CityNews – Police are searching for ten black magic practitioners who are believed to be involved in selling body parts to create amulets and potions.
On April 21st, following a tip from a friend of 31-year-old Chalerm Duangthong, the previous abbot of Wat Huay Dinji, a temple in Doi Lor District, Chiang Mai, who believed that corpses of up to four babies were buried under a Brahma shrine, police discovered the body of one foetus, since named Wanpen. Wanpen’s skeletal remains were clothed in a baby girl’s dress.
Chalerm, who was defrocked last year for use of narcotics and alcohol, claimed that he purchased the remains for the purposes of making amulets and potions from a 70 year old woman Soomboon Neramit, whose husband, Sutat Neramit, 58, is the undertaker at Chiang Mai’s Hai Ya sub-district.
On April 23rd, when police went to Hai Ya, Somboon was not be found, but her husband was there. After a brief search, police discovered 16 bags of human remains. Initially thinking that they were waste from Maharaj’s medical college or hospital, the police soon discovered that Maharaj, as of two years ago, no longer sent their human remains to Hai Ya crematorium.
A warrant was issued and Somboon soon reported herself to the police station, claiming that she didn’t know Chalerm and denied all knowledge of selling human remains.
However, yesterday, April 27th, police region 5 said they were tracing around 10 people living in Chiang Mai who are believed to be involved.
After further investigation police have speculated that Somboon receives human remains, both adult and foetus, from numerous hospitals from the north who pay her 1,000 baht to cremate remains from medical studies, surgically removed organs, and other body parts as well as unborn foetuses. It is believed that numerous monks and black magic practitioners would then place orders with her. Police say that she receives between hundreds to thousands of baht for each part sold.
Police have since discovered that these human remains are often used in black magic rituals, to make into amulets, love potions or any number of other uses. According to evidence, police believe that there are ten separate people, monks or businesses who trade in these remains.
Most of the customers are from China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. Often tour guides will bring their clients to these sellers who will pay the tour guides ten percent commission. Sometimes sellers will even be invited to go abroad to directly sell their amulets and potions.
Yesterday Somboon and her husband were officially arrested for, ‘receiving, transferring, and disposing of garbage without permission’. They both admitted to their crime and will be sentenced to up to six months in jail, fined up to 50,000 baht or both.
Both have refused to admit to any involvement in the trafficking of human remains.
Assistant Professor Dr. Nisit Wattanatchariya, director of Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital insisted that the human remains found in the Hai Ya crematorium is not from Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital. He says that Maharaj sends out such remains to a crematorium outside of the city two to three times per week and have never had any problems with the temple or the local community.
As to Chalerm, there are no charges pending as, following an autopsy, the foetus discovered at Wat Huay Dinji, Wanpen, was not yet born. However, Charlerm may be arrested for ‘exaggerated advertising’ on his website where he made exaggerated promises to buyers of his amulets.
The police say that they will investigate practices of all hospitals, since by law, they are only allowed to send their human remains to accredited crematoriums with permits.
Many residents have since informed the police that there are numerous websites and Facebook pages owned by these ten wanted sellers, with gruesome images posted showing heads being stewed, sexual organs being joined together, and other horrific methods to create special magic potions.
The police are concerned that with many exports of such items and so many foreigners coming to Thailand to seek them, this may ruin Thailand’s reputation.
Local police have been tasked to monitor any suspicious people who may be involved in this trade.
The police are collecting all pictures posted online as evidence in order to gain search warrants.
Sutat Neramit, Somboon’s husband told reporters that the reason the police discovered the 16 bags of remains was because he had delayed their cremation due to the Chiang Mai-wide request by authorities to ban all burning during the time of bad pollution.
This investigation is ongoing.