Thai Philanthropist Influencer Admits He Was Duped By ‘Wealthy’ Khmer Beggar
ANN/THE NATION – A social media influencer famous for helping the underprivileged has admitted to being tricked by a Cambodian beggar who allegedly earns more than 150,000 THB per month in Thailand.
Gunnathat Pongpaiboonwet, better known as Gun Jompalang, said on Saturday he decided to help a beggar nicknamed “Uncle V” who was seen at Wat Sri Amata Nakhon in Phan Thong district, Chonburi.
Writing on Facebook, Gun said he was saddened by photos posted online of an elderly man bent into a V-shape due to his disability.
In an effort to help, he contacted friends and the Social Development and Human Security Office in Chonburi.
But an hour later, Gun informed his Facebook followers that he had been duped.
Gun said he contacted the Chonburi Social Development Office, which identified the man as Cambodian national Gome Phormee, 47.
The bureau said the man repeatedly snuck across the border with his wife, daughter and mother-in-law.
He was arrested and deported three times in 2015 before being arrested again on Saturday.
The Thai Rath news site reported that Gome and his family members earned about THB 5,000 a day by begging separately in various markets.
She added that her handicap was real but did not prevent her from walking.
Locals told Thai Rath that the man had been begging in the locality for 10 years but was living a good life with money to buy expensive prawns, among other things.
Police arrested Gome, his wife and daughter and detained them at Muang Chon Buri police station pending deportation.
The mother-in-law was found with legal travel documents and will therefore not be deported.