Love and death in the Land of False Smiles

Published:  3 Oct at 6 PM
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Tagged: Thailand, Money
Every so often another horrendous tale of lost life caused by love in Thailand hits the international media.

The latest horror story features an unfortunate British expat who’d retired to Baan Phai in the sunny southeast of Thailand after connecting with a Thai woman on an internet dating site. Stephen Phillips, 59, a former Network Rail supervisor based in equally sunny Torquay, had possibly been too busy reading messages from Wilaiwan Parncharlie, 29, to look before he leaped via Thailand’s many expat forums.

Stephen and Wilaiwan married in a Buddhist ceremony in 2010, surprising his expat friends, who’d received the impression from Stephen that the relationship wasn’t going as well as he’d been led to expect. His friends believed he was being naïve and gullible, and were even more surprised when he and Wilaiwan tied the knot officially on 9 August.

The following day, Stephen went to a local lawyer and willed his Torquay house, currently occupied by his mother, over to his new wife on his and his mothers’ death. He also left her his life savings of £220,000, held in long-term deposit accounts.

Two weeks later, Stephen was shot to death as he arrived home on his motorbike, with his wife now under arrest for arranging his murder with local hitmen to whom she had paid a deposit of £6,000. In addition, before her arrest, Wiliawan had attempted to have her mother-in-law come to Thailand, with local police now suspecting she had arranged to have her killed as well to get her hands on the Torquay house.

Police believe Wiliawan had used Stephen’s own money to pay his assassins, who are now suspected to be in Cambodia. Yet another tragic case of ‘if it seems too good to be true, it aint’ true’.
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