Two die violently in rubber plantations
Tha Sala District in Nakhon Sri Thammarat does not seem to be a good place to be in the rubber trade at the moment, with two violent deaths – one suicide and one a murder – being recorded on Tuesday (August 14) alone.
Thursday 16 August 2012, 05:56PM
In the first case 29-year-old Sarawoot Plirat, was found dead in a cabin, from a shotgun blast to his head. On top of him lay a long-barrelled shotgun; close to the end of his right foot, a large pair of pliers.
Relatives told police that Sarawoot came to cut rubber, and slept every night in the cabin: Recently, police were told by relatives, he had complained of anxiety over his debts.
“He owed a great deal because of the steep drop in rubber prices. With his income drying up, he couldn’t keep up with his debt payments. This worried him all the time. So, finally, he killed himself.”
Prices for Thailand’s highest grade of rubber fell 3.23 per cent last week, from 294.35 US cents a kilogramme on Monday to 284.83 US cents on Friday (about B88 to B85.5).
On the same day, police were called to another plantation where the corpse of Suchat Sisaeng, 62, was lying among the rubber trees. Police said he had been beaten badly “with a blunt object and shot with a shotgun through his right hand”.
Their enquiries revealed that Suchat was employed to cut rubber for a large local plantation owner. The morning of his death he was standing at one of the trees cutting rubber when Tanint Duangpan, 54, described as “a big guy from the same village, also employed to cut rubber,” came to cut at a nearby tree “because in that area latex was flowing freely”.
This angered Suchat, who felt Tanint was encroaching on the zone he had reserved for himself. He shouted at Tanint, telling him to “go cut rubber some place else”.
Tanint, however, refused to budge. “I have the right to cut rubber where I please,” he replied. The ensuing quarrel erupted into a fight.
Tanint, finding himself out-classed in the struggle, grabbed a big brick lying nearby and smashed Suchat repeatedly in the face and head, causing him to collapse and die on the spot. Tanint then fled.
Later in the day, carrying a shotgun, Tanint surrendered to Pol Lt Col Aroon at Tha Sala station, saying he would fight charges against him.
He freely admitted killing Suchat in a fight over the rubber plot, however. “He was trying to keep the best plot for himself, and wouldn’t allow anyone else to cut rubber there. If anyone showed up he’d tell them to go away, which is what caused the quarrel,” he explained.