On Thursday evening police in the southern province of Songkhla applied to the provincial court for the arrest of four relatives including a husband and wife all charged with the attempted murder and the illegal detention of 50-year-old Malai Chumpraman in the early hours of Sunday 1st December.

The depravity and cruelty of Thailand’s growing illegal drugs trade was painted stark and clear this week as medical staff at Hat Yai hospital work to treat a 50-year-old Thai woman burned alive by her relatives and family after purloining a quantity of crystal methamphetamine left near her home for a drug customer in a tiny village in Songkhla province.

50-year-old Malai Chumpraman is reported to be responding well to treatment at Hat Yai hospital after having been set aflame by relatives in the village of Ban Khok Mao in the Bang Klam district of Songkhla province on Sunday morning by irate and merciless relatives after a bag of crystal ice left near her home went missing.

The insidious and cruel-hearted nature of the trade sunk to a new low over the weekend when a group of relatives in a small village in the Bang Klam district of Songkhla province turned on one of their own and set a Thai woman alight in her ramshackle home in the village of Ban Khok Mao after covering her in petrol.

Woman crawled from her home and took refuge on the back of a neighbour’s pickup truck

The 50-year old woman was named as Malai Chumpraman or Joy is now in intensive care at Hat Yai hospital after being found by a neighbour after she managed to crawl into the middle of the night and on to the back of a local pickup truck even while severely burned throughout her body.

Confronted by irate relatives, linked to drug dealing network in the Bang Klam district

The woman was confronted by relatives in the village at about 2 am after she was believed to have stolen 300 grams of crystal methamphetamine or ice which was left concealed near her abode for clients of what appears to be a drug-dealing network operating within the village.

Police this week reported that their investigations received little help or cooperation from the village people many of whom were too terrified to speak. Many were also relatives of four people now on the run. Most people simply told police that the culprits had already fled the village.

17 year old arrested on Thursday named as Mr Bank

Police on Thursday arrested a 17-year-old man identified as Mr Bank who admitted to his role in the events and horrific act in the early hours of the 1st of December last.

He told police that he had first confronted the woman whose husband is already reported to be in prison on drugs offences and who makes her living as a scrap seller, over the missing drugs.

Woman doused in petrol and threatened

The woman was then taken to her living quarters and held there by a group of people who threatened her by telling her if she did not reveal what had happened to the missing drugs, they would burn her alive.

They intimidated the woman by dousing her in petrol and when she finally told them that the drugs had already been dissolved in water, their anger led to the woman being set ablaze in an appalling act of cruelty.

Police have identified those they are seeking to arrest and charge with the attempted murder of the woman

On Thursday evening, local Thai police applied to the Songkhla provincial court for arrest warrants for four people all reported to be related to the badly injured woman.

Police have named the four as 41-year-old Solae Jisawat and his wife 36-year-old Janytira Binshao as well as two other relatives name as 26-year-old Yongyut Chumprama and 29-year-old Patraporn Petcharat.

It is understood that all four are now facing charges of attempted murder and the unlawful detention of the woman they attacked.

Drugs problem in Songkhla is widespread

The scale of the drug problem in Thailand’s southern provinces including Songkhla is widespread driven by the declining price of drugs such as crystal methamphetamine. 

As we see from Sunday, the drugs have not only infiltrated the small villages of the province but also the minds and morality of those who engage in this business that destroys souls.

October saw Pattani police officer and son of local leader arrested at a drug house

In October, in the district of Bang Klam, the son of a local leader was arrested together with a police officer from Pattani when police raided a drug house.

24-year-old Police Corporal Sanyalak Jandam formerly stationed at Kapho police station in Pattani province was found with Piyapong Ruangchuay the 31-year-old son of a local leader in the province.

Both men were found in the house with methamphetamine pills, a quantity of crystal methamphetamine, a firearm as well as drug dealing paraphernalia.

Further reading:

One of the biggest drug dealers in the South flees home as Thai police and army move against him

Thai man burns down his family home: Thailand’s drugs problem is still a very real threat to society