No sign of brotherly love
A Khon Kaen man is asking senior police to intervene after his policeman elder brother shot him in an argument over the water supply at their mother's property.
Chanyut Khanded's shooting injury.
Chanyut Khanded, 51, said he was looking after tamarind trees he had planted at his mother's place in Sawathi sub-district when his elder brother, a police colonel for Police Region 4, strode over and immediately started swearing at him.
The policeman, whose name was not given, was unhappy he had pumped the water from a canal along which he had planted the trees.
He had also siphoned off potable water which the policeman had bought their mother, stored in earthen jugs alongside her house. The older brother lives on land adjacent to their mother's property.
Mr Chanyut said he siphoned off the water to mix it with insecticide to spray the trees. His older brother was unimpressed, as he was worried their mother's water supply still could be contaminated.
He also questioned Mr Chanyut's decision to plant the trees, as he said they had little market value.
"I planted the trees so I would have somewhere to relax when I visited Mum's place. But as soon as my brother saw me he strode over and started abusing me," he said.
"I said I'd buy supplies to replace the water I pumped from the canal. We pumped it out so I could get in a digger to extend the canal ahead of the rainy season," he told reporters.
When the conversation made no progress, Mr Chanyut said if his elder brother could not treat him with some respect, they should stop talking.
This angered the policeman, who struck him. The two men started hitting each other. When the policeman was unable to hold his own in the fight, he strode over to his vehicle and pulled out a 9mm calibre handgun.
"He fired it four times into the air as a threat, then held it to my forehead and ordered me to prostrate myself at his feet and apologise. I refused and we wrestled over the gun, which fired. The bullet entered my right hand," Mr Chanyut said.
"My mother tried to break up the fight but my brother pushed her to the ground and stormed off," he added.
Relatives took Mr Chanyut to Ban Fang hospital. "I was fortunate that the bullet did not strike any bones or arteries," he said. "I never thought my own brother would have such a cruel streak."
Chada, 81, their mother, said she was sad to see the brothers fight, as normally they do not argue. "I don't like to see such a thing, as I love my sons equally," she said.
Mr Chanyut complained to Ban Pet police about his elder brother's conduct, and also contacted the media to share his story. His elder brother works for Police Region 4's legal affairs and litigation division.
"I want a senior police officer to look at the case. My elder brother might be qualified for his job but has no self-control," he said.
A spokesman for Police Region 4 said officers had spoken to the police colonel, who admitted fighting with his younger brother and discharging the weapon.
However, he claimed Mr Chanyut hit him first and he pulled out the weapon in self-defence.
Inquiries are continuing.
'Oh by the way, I killed her'
A Kalasin man said he was shocked when his nephew told him calmly that he had slain the matriarch of the family and stuffed her body in a concrete drainage pipe.
The Kalasin man who admits killing his grandmother.
Anurak, or Daeng, 46, said he went looking for his mother, Khamporn, 72, at her Muang district home last week after failing to find her. He also called friends and relatives, to no avail.
Earlier that morning he had been out in the field planting cassava with his nephew, Ekkachai, 26, and some neighbours, and noticed nothing amiss.
However, when he came back to his Mum's place he realised he hadn't seen her for hours.
"When he saw me calling people, Ekkachai walked over and told me calmly not to bother, as it was a waste of time. He said he'd killed her the day before," Anurak said.
He pointed Anurak to a concrete drainage pipe at the rear of the property, where he found the body.
"I was shocked and called the police. Ekkachai must have been hallucinating at the time."
Ekkachai, a habitual drug-user, would often argue with his grandmother, he said.
The young man lived at his grandmother's place, along with Anurak himself, murder victim Khamporn, and Kamonworn, the killer's mother.
Khamporn had raised Ekkachai since he was a child after his parents split up. However, Khamporn and her grandson would argue over his drug habit.
When the young man asked his grandmother for drug money, she'd refuse and reprimand him.
Police said they suspected a similar argument had prompted the attack.
They said Khamporn had been hit over the head with a sharp object and stabbed half a dozen times. They found a meat cleaver, the suspected murder weapon, nearby.
They charged Ekkachai, who admitted attacking his grandmother, with murder with intent and taking prohibited drugs.
Burglar caught short
Songkhla police are pursuing a gang which cleaned out locals' homes, and at one victim's place even left a memento of their visit in the toilet.
Muang police last week nabbed Worachai, 31, or "Tui", for robbing a home owned by the provincial health officer, Songkran Maichum, in Phawong sub-district.
He was one of a gang of four which had robbed three or four homes in the area, he admitted.
Their specialty was taking virtually everything they could find, including furniture, electric goods, Buddha images, even pictures. Their calling sign, at least at Dr Songkran's place, was to leave human faeces in an unflushed toilet.
Police examined CCTV footage following the May 18 burglary. They saw an Isuzu pickup with no plates, loaded to the brim with what they suspect was stolen goods from Dr Songkran's house, including a large sofa.
The vehicle was roaming around the area, as if the owner wanted to dodge police.
They traced the Isuzu as it crossed into Hat Yai district, and finally turned into soi 19/4 Klong Toey Road, Kho Hong, of Hat Yai, where police were to catch up with Tui.
The Isuzu was parked out front, but the other three gang members, including one woman, weren't home.
In tears, Tui said he didn't mean to be a thief, but the gang leader, a man known as Luang To, promised to feed his drug habit with proceeds from the loot.
However, Tui said Luang To had yet to give him a share of any of the stolen goods.
"He lets me stay there and pays my keep. I regret what I have done, and feel sorry for my family. I don't know how they will cope if I go to jail."
Tui said he has three young children by two girlfriends, and his latest girlfriend is one month pregnant with their next child.
Police found more than 100 items of stolen property inside the single-storey rowhouse. They say the house was rented by Luang To, who also owned the Isuzu out front.
Police say they were able to return most of the big items to Dr Songkran, who rarely visits, as his main place is elsewhere. Neighbours called to say they suspected it had been robbed as the gang had left the door open when they departed.
"They are certainly a coolheaded bunch, helping themselves to my drink and even discarding a pair of pants. Someone also left faeces in the toilet," he said, adding that when the house is unoccupied, the power and water supply are cut off, meaning the toilet cannot flush.
Police took the stolen goods from the house to Muang district station in a six-wheeler, there was so much stuff. They are unsure who owns some of the items, and have sought arrest warrants for the other three gang members. Tui will be charged with robbery.