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Paibul BOONTOD

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

   
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Journalist - Revenge
Number of victims: 3
Date of murder: November 18, 2001
Date of birth: 1943
Victims profile: Suchart Chanchanawiwat / Setha Sareerawat / Somboon Saenwiset (rival reporters)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Mukdahan, Thailand
Status: Committed uicide by shooting himself the same day
 
 
 
 
 
 

On November 18, 2001, a journalist in Thailand sprayed rival reporters with bullets over allegations of bribe-taking, killing three before ending his own life with a bullet in the forehead.

Three other journalists and a lawyer were wounded in the shooting on a floating restaurant in Mukdahan, 400 miles northeast of Bangkok. 

The gunman, identified as Paibul Boontod, 58, was the president of the Mukdahan provincial journalists' association.

One of the dead men was Suchart Chanchanawiwat, an editor of Chao Mukdahan, a local biweekly newspaper that had published several articles accusing an unidentified group of local journalists of bribe-taking and extortion.

The report had caused a rift between two groups of journalists in the province leading to the meeting at the restaurant where the rampage occurred.

 
 

Thai journalist shoots three rivals dead and turns gun on himself

The News Letter

November 20, 2001

A JOURNALIST in northeastern Thailand sprayed rival reporters with bullets, over allegations of bribe-taking - killing three - before shooting himself in the head.

Three other journalists and a lawyer were wounded in the shooting, on a floating restaurant, late Sunday, in Mukdahan, northeast of Bangkok, Police Captain Sombat Sripon, a provincial police officer, told The Associated Press.

An 11mm pistol was found by the side of the attacker, Paibul Boontod, 58, president of the Mukdahan provincial journalists' association.

One of the dead was Suchart Chanchanawiwat, an editor of Chao Mukdahan, a local bi-weekly newspaper which had published articles accusing an unidentified group of journalists of bribe-taking and extortion.

The report had caused conflict between two groups of journalists in the province, who were holding a reconciliation meeting at the restaurant, on the Mekong River to end the dispute.

The other dead men were Setha Sareerawat, a reporter for Naew Na newspaper and Channel 3 television, and Somboon Saenwiset, who worked for Daily News. Paibul reported for Thai Rath newspaper and Channel 7.

Two of the journalists died at the restaurant. Paibul and another died later in hospital.

Thailand has one of the most active and free presses in Southeast Asia, but intimidation of reporters and corruption remains a serious problem, particularly in the provinces.

 
 

Four journalists killed

Reporters Without Borders - Thailand annual report 2002

On the morning of 10 April 2001, Withayut Sangsopit, businessman and presenter of a program on Fourth Army Radio, was shot by five bullets from a 9mm pistol in Surat Thani (south of the country). According to a police officer questioned by the local correspondent of the Bangkok Post, two or three unidentified assailants shot the 56-year old journalist in front of the radio stationís offices. Nobody has claimed responsibility, and police think that Mr. Sangsophitís death could be linked to his professional activity at the radio station.

In his very popular program, "Up to Date with the World", Mr. Sangsopit recently denounced the involvement of local authorities in financial irregularities in the procurement of a new rubbish dump by the municipality. Mr. Sangsopit, a former correspondent with the newspaper Bangkok Daily News in Surat Thani, had been under police protection for more than three months after receiving death threats. Anonymous phone calls threatened him with reprisals if he did not stop denouncing corruption among the authorities.

In September 1999, a bomb was found in front of the radio station. About a month later, a mixture of excrement and asphalt was thrown at the windows of his company. On 23 April, it was learned that police arrested two suspects in possession of 9mm pistols. One of them, Kosol Ohthong, a city councilman implicated by Mr. Sangsopit in a corruption scandal, was believed to have ordered the murder.

A conflict among journalists in the city of Mukdahan (northeast of the country) ended with the death of four reporters. On 18 November, Suchart Chanchanawiwat, managing editor of the local biweekly Chao Mukdahan (People of Mukdahan), Setha Sareerawat, reporter with the newspaper Naew Na and Channel 3 television, and Somboon Saenwiset, correspondent with the newspaper Daily News, were murdered by Paibul Boontod, also a journalist, in Mukdahan. Three other journalists and a lawyer were wounded.

This incident occurred in a restaurant where representatives of two journalistsí groups in conflict were trying to resolve their disagreements. Paibul Boontod burst into the restaurant and fired his gun at his fellow reporters, then shot himself in the head with the last bullet.

Paibul Boontod, correspondent with the newspaper Thairath and president of the Journalistsí Association of this province on the border with Vietnam, had been implicated in several articles published in Chao Mukdahan in bribery and embezzlement affairs involving the Associationís management. One police officer said that tracts had circulated the week before this incident where each of the two groups of journalists accused the other. Reporters without Borders considers that Suchart Chanchanawiwat was killed for his writings.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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