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Sunday, June 23, 2024
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THAI HOUSEKEEPER OF 17 YEARS INHERIT 100M BAHT FROM DEAD EMPLOYER

In a shocking turn of events, a 49-year-old Thai housekeeper, Nutwalai Phupongta, has inherited a staggering 100 million baht (S$3.7 million) worth of assets from her employer, 59-year-old French businesswoman Catherine Delacote, after the latter’s suspected suicide in Koh Samui, Thailand.

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Employer’s Death and Assets

Delacote’s body was found on Monday, May 6, with a gunshot wound on her left temple and a gunshot residue on her left wrist. The police investigation is ongoing, but Nutwalai believes her employer committed suicide. Delacote was suffering from cancer, but she did not mention anything to Nutwalai about taking her own life.

Before her death, Delacote transferred 500,000 baht (S$18,300) to Nutwalai to settle the cost of her funeral. She had also sent messages to several people, stating that she would give her assets to Nutwalai, who had been her loyal housekeeper for 17 years.

Delacote’s assets include five pool villas on Koh Samui, a 3,200 square meter land plot near one of her villas, cash, a car, and other assets. She also owned a hotel business with a registered capital of 2 million baht (S$73,300).

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Complicated Inheritance Process

However, the transfer of Delacote’s assets to Nutwalai is proving to be a complicated process. The assets are currently on hold as Thailand authorities investigate whether Nutwalai can inherit the assets right away.

Officials are also investigating the shareholdings proportion in Delacote’s company, GVNE, which runs a hotel business. The company has three shareholders: Delacote held 49% stake, a Thai businessman holds 35% shares, and a Thai businesswoman holds 16% shares. The president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui said that the two Thai shareholders might have to approve the transfer of the assets.

Additionally, Thai officials are investigating if Delacote’s company illegally involved Thai proxies. If that is the case, the Thai Interior Ministry could sell the company’s assets.

Employer’s Background

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According to Nutwalai, Delacote and her ex-husband, who is also French, moved to Koh Samui 12 years ago. The pair eventually divorced, and Delacote lived at the villa alone. Delacote came into possession of the gun found at the scene after a prior break-in robbery at the villa.

The investigation into Delacote’s death and the inheritance of her assets is ongoing. Meanwhile, Nutwalai is waiting to see if she will be able to inherit the vast fortune left behind by her employer.

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