Dad of dead 'seer' boy faces new charges

Dad of dead 'seer' boy faces new charges

A father who was on Monday sentenced to a 15-day suspended jail term for spreading false rumours that the Bhumibol Dam would collapse on New Year's Eve now faces more charges including land encroachment.

Thongbai Khamsi, 73, a Chanthaburi resident, was sentenced by the court to a 15-day suspended jail term and ordered to pay a fine of 500 baht in his hometown for spreading predictions made by his late son, known as Pla Bu, 37 years ago.

His son had predicted that Bhumibol Dam in Tak's Sam Ngao district would burst at 10pm on Dec 31, 2011. The dam did not break, however.

He now faces another charge of encroaching on private land and causing damage to the property.

Prayuth Punsri, also a Chanthaburi resident, has filed a police complaint accusing Mr Thongbai of stealing top soil from his land and damaging barbed wire fences around the property by bulldozing over them.

He said Mr Thongbai was building a road to a temple in Ban Tamul in Soi Dao district. Mr Thongbai allegedly dug the path leading to the temple and filled it with soil which Mr Prayuth claimed was taken from his land located next to the temple's road.

Anurak Sukkij, Mr Prayuth's lawyer, said his client had warned Mr Thongbai to stop the alleged encroachment.

Mr Thongbai promised to stop and to return the stolen soil to Mr Prayuth.

However, the lawyer said Mr Thongbai carried on until he had finished building a 300m long road to the temple and even erected new barbed wire fences to separate the road from the surrounding land.

Since spreading the dam rumours, Mr Thongbai is now widely known. He has had conflicts with several residents within the community.

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