Cambodian 'beggar' faces deportation
A Cambodian man with a deformed back, who attracted social media charity, is facing deportation after being arrested for allegedly running a begging racket involving his family worth more than 100,000 baht per month.
Vee Kom, 47, was nabbed by immigration police at a Chon Buri flat on Saturday. He is accused of begging for a living and enlisting young children.
Mr Vee, according to the Immigration Bureau, has been arrested three times previously on begging and illegal entry charges before being deported.
However, he has returned to Thailand, where he has a Thai wife, and resumed begging around Sri Amata Nakhon in the province's Phan Thong district, it said.
On Sept 1, a TikTok user posted a video clip showing a man in a "pitiful" physical condition walking up and down a market in the province, which spurred donations from netizens.
Mr Vee said he has suffered from an incurable back illness since he was 22 years old. He has begged for 20 years at various markets, he said.
Each family member usually made between 500 and 1,000 baht a day begging, which amounts to 100,000 baht in total for the family, he said.
Webpage Gun Jompalang, which previously urged the authorities to help Mr Vee, said the man has used his deformity to fool people into donating to him.