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Family questions suicide as explanation for Burmese maid’s death in Thailand

The family of the dead Burmese woman shows her photo while an official of the Burmese Embassy speaks to reporters on the suspicious death at the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok on Tuesday. (Photo: Supplied)

A Burmese family asked Thailand’s Crime Suppression Division (CSD) on Tuesday to probe the death of its youngest child at her employer’s house in Ratchaburi province as they have doubts about local police’s suicide report.

Aung Ko Than, a labour official at the Burmese Embassy in Bangkok, brought Pala, 47, and her daughter Lu Kwa, 22, to the CSD headquarters in the Thai capital to seek an investigation into the death of Wan Papiaw, 17, whom police in Ban Pong district of Ratchaburi described as suicide on 6 August. The family believes she was murdered.

Lu Kwa said she and her younger sister had worked as maids for the same employer in Ban Pong and had always been pressured and verbally abused over their work.

Lu Kwa fled the house late on 6 August and learned the next day her sister was found dead at the house.

She was not convinced by local police’s conclusion that her sister had committed suicide with the employer’s gun. She said her sister did not know how to use a pistol and it was unlikely she had access to the weapon.

Aung Ko Than said Wan was left-handed but the wound was on the right temple. Besides, there were two spent shells at the scene, raising the question whether it was possible for the woman to fire twice at herself, he said.

The Burmese official also said that the gun found at the scene was black but later local police’s report indicated it was silver-grey.

Besides, he complained that the body had not been examined in compliance with regulations. The Burmese Embassy tried unsuccessfully to seek more information from interrogators at the Ban Pong police station.

Receiving the complaint, Police Colonel Pumin Pumpanmouang, a CSD superintendent, said CSD investigators would go to the crime scene to check the case.

This story was originally published by the Bangkok Post here.