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A Chinese businessman has been arrested for allegedly pushing his wife down a ravine in Ubon Ratchathani in the hope of inheriting her assets worth Bt100 million, police said.
Pol Colonel Charnchai Innara, commander of the Khong Chiam police station, said Yu Xiaodong, 33, was arrested on Sunday on charges of attempting to kill his wife, Wang Nan, 32.
Charnchai said police sought an arrest warrant against Yu shortly after his wife reported that her husband had pushed her down the Alexander the Great ravine about 300 metres from the Pha Taem ravine inside Pha Taem National Park in Khong Chiam district on June 9.
The ravine is about 34 metres high but Wang had the fortune to fall into a thick layer of tree branches before reaching the ground. She was severely injured with multiple broken bones but her three-month pregnancy was safe.
Charnchai said police found the husband was suspicious because as rescuers helped Wang, he remained at a distance from the scene.
An interpreter overheard Wang talking over the phone to her husband, asking him why he pushed her.
Charnchai said police also found that the husband gave conflicting accounts about what he claimed to be accident, but for the sake of safety of the wife, they initially told reporters that it was an accident.
Charnchai said Wang was initially under constant watch by her husband while at Sappasit Prasong Ubon Ratchathani Hospital and so she dared not speak to police.
The wife later asked her doctors to find a way to keep the husband away, and the hospital informed him that he could visit her only during certain hours of each day.
After the wife had time to reflect alone and her condition improved, she contacted police via her interpreter to provide a new account.
She told police that Yu pushed her down the ravine. She said she could not inform them earlier because Yu was always with her beside the hospital’s bed and had threatened to kill her if she talked.
Charnchai said the couple have been living in Bangkok for three years, running an import and export businesses between China and Thailand and visiting the provinces in their free time.
Charnchai said all of the couple’s assets belong to the wife and the husband came from a poor family. He later accumulated a huge debt and asked his wife to help him repay it, but she only agreed to pay half. That prompted him to attempt to kill her for all of her assets, Charnchai said.
Police will on Tuesday seek a court’s approval to extend Yu’s detention pending further investigation before arraigning him, Charnchai said.