Police planned to bring a 26-year-old man who published a Facebook Live post of him setting fire to a house in Buri Ram’s Kaen Dong district over an unpaid debt last Saturday to apply for a provincial court order for his first detention period later on Thursday.
Arthit “Top Howdy” Chakkhum has since apologised and explained that in a drunken state he had meant to teach a lesson to his “friend” who had borrowed money from him by setting fire to his parents’ house.
No one has posted bail for Arthit following his arrest on Wednesday afternoon with his friend Khomsan Phromsurin, 27, who shot the live video broadcast.
The two performed a re-enactment of the crime on the same evening, Kaen Dong police superintendent Pol Colonel Sampat Srichanteuk said. Khomsan’s relatives requested his release on bail on Thursday morning, he added.
The two men were facing charges of conspiring to commit arson while police were considering whether to file an additional charge related to a violation of the Computer Crime Act, he said.
The post, which showed Arthit making rude remarks about the debtor and pouring gasoline on the house before setting it on fire, has been widely shared on Thai social media, with criticism focusing on the wanton destruction of property and stupidity of live broadcasting an incriminating act.
In his latest post on Facebook, Arthit claimed his action had been motivated by drunkenness and anger but the victim’s father filed a police complaint anyway.