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Thai’s Economy Triggers Suicides

October 5, 1997

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ Thailand’s economic crisis has triggered at least 13 suicides, some of them by people who first killed their families, a newspaper reported Sunday.

After a decade-long economic boom, Thailand is undergoing a market shake-up that has seen the nation’s currency plummet 30 percent since July. Bad property loans have forced closing of many financial institutions.

The government won’t release its annual suicide report until the end of the year, but the Bangkok Post said it tracked 13 suicides related to the crisis.

In the latest one, Peter Cheongtai, a Hong Kong-Chinese, leaped off Bangkok’s World Trade Center on Oct. 1, the paper said, and police blamed the suicide on business failures.

Some of the other cases included:

_A bank employee who shot his wife, 4-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter before killing himself in July. The two children survived with serious injuries.

_A laborer no longer able to support his family who strangled his 5-year-old daughter before killing himself in July.

_A former governor and close aide to Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh who shot himself in the men’s room of a police station Aug. 10 after his business went bankrupt.

_A bank employee who hanged himself because he could not pay off debts after the baht’s value fell.

_A policeman whose wife left him because of financial hardships shot himself and his two children.

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