August 29, 2011

Bangkok and Pattaya Crime - A Smorgasbord of Ideas for the Writer

Another Drug Bust (courtesy Pattaya Daily News)

It was most humbling for my flash fiction piece Raid on Soi 5 to get accepted at the Flash Fiction Offensive, especially since there is always a lot of kickass stories on the site. It's a tale of a drug deal gone bad amidst the sleazy underbelly of Bangkok's Sukhumvit Road (where I work). The only reason I can fathom that my story was up to par is because there is no shortage of fodder for the crime/thriller author in Bangkok and Pattaya. There's a steady stream of news about ladyboys robbing short-timers, massive drug busts, and even crazies pulling a gun at one of the Embassies. Writer's block for crime writers is virtually impossible if you live in this maelstrom, just ask Jake Needham.

Here's a wild story descibed in the The Nation that happened recently down in Pattaya:

A former Syrian Army commando has been arrested in connection with the murder of Charles Edmund Jones, late president of the World Croquet Federation, in Jones's rented condominium in Chon Buri's Jomtien area on Monday night.

The New Zealander's body was discovered in the condominium with multiple stab wounds on Tuesday.
Provincial Police Region 2 chief Lt-General Thangai Prasajaksatru and Pattaya Police superintendent Col Nanthawut Suwanla-ong yesterday presented the suspect, 21-year-old Mohamad Shanar Ryad, at a press conference along with the victim's notebook, cell phones and wristwatch, which were reportedly stolen, as well as a pocket knife they alleged was the murder weapon.

Ryad reportedly told police he met Jones on August 19 in South Pattaya. He said Jones invited him to smoke marijuana with him in his room and paid him Bt400 to perform oral sex on him. Ryad claimed that on Monday night, Jones invited him to his room again, but the pair got into an argument, during which Jones pulled a knife on him and attempted to sexually assault him. According to police, Ryad admitted to using his pocket knife to stab the victim about 20 times before fleeing with Jones's valuables and hiding at the room of Ryad's Thai girlfriend in Soi Chalermphrakiat 19.
How can you not write a story about this? It would probably be difficult to keep it under 1,000 words. This was the same week that MP Chuvit exposed an alleged police-run illegal casino here in Bangkok. I might be a bit timid to write about the casino caper for fear of getting whacked by the poo yai of the place. Nevertheless, you can always adjust the names and locations to protect the guilty.

The excellent author Christopher Moore argued that Thailand may have a reputation for international fugitives, but it may be unjustified. However, the longer I stay here, the crazier things seem to get.

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