PHITSANULOK – Police are trying to establish if a retired British teacher committed suicide because he was receiving lower pension payments.
74 year-old Trevor Roberts was found dead in the Nan River in Phitsanulok, 300 miles north of Bangkok on Thursday.
Police were told by Robert’s Thai wife that he had been complaining about his British pension, leading officers to consider whether this could be the reason for his death.
His body was pulled from the river about two hours after he was believed to have drowned – but police could find no immediate reason why he was in the water.
A former language teacher at a college in the Phitsanulok area, Mr Roberts had been living in the town for some 10 years and had recently been receiving a UK pension.
His original home town in the UK has not yet been revealed by police.
His sister-in-law, Phuangthong Nuanjan, told Thai police that Mr Roberts and his wife had been arguing lately because he was receiving less pension money than before due to changes in the way his pesion was being paid.
Although there have been no changes to British pensions, UK citizens living abroad have been hit by a fall in the value of the pound, causing many to suffer such heavy losses that they have even been considering returning home.
In Thailand, British ex-pats have suffered an eight per cent drop in sterling against the Thai baht.
As police try to establish whether Mr Roberts’ death was the result of suicide because of his pension drop, an accident, or foul play, suicide was emerging as the most likely cause.