News going viral about a murdered victim being chopped up and his flesh served to hungry customers at a vegetarian restaurant in Lat Krabang, near Bangkok recently has been determined to be a fake news, according to Thai Police.
While the police confirmed the murder did take place at the restaurant, other gory aspects of the news like the victim’s body was chopped up and his flesh served with noodle to restaurant’s customers did not happen as claimed.
“No one ate noodles at the restaurant as the place has been temporarily closed down for renovation works during the said incident,” the investigation officer in charge of the case, Col Charnwit Pumpho, told Bernama.
He also disputed claims by the news report that it was the customers who lodged the police report about the crime as well as the discovery of human flesh in the noodles, saying the restaurant did not have any customers at that time as it was closed down for renovations.
The police report according to Charnwit, was actually filed by nearby residents who were disturbed by a foul smell emanating from the restaurant, which then led to the discovery of a human body inside a septic tank near the restaurant’s kitchen.
Due to false depiction about the murder, the news article about the case was viralled by social media users in Thailand and other neighbouring countries, including Malaysia, prompting worries from Thai authorities about its impact on the country’s image and tourism industry.
When the police received the report more than a week ago, they went to the restaurant and found pieces of human brain and blood splattered inside the restaurant’s kitchen.
Upon further investigation, police found the partly decomposed body of a man with multiple stab wounds inside a septic tank nearby the kitchen and later identified the body as belonging to 61-year old Prasert Inpathom.
The police have since picked up a 68-year-old suspect, who allegedly was the last man to be seen with the victim.
Meanwhile, Thailand’s acting Immigration Police Chief Maj Gen Surachate Hakpal said the authorities will take a closer look at the impact of the fake news on Thailand.
The immigration police chief who also heads Thailand’s Action Taskforce for Information Technology Crime Suppression (TACTICS), said the authorities will check the purpose behind the sharing of the fake news and whether they intended to cause damage to the country’s image.
“We will check whether they (those who shared the fake news) violated the Computer Crimes Act,” he said.