Cops summon man for false prophecy

2012-01-03 14:33

Bangkok – Thai police have summoned a 73-year-old man to face charges of causing public harm by publicising a prophecy that one of the country’s largest dams would burst on New Year’s Eve.

Police in Tak province, 380km north of Bangkok, gave Thongbai Khamsi until January 10 to acknowledge the charge or face arrest, the Bangkok Post reported.

Thongbai last month informed local media of a prophecy made by his son, a purported five-year-old psychic, that the Bhumibol Dam would burst on December 31 2011.

It did not.

The boy made the prophecy 37 years ago, shortly before his death. Thongbai claimed that his son had correctly predicted that a tsunami would hit Thailand in 2004.

Provincial officials said the false prediction caused a drop of 90% in tourist arrivals to Tak during the holiday season, and a loss of 400 million baht (about R100 million) in income.

In December 2010, a well-known soothsayer in Chiang Mai, 650km north of Bangkok, predicted that Thailand’s south-western sea coast would be hit by another tsunami during the New Year season.

That prediction, which proved false, led to a sharp decrease in tourist arrivals to popular southern beach resorts.

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