The Thai government is scrambling to tighten regulations on the sale and purchase of toxic chemicals following a wave of poisoning deaths that left at least 15 people dead. The tragedy has also ensnared a famous actress, who was caught up in the aftermath of the crime.
According to local media reports on May 8th, the suspect in the poisoning deaths, 36-year-old Saratt Rangsiyakulpan, has been arrested on charges of killing at least 14 people using a highly toxic chemical called “chet-sa-ngay”. One victim narrowly escaped with their life. Following a police investigation, the number of victims has now risen to 15.
The Thai government is responding to the crisis by tightening regulations around the sale and purchase of “chet-sa-ngay”. New rules will require purchasers to clearly state the intended use of the chemical, and online sales will be restricted. Only 14 companies in Thailand import the chemical, and stores that keep more than 100 kg of it in stock are required to report it to the government.
Police are also investigating whether there are any accomplices to the crimes. The ex-husband of the suspect, a police officer, has been brought in for questioning. In addition, over 100 people who purchased the same toxic chemical have been summoned for questioning. Among them is popular actress Preechaya Pongthananikorn, who explained that she purchased the chemical to remove a reptile that was attacking her pet dog.
The suspect, Saratt Rangsiyakulpan, was previously arrested on April 25th for the murder of a 32-year-old woman in the Lat Chabang River. Further investigations revealed his involvement in at least 10 other poisoning cases.
The tragic events in Thailand have shocked the nation and sparked calls for stricter regulations on toxic chemicals. The investigation is ongoing, and authorities are determined to bring all those responsible to justice.