'DJ Matoom' gets suspended jail term over virus-cluster birthday bash

'DJ Matoom' gets suspended jail term over virus-cluster birthday bash

Partygoers also face charges

Techin Ploypetch, aka DJ Matoom, answers questions after reporting to Thung Mahamek police on Friday. He was soon after given a suspended jail sentence by the court. (Photo: Wassayos Ngamkham)
Techin Ploypetch, aka DJ Matoom, answers questions after reporting to Thung Mahamek police on Friday. He was soon after given a suspended jail sentence by the court. (Photo: Wassayos Ngamkham)

The South Bangkok District Court on Friday gave a one-month suspended jail sentence to actor Techin Ploypetch for violating the emergency decree by holding a birthday party at a hotel in Bangkok six weeks ago.

The party was the centre of a cluster of Covid-19 infections in Bangkok.

The court initially sentenced 31-year-old Techin, better known as DJ Matoom, 31, to two months in jail and fined him 20,000 baht for breaching the emergency decree by holding his birthday party at Banyan Tree Hotel on Jan 8.

As the defendant pleaded guilty, the court reduced the prison term by half and suspended it.

He had earlier reported to Thung Mahamek police station on Friday morning with his lawyer, in response to a summons.

There, he was charged with breaching the emergency decree that banned social gatherings  to curb the resurgence of Covid-19 outbreak.

He was quickly indicted by public prosecutors, then taken to court and sentenced. 

Pol Lt Col Adisorn Kaewmodtad, the police station deputy chief, said the actor, who works as a TV host and a DJ, admitted the charge. 

After hosting his birthday celebration on Jan 8, Techin tested positive for Covid-19.

Doctors viewed his travel record and believed he caught the virus at a party he went to in Chiang Mai over the New Year, and then returned to Bangkok. An infected man who attended the party in the northern city and DJ Matoom's birthday celebration was a spreader, according to doctors.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration found the Chiang Mai party spread the virus to about 30 people. Nine of them had attended Techin's birthday party.

Techin promised full collaboration with investigators and renewed his public apology.

Pol Lt Col Adisorn said other people who attended the birthday party would also be summonsed and charged.

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