rai parcel of land valued at 93 million baht in Bang Lamung district, Chon Buri, by Pattaya City during 1992 and 1993 for use as a rubbish landfill. He was sentenced to five years and four months in jail. He has also been sentenced to 25 years in prison for hiring a gunman to commit murder. The conviction has been upheld by the Supreme Court. Somchai is reportedly hiding in Cambodia.

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