Bangkok Post - - SUNDAY PEOPLE -

Mix­ing in the wrong cir­cles

Sek Loso’s former wife, Wiphakorn “Kan” Sukpi­mai, is fac­ing new claims that she dab­bles in drugs af­ter an at­tempt to em­bar­rass her former lover by post­ing im­ages of him tak­ing il­licit drugs back­fired.

Kan last week posted im­ages of her former lover, Sia Po Chatharnon, tak­ing drugs. She added she was help­ing po­lice with in­quiries into claims that Sia Po and his “gang” liked to give un­wit­ting vic­tims drugs, film them se­cretly, and black­mail them.

Kan, whose younger brother Dechu­dom was ar­rested with the drug ice in his pos­ses­sion in late Au­gust, and who ousted former hus­band Sek as a hard drug user a few years ago be­fore his ad­mis­sion to hos­pi­tal for detox, sug­gested she her­self had fallen vic­tim to the gang’s en­trap­ment. How­ever, de­spite that, she in­sisted she did not take il­licit drugs, or sell them.

“The law is com­ing to get them and I will teach him and his en­tire clan a les­son,” she growled.

“I am work­ing with Of­fice of Nar­cotics Con­trol Board and Khok Kram po­lice,” she said, adding Sia Po and his min­ions had at­tempted to black­mail her in ret­ri­bu­tion for a debt dis­pute be­tween the pair which Kan has taken to court.

“I tried to get the money back and al­most fell vic­tim to their trap. They tried to trick me into get­ting in deeper and deeper,” she said, with­out giv­ing de­tail. “These days they are try­ing to trick peo­ple into gam­bling, but be­fore it was drugs. I have proven my in­no­cence to the board,” she said.

An ac­com­pa­ny­ing saga erupted last week in which the im­mi­gra­tion po­lice chief warned Sia Po, a former celebrity boxer and self-con­fessed high-stakes gam­bler, against en­cour­ag­ing Thais to gam­ble, af­ter Sia Po posted a so­cial me­dia im­age of him gam­bling in what he says was Cam­bo­dia.

Kan lodged two cases with the Min Buri Dis­trict Court in Au­gust seek­ing the re­turn from Sia Po of 60 mil­lion baht, in­clud­ing in­ter­est, which she lent him for a gam­bling and box­ing ven­ture.

In re­turn, Sia Po, who ad­mits he owes her money, posted what he says was an on­line chat where Kan de­manded he spend sev­eral nights a week with her gam­bling to get the money back, and urged him to clear the mat­ter with his wife.

The drugs saga reignites ten­sions be­tween Sia Po and Kan, former lovers who fell out af­ter he failed to pay back the debt and spurned her ad­vances. They last traded barbs in a joint tele­vi­sion in­ter­view in May in which the pair had to be kept apart by the host and looked close to com­ing to blows.

The fall­ing-out came af­ter Sia Po an­swered a dis­tress call from Kan on April 27 only to find 30 Khok Kram po­lice ly­ing in wait for him at her Bangkok home. Po­lice searched Sia Po and his younger as­sis­tant, found his friend was armed, and charged with pair with car­ry­ing a weapon in a pub­lic place.

Sia Po be­lieves Kan, an­gry about his un­paid debts to her, lured him to the house on false pre­tenses. He also al­leges she acted in ca­hoots with Wan Ubum­rung, in­flu­en­tial son of ex-politi­cian Wan­chalerm, af­ter he and Wan ar­gued, again over un­paid gam­bling debts.

Last week, hours af­ter Kan posted the im­age of Sia Po tak­ing drugs, he posted the im­age on his own so­cial me­dia ac­count and con­fessed it was him. Ad­mit­ting he had done wrong and was pre­pared to pay the price, he claimed he took the drugs in Cam­bo­dia about a month ago.

Up­stag­ing Kan fur­ther, he chal­lenged her to turn up at a po­lice sta­tion for a drugs test, which he was sure she would fail.

Sia Po, ac­com­pa­nied by his mother, then fronted a TV in­ter­view in which he ac­cused Kan of per­se­cut­ing him. Later, ac­com­pa­nied by the TV cam­eras, he took a urine test for drugs at Thong Lor sta­tion, which came back clean.

Kan, for her part, told a TV news show she was happy to take a test but at the mo­ment it was “not con­ve­nient”. The saga con­tin­ues.

Bank­ing on the breast

Ac­tor Navin “Tar” Yavapolkul has vowed to ramp up what he calls the coun­try’s first pri­vate milk bank for new­born moth­ers de­spite crit­i­cism from a vi­rol­o­gist that he could be pass­ing on dis­eases to new­borns in their later years.

Navin and his wife, Pas­sawee “Numwanz” Payak­bud, were at­tacked on so­cial me­dia last week af­ter pub­li­cis­ing their ef­forts to unite new­born moth­ers with too much breast milk and who want to do­nate, with those who are not lac­tat­ing enough, in a not-for-profit scheme aimed at help­ing the poor.

The cou­ple run the ven­ture from Numwanz’s anti-age­ing clinic in Bangkok where they were pic­tured with large banks of fridges con­tain­ing stored milk. Some of it is Numwanz’s own, which she pro­duces un­der the brand names Luca’s Mom and Luca’s Milk, named af­ter the cou­ple’s one year-old baby daugh­ter, Luca.

She also takes breast milk from donors who, like her, have more than enough to feed their own child and wish to help moth­ers who find it hard to pro­duce breast milk.

The cou­ple, who have spent at least 1 mil­lion baht on the ven­ture, also posted im­ages of young moth­ers who turn up to ob­tain do­nated sup­plies.

Numwanz says she at­taches her­self to the breast pump ev­ery three hours and finds one ses­sion can last up to two hours. An hour later, she has pro­duced more milk and needs to get on the pump again.

She pro­duces so much, partly with the aid of vi­ta­mins, that hus­band Tar is ask­ing her to limit each ses­sion to 40 min­utes so they can spend more time with each other and she can play a big­ger role in rais­ing their child.

The cou­ple say moth­ers turn up from all over the coun­try for their milk. Numwanz says most moth­ers have stopped pump­ing milk by the time their child turns one. She in­tends car­ry­ing on for a fur­ther 12 months to help moth­ers in need, even at the risk of weak­en­ing her own bones through cal­cium loss.

Not all re­ac­tion has been pos­i­tive. Crit­ics on so­cial me­dia, alarmed about the pos­si­bil­ity that the milk may trans­mit hid­den viruses if not screened prop­erly, last week asked if the cou­ple knew what they were do­ing or if they may un­wit­tingly be do­ing harm to oth­ers’ chil­dren. They asked if some moth­ers were clam­our­ing af­ter Numwanz’s milk be­cause she was mar­ried to an ac­tor, and fail­ing to take proper pre­cau­tions.

Yong Poovo­rawan, head of Chu­la­longkorn Univer­sity’s Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence in Clin­i­cal Virol­ogy, said a mother’s milk should ide­ally be con­sumed by her own child and no one else.

“Mother’s milk is a bi­o­log­i­cal prod­uct or bod­ily se­cre­tion which can pass on dis­eases, some of which may not show up for 20 years,” he said.

“We give these things to oth­ers only when strictly nec­es­sary in medicine. Ev­ery time you make a milk do­na­tion you need to get tested for a wide range of dis­eases to make sure you are healthy. Just be­cause you were okay last week doesn’t mean you are this week. Even a breast pump can be dan­ger­ous if a small sore erupts and blood es­capes. The in­vest­ment cost of all this test­ing is huge,” he said.

Re­spond­ing to the crit­ics, Navin said a doc­tor at his wife’s clinic is knowl­edge­able about virol­ogy and tests all milk donors and re­cip­i­ents. Far from be­ing de­terred by the warn­ings, his “milk bank” would step up its ac­tiv­ity.

“We don’t sit around crit­i­cis­ing ... we would rather be mea­sured by deeds, not words,” he said.

“Noth­ing in this life is with­out risk. Only one thing worse than be­ing a mum with no money to raise her new­born, it’s not hav­ing milk to feed the child ei­ther.

“I am not re­spon­si­ble for the crazes peo­ple adopt. I take ex­cep­tion to the idea that Thai so­ci­ety is be­sot­ted by celebri­ties and will do what­ever they say. Celebri­ties are ev­ery­where, and the real test is what re­spon­si­bil­ity they feel to­wards so­ci­ety and what sac­ri­fices they make. We will carry on match­ing mums with plenty and those with not enough, and if gov­ern­ment wants to step in and help, it is wel­come,” he said.

Pas­sawee ‘Numwanz’ Payak­bud

Wiphakorn ‘Kan’ Sukpi­mai and Api­rak ‘Sia Po’ Chatharnon, in­set

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