Blood and Money

Thai lawmaker Hangthong Tumwattana was visibly upset when he turned up at his family's 12-bedroom mansion on the night of Sept. 5, 1999. A scion of one of Thailand's richest business clans, Hangthong's personal fortune had been depleted by costly political campaigns and his familial relations strained by an ugly inheritance feud. "He was nervous, hands shaking as he ate," recalls younger brother Nopdol Tumwattana, who lived at the compound in Bang Khen in northern Bangkok with Hangthong and may have been the last person to see his brother alive. Hours later, after calls from panicked relatives, police found Hangthong slumped...

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