Local news

Hilltribe woman claims TV wrongly identified her as drug runner

By Thai Newsroom Reporters

A HMONG WOMAN was ultimately appalled at a TV news coverage which broadcast a picture of her and identified her by name as a drug trafficking suspect on the loose.

Suree Khiriwattanakul, the Hmong villager of Phop Phra district of Tak province, yesterday filed a complaint with local police alleging that the TV news report has wrongly identified her as the suspected drug trafficker who narrowly escaped arrest in Fang district of Chiang Mai hundreds of kilometres away.

The bewildered Hmong woman admitted the face and the first name of the female suspect shown on the Chiang Mai TV channel in question was obviously her own and that the last name, Sae Lee, identified in the news report was a previous one she had used until she was naturalized as Thai about two decades ago.

According to the unconfirmed news report, Suree was seen driving a pickup truck to escape, leaving behind her alleged accomplice, the male suspect identified as Pakorn, who was extrajudicially gunned down by the police during a brief shoot-out and a haul of 1.7 million speed pills on the road seized.

Suree, who makes a living by raising silkworms for silk weaving industry, categorically denied she had ever been involved in drug trafficking or known the slain suspect and said she did not know how to drive.

According to a deputy police superintendent, the Hmong woman’s pre-naturalized identity might probably have been used in illegal fashion, prompting the police to launch investigation to find out how it could eventually happen as she has related.


Top: Pink and blue headscarves, red velvet skirts – Flower Hmong girls. Photo: Alpha (CC BY-SA 2.0)


TNR staff
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