19 bags of body parts found in Chiang Mai

19 bags of body parts found in Chiang Mai

A Buddhist monk leads local residents and police in a religious rite for a baby girl whose body was seized from a former abbot who bought stolen corpses for black magic rituals in Chiang Mai. (Photo by Cheewin Sattha)
A Buddhist monk leads local residents and police in a religious rite for a baby girl whose body was seized from a former abbot who bought stolen corpses for black magic rituals in Chiang Mai. (Photo by Cheewin Sattha)

Police are expanding the hunt for members of a gang of corpse snatchers following the discovery of 19 bags of human body parts at a crematorium in Chiang Mai.

Pol Maj Gen Pracha Rattanaphan, deputy chief of Provincial Police Region 5, on Thursday led a team of police and rescue workers to search Pratu Haiya crematorium in tambon Haiya in Muang district.

They found 19 black plastic bags containing human body parts hidden in a compartment in the crematory chamber. The bags bore stickers of hospitals in Nan, Phayao and Chiang Mai.

The raid followed the recent arrest of Chalerm Duangpeng, former abbot of Wat Huay Dinjee in Chiang Mai’s Doi Lo district after four stolen corpses were found in his possession. He had used the corpses for black magic rituals.

Mr Chalerm implicated Somboon Neramit, 70, wife of an undertaker at Pratu Haiya crematorium, saying she sold the corpses to him.

Mrs Somboon was not at the crematorium when the police arrived. Police said she had fled shortly before the raid.

Her husband Suthat Neramit, the undertaker, insisted he had never been involved in the corpse thefts. He told police he was not even aware that his wife had stolen corpses or body parts for sale.

Police said that according to a caretaker of Pratu Haiya crematorium, no bodies had arrived there from hospitals for cremation for about two years. 

Police said the investigation would be expanded to track down the body snatchers.

There were reports that Mrs Somboon had been caught and was being held for legal action. It could not be confirmed.



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