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Pattaya Daily News

16 January 2010 :: 14:01:34 pm 7644

Investigative Journalism: Insight into Singaporean’s Murder

Friday the 15th of January 2010, I was awoken at 8:30am by an intriguing phone call from a Singaporean woman requesting that I help her translate to a motorbike taxi. She informed me that she was here in Thailand following the murder of a Singaporean businessman on the 13th of January.
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Remembering the case, I told her to go to the police station in Sriracha where the murder was being investigated, however; she then went on to inform me that she was a journalist from the Shin Min Daily News in Singapore (For the purpose of this feature we will call her Miss Nah). I begrudgingly agreed to accompany her on an investigation of the case, knowing full well that if she was to start poking around by herself – not speaking a word of Thai – she would get very little or exceedingly inaccurate information.

Prior to contacting me, Miss Nah had been driving around the Sriracha area – aimlessly looking for the murder scene – with a local motorbike taxi driver Mr. Cam (alias) who could not speak a word of English. After talking to Mr. Cam I determined that he was in fact exceedingly polite and helpful, so I asked him to bring Miss Nah to the Pattaya Daily News office so we could speak in person.

Upon Miss Nah’s arrival at my office she informed me that she had been sent to Pattaya by the Shin Min Daily News to investigate the murder of Mr. Teo Ah Yau. The homicide rate of Singapore is one of the lowest in the world and so this incident is of national interest. Miss Nah informed me that Mr. Yau had been a factory worker in Singapore, retiring to Thailand on a mediocre pension that both Miss Nah and I agreed would not keep him living comfortably in Thailand for very long. After talking together for quite some time I agreed to help Miss Nah with her investigations.

I decided to employ the services of the young Mr. Cam, who had been helping Miss Nah initially. Given his superior knowledge of the area and its residents I felt that he could be a real asset to our investigation. We decided it best not to question the officers involved in the case as they most certainly would have given very little away and that which they did would have been public relations orientated. Luckily for us Mr. Cam knew one of the leaders of the rescue teams involved in the case and was willing to introduce us to him. Arriving at the Sriracha Police Station we met with the rescue officer Mr. Bal (alias), who informed us that he was just about to leave for Chon-Buri Hospital to retrieve the body of Mr. Yau.

Whilst we were talking to Mr. Bal two friends of the murderers arrived at the station with a basket of fruit for the suspects. Unfortunately for them the three suspects had been relocated to the Chon-Buri prison.

I approached the two friends and asked them for their opinions, to which the male friend replied “I do not think Miss Au is a bad person, she’s a woman, no way can a woman do something like that.” The friends were convinced that the two males involved were the ones responsible for the murder. A rescue officer standing nearby overheard our conversation and stated that Miss Au was the one responsible for tying the man up and gagging him.

We asked Mr. Bal to escort us to the victim’s house so that we could view the scene. Arriving at the Sriracha Land village – a quiet residential neighbourhood – we went to Mr Yau’s residence. At the scene – a semidetached house with room for one car at the front – we tried to get a statement from his neighbour, unfortunately he was not home.

We did however question Mrs Dtim, the local shop owner, located one block up the road.

Mrs Dtim explained that Mr. Yau was very reclusive, staying inside his house most of the time and not talking to his neighbours. She stated that Mr. Yau had been a regular customer in the past but had recently stopped coming. Mrs Dtim revealed that she had observed him taking several different women back to his home in the past, telling some residence that they were merely relatives.

Miss Au was reportedly Mr. Yau’s latest girlfriend who had been coming to visit him on several occasions. Mrs Dtim explained that Mr. Yau had another girlfriend before who is alleged to have been a friend of Miss Au’s. A few reliable witnesses have confirmed that she had been receiving money from Mr. Yau under the pretence that she was carrying his baby.

Before we ventured on to the crime scene, we stopped briefly at another local shop that reportedly served the murderers food, immediately following the dumping of the body.

The shop owner Mrs Pah Toy explained to us that on the night of the incident she had witnessed the culprits walking quickly from the direction of the murder scene, arguing quietly about something. Assuming they were merely a drunken couple Mrs Pah Toy explained she dismissed the sighting until hearing of the murder. She stated that the local newspaper had reported that she had served them some food, which she explained was false.

The murder scene was a baron patch of land with no shrubbery and a dusty track running around its edge reportedly used by village construction vehicles. We asked Mr. Bal to show us the point at which Mr. Yau had been dumped and any other locations of note, whilst we proceeded to take pictures.

Rescue officers and some low ranking police informed us that the murder was solely related to the robbery of Mr Yau, stating that the victims intended to kill Mr Yau and steal the money and possessions from his home. It was also revealed that Mr. Seu (one of the male offenders) was a heavy alcoholic who favoured the strong “Low Kow” brand of Thai whiskey and had previously spent two years in prison on robbery related charges.

At 3:00pm we arrived at the Chon-Buri Hospital with the intention of meeting Mrs. Orn Anong, Mr. Yau’s wife, who had flown in from Singapore with some family members to collect Mr. Yau’s body and take it to their village temple for cremation.

Due to the paperwork being incorrectly managed by the Singaporean Embassy and the unusual Thai system, Mrs. Anong was unable to send the body of her deceased husband back to Singapore that day.

A female nurse explained to us the procedure for which a body has to go through before it can be released from the hospital:
Firstly: the police order the body be sent to hospital for an autopsy. Secondly; the relatives then take the paperwork to the embassy for processing. Thirdly; the paperwork and a letter from the embassy is then returned to the hospital. Finally; the hospital releases the body into the care of the family.

Mrs. Anong and her family had difficulties in this process as the Singaporean embassy had failed to translate some of the documents into Thai, as is required. I understand the fact that all government offices have their own procedures and policies but in this case it was a simply lack of clear communication that has caused an innocent family more grief in their time of mourning than was ultimately necessary. Making matters worse, Mrs Anong’s daughter had tried to communicate with the hospital administrators, confusing the situation further.

Maybe if the body was sent to a hospital in Bangkok the process even in the event of a mistake would be made a lot easier due to the proximity to all the embassies. Mrs Anong and her family will now have to visit the Sriracha Police Station once again and make the trip to the Singaporean Embassy in Bangkok on Monday again before they are able to remove their loved ones body for funeral proceedings.


Following our visit to the Chon-Buri Hospital I left Miss Nah with our ever helpful motorbike taxi driver who took her back to the Sriracha Police Station. I sincerely hope that she is able to persist with her investigation and that she has learnt and gained some experience in how to deal with the Thai people, government departments and culture.

May God allow Mr Yau’s soul to Rest In Peace granting him eternal rest.


Shocking Brutal Murder Case Unravelled

Following the recent arrest of two suspects involved with the brutal murder and robbery of a Singaporean businessman the police have now managed to successfully apprehend the third person involved in the case.


Follow-Up: Brutal Murderer Apprehended

On Wednesday the 13th of January 2010, a Singaporean businessman was found dead in Sriracha, near Pattaya. Police have now – following an intensive investigation – arrested two of the three culprits involved in the vicious attack.


Brutal Murder of Singaporian Near Pattaya

At 08.30am on 13th January 2010, Police arrived at the scene of a crime in the vicinity of Sriracha, after receiving a report from Mr. Narong Angkarn, who found the body of a man near a house in the village..



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