Pattaya Daily News

19 January 2008 :: 20:01:47 pm 12131

The ‘Land Of Smiles‘ Is One Of The Most Dangerous Places ?

At least 17 Britons have been murdered in Thailand since 2003 – including Toby Charnaud, brutally slain by his Thai wife.
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Now, his family want to know why UK Government is so reluctant to warn that the ‘Land of Smiles‘ is one of the most dangerous places on earth for its British residents
With so many Britons murdered in Thailand, why does our Government not warn of the dangers faced there?

His fingers trembled as he lit another cigarette, the previous one still smouldering in the ashtray. His hands felt clammy and he was sweating despite the chill blast from the air-conditioning. There was a heavy feeling in the pit of his stomach. This was the most terrible thing he had done in his life, and the waiting was the hardest part.”

This is the opening paragraph of a short story called “Rainfall”, written in 2003 by Toby Charnaud, an English expat living in the upmarket beach resort of Hua Hin, Thailand. Charnaud recounts, with a sense of impending dread, the tale of a British man named Guy who plans to murder his Thai wife. Yet, this sobering parable is turned on its head, as the Thai wife has her husband killed instead.

Two years later, on 27 March 2005, Charnaud himself was murdered in horrific circumstances. The 41-year-old was lured into the house near Hua Hin that he had bought for his Thai ex-wife, Panadda Laoruang, to live in. There, after a home-made gun failed to kill him, three men hired by Laoruang beat him to death with a heavy object. His body was partially cremated in a fire pit, cut into small pieces and scattered around a nearby forest. Charnaud’s parents, Jeremy and Sarah, were then forced to endure the insensitivity of a graceless British Embassy, the hiring of private detectives and countless DNA tests to fully ascertain, months later, that the meagre charred remains belonged to their son.

In the gruelling task of discovering the awful fate of their son, the Charnauds discovered a Thailand not seen in its tourist authorities’ glossy brochures. Yet what also emerges from the death of Charnaud and many others is the fact that Thailand, despite its popularity with the British, is among the most dangerous places in the world for UK visitors – a fact that the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has been reluctant to publicise.

Born and raised a farmer’s son, Charnaud only ever seemed to have one destiny growing up. “We always thought he was going to be a farmer,” says his father. We’re sitting in the kitchen of a cosy country farmhouse in the tiny Wiltshire village of West Kington, where Charnaud and Som (Laoruang’s Thai nickname) spent two happy years together.

Read from the original here

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Crime News

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