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Woeng Nakhon Khasem

Double eviction threat drove man to suicide : family

A BUSINESSMAN left all his valuables behind, as he headed to a riverside temple on Monday apparently on a suicide journey. He carried only one thing - a plastic business card showing his shop was located in Bangkok's Woeng Nakhon Khasem area.

The shop, now widely known as Yong Seng Musical, has operated in the old-community zone for more than a century. This original shop, however, will have to close down permanently this year as its proprietors are evicted.

"I believe by carrying his business card, my dad wanted to speak up for all Woeng Nakhon Khasem residents," Pollakorn said after his father Chatchawal Asavasopon went missing.

Woeng Nakhon Khasem is one of the oldest retail musical instrument centres in Bangkok. All retailers there are tenants and are required to vacate the zone after its landlord decided to sell the plot to a developer.

TCC Land is known to have purchased the 14-rai (2.25-hectare) plot in Woeng Nakhon Khasem. Pollakorn believed his father might have been under huge stress because imminent evictions would have affected both branches of Yong Seng Musical.

"When we learned that the original shop would have to close, my dad decided to open a new outlet in an area known as Wat Teuk a few years ago. My family spent Bt10 million on the new shop only to find out later that we will be evicted from there by 2017," he said.

According to Pak Klong San Police Station investigator Pol Lt-Colonel Prapas Khiaoprapassorn, surveillance-camera recordings show Chatchawal paying respect to a riverside shrine at about 3pm on Monday before softly submerging himself in the Chao Phraya.

Pollakorn said his father did not tell anyone what he planned to do.

"I began to suspect something wrong must have happened only after finding that my dad had put his personal documents, mobile phone, and ornaments in his locked drawers," he said. The family alerted police. Yesterday, Chatchawal's body was retrieved from the Chao Phraya River near Wat Rakang.

His family does not suspect any foul play in his death.




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