A crowd turned up at the residence of the Khunploem family in tambon Saensuk of Muang district in Chon Buri province on Tuesday to mark the 77th birthday of convicted killer Somchai Khumploem, better known as Kamnan Poh and formerly dubbed the "God Father" of the East.
The guests included local politicians and government officials.
They were welcomed by Somchai's wife, Mrs Satil, chairwoman of the Women Development Group of Chon Buri, his sons Sonthaya Khunploem, a former culture minister, Witthaya, chairman of the Chon Buri Provincial Administration Organisation, and Itthipol, the Pattaya City mayor, and Mrs Sukumol, a former culture minister and Sonthaya's wife.
Somchai, a former mayor of the Saensuk Municipality, is serving a prison sentence and is currently in Chon Buri Hospital in the custody of Corrections Department officers. He is 77 years old today.
Booths inside the Khunploem residence compound offered free food, including vegetarian dishes, and drinks to all guests.
In 2004, Somchai was sentenced to 25 years in prison for masterminding the murder of Prayoon Sitthichoke at a wedding reception in March 2003. The prison sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court in absentia after he fled.
Somchai went on the run in early 2006, shortly before he was also sentenced to five years and four months in jail in absentia by the Supreme Court for corruption involving the 1992 sale of land in a forest reserve in tambon Khao Mai Kaew for use as a garbage dump.
He was arrested at the Lat Krabang tollgate in 2013, after nearly seven years on the run, while he was heading back to Chon Buri from a hospital in Bangkok he had attended for treatment for heart disease.
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