Maid ‘inherits’ B100m in assets
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Maid ‘inherits’ B100m in assets

Windfall follows death of wealthy French businesswoman on Koh Samui

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)

SURAT THANI: 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 resort island, reportedly granted 100-million-baht worth of assets to Nutwalai Phupongta, 49, her housemaid 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 deceased lived in the villa alone.

According to Pol Maj Yannaphat Malai, the local station inspector, 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, he said.

French businesswoman Catherine Delacote was found dead from a gunshot at her villa on Koh Samui (Photo: Supapong Chaolan)

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, he said.

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

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

A medical team from a nearby hospital was called in and later moved her body to the floor in an attempt at resuscitation before the police arrived, he said.

Further investigation showed that Delacote had previously transferred 500,000 baht to Ms Nutwalai to pay for her funeral, he 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 robbery at the villa earlier, according to Ms Nutwalai.

A funeral ceremony for Delacote will be held at Wat Bo Pud in Samui district sometime later, Ms Nutwalai told reporters.

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