Thai businessman tries to sell kidney to pay off loan sharks

Thanakrit holds up a sign saying “Please have mercy and help us. One kidney for sale to pay off my debts and pay for my children’s schooling.”

A Chonburi man hopelessly in debt to loan sharks offered to illegally sell his kidney to pay off his debts.

Fully aware selling human organs is illegal in Thailand, Thanakrit Pansingsorn, 36, stood on a street corner in Chachoengsao over the weekend with a sign, saying he’d sell his kidney for the right price.

The incident went viral on social media, as motorists stopped, inquired about Thanakrit’s situation and even gave him money. But he didn’t find a buyer.

Thanakrit is the owner of Thanakrit Jik Supply Co. in Ban Bueng District. His mother-in-law, Papada Kaewpancha, 51, met with the media Oct. 18, accompanied by her 6-year-old granddaughter and 4-year-old grandson. Thanakrit wasn’t present.

With his child clinging on to his waist, Thanakrit wanders around the streets of Chonburi trying to sell his kidney.

Papada said Thanakrit’s business crashed during the coronavirus pandemic and, early on, he continued to support his 20 employees, but borrowed money from a loan shark to pay their salaries.

But the pandemic lasted longer than he expected and the exorbitant, illegal interest piled up. He was broke and didn’t have money to pay for his children’s schooling.

Sunday, unbeknownst to anyone, he went out with his sign to try and sell his kidney in exchange for the millions of baht he needs to get even. Papada said she was relieved there were no takers, but she fears what he might do next.

Hugging his child, Thanakrit weeps as he tries to sell his kidney on the street.

Mrs. Papada Kaewpancha, the destitute man’s mother-in-law together with her grandchildren met with reporters to talk about Thanakrit’s ordeal.

Thanakrit at work inside his once thriving machine shop, before COVID-19 hit him hard.