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Ladyboy club closed

Posted by hasekamp on 30 June 2013 at 10:15 AM
The Dragon Club, behind the Jungceylon shopping mall in Patong was shut down on Thursday night after it was found to be hosting lewd shows in addition to doing business without a required license. “We raided the entertainment venue at about 10:30pm and found a naked show being performed on stage,” Lt Col Nikorn of the Patong Police told the Phuket Gazette. The manager on duty, Thanet Promprasert, 32, was arrested, as were three ladyboys participating in the lewd show, said Col Nikorn. Mr Thanet was charged with having the venue illegally open. The three ladyboys – Sittichai Kerngsuwan, 34; Jamjong Dinngen, 34; and Teerayut Munwaeng, 32 – were charged for performing naked in the show, Col Nikorn said. All suspects were taken to Patong Police Station. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Contracts contrary flood-precvention illegal

Posted by hasekamp on 30 June 2013 at 10:11 AM
Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra has instructed all units under his supervision to immediately cancel contracts with any builder who is found to have abandoned or delayed flood-prevention projects in the capital. Sukhumbhand reaffirmed his policy yesterday, after the flooded Phra Khanong Canal overflowed on Monday night, sending water into local communities in the face of a damaged temporary embankment. Deputy Bangkok City Clerk Sanya Sheenimit and officials rushed to the flooded areas at 8pm on Monday and found the overflowing floodwater pouring into Rerm Charoen and Premreutai communities. The flood level was between 20 and 40 centimetres, making the roads impassable to small vehicles. According to Sanya, the canal's water level reached a height of 1.95 metres under the influence of the high tide. The damaged temporary embankment stood at between 1.6 and 1.7 metres only. It took officials three hours to drain floodwater by forming sandbag walls to increase the height of the embankment and pump out the floodwater. (Source: The Nation)


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Ex-monk married

Posted by hasekamp on 30 June 2013 at 10:03 AM
The former abbot of Sunandavaram forest monastery in Kanchanaburi's Sai Yok district, Mitsuo Shibahashi, has married a 52-year-old Thai businesswoman Suttirat Muttamara in Japan, after he had shocked his many followers by quietly leaving the monkshood on June 8. Shibahashi, 61, previously known as Phra Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako, registered his marriage with Suttirat in Iwate prefecture on Friday. He explained on a brief YouTube video clip that he had married Suttirat, "after being a monk for 38 rainy seasons without a thought of ever leaving monkshood or getting married", until he met her, because he believed the woman was his destined spouse. (Source: The Nation)


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Thailand sued for cigarette covers

Posted by hasekamp on 30 June 2013 at 9:59 AM
Japan Tobacco has sued the Thai government over a plan to increase the size of health warnings on cigarette packages, and two more lawsuits will soon follow. The new, authorised, cigarette packets have 85% warning and 15% left for the brand name. "Japan Tobacco filed a lawsuit in the Administrative Court on June 19 to block the plan," spokesman Hisashi Sekiguchi said in a phone interview on Tuesday. The measure violates Thailand's constitutional provisions guaranteeing freedom of expression, the Tokyo-based firm said. The new regulation pushed by the Public Health Ministry and anti-smoking campaigners requires the graphic warnings on cigarette packs to cover 85% of the package space, up from the current 55%, in an effort to further curb smoking. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Thaksin promises rice price will go up again

Posted by hasekamp on 30 June 2013 at 9:55 AM
Ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra has assured rice farmers that the government will not leave them out in the cold and will raise the paddy pledging price once the world market price picks up. Thaksin's message was conveyed Monday before rice farmers' scheduled mass rally Tuesday at Government House to protest against the government's decision to cut the rice-pledging price to 12,000 baht per tonne from 15,000 baht. "Thaksin has confirmed that the new pledging price is temporary and will be effective until the end of September," Mr Noppadon said. If the global rice price starts to pick up, the government will raise the price, said Mr Noppadon, quoting Thaksin. "The government will not abandon the farmers. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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More Internet than TV

Posted by hasekamp on 30 June 2013 at 9:47 AM
Thais' time spent online surpassed that of watching television, says Google Thailand. Thais spend around 16 hours a week on the internet, compared with 10 hours for TV. But internet advertising spending remains very low compared with TV media, said Ariya Banomyong, the country head for the search engine firm. Most Thais spent time on four online media: TV, computers, smartphones and tablets. Based on a Nielsen study, Mr Ariya noted time spent on the internet via mobile phones accounted for 49% of all media use, edging out time spent watching TV at 36%. "Advertisers need to focus more on online marketing and advertising to cash in on changing consumer behaviour," he said. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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White masks are getting more active

Posted by hasekamp on 30 June 2013 at 9:44 AM
The member of the Anti-government white mask that is active since a few weeks (or is it months already?) (V for Thailand movement) last Sunday gathered in front of the CentralWorld shopping complex and in many provinces, as well as overseas, to show dissatisfaction with the administration of the government under Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. About 600 policemen from Metropolitan Police divisions 4, 5 and 6 were deployed to maintain law and order at the Ratchaprasong intersection. Before the rally started, Metropolitan Police deputy chief Thitirat Nonghanpitak said the situation would be assessed on an hour-to-hour basis to decide whether to call for police reinforcements or whether to propose the imposition of the Internal Security Act. CentralWorld department store management used steel barriers to block an area in front of the mall to prevent the white masks taking up too much space.
The white masks were also planning similar demonstrations, mostly from 4pm, in many provinces such as Nonthaburi, Suphan Buri, Uthai Thani, Nakhon Sawan, Sing Buri, Lop Buri, Saraburi, Prachin Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan and Ratchaburi in the Central Region. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Temple shortlisted for World Heritage

Posted by hasekamp on 23 June 2013 at 11:18 AM
The World Heritage Committee (WHC) yesterday unanimously resolved to put Nakhon Si Thammarat's historic Buddhist temple complex Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan on Unesco's tentative list for World Heritage Sites. All 21 members of the committee, which was meeting in Phnom Penh for the WHC's 37th session, voted for the temple to be given the heritage status by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. The Department of Fine Arts and Nakhon Si Thammarat provincial authorities will need to prepare a nomination dossier to be submitted to the WHC for a complete listing of the temple by 2015, according to Tharapong Srisuchart, director of the department's Office of Archaeology. He described the next task as a "rather difficult" one because it requires the gathering of all available information about the temple as well as its management plan. Sahawat Naenna, director-general of the Fine Arts Department, said Wat Phra Mahathat met the requirements for a tentative listing. They include excellence in human resources, outstanding universal value and the value of authenticity or integrity. Wat Phra Mahathat dates back to AD 311 (BE 854). According to records, a chapel and pagoda were built in AD 311 to hold relics of the Buddha. The main pagoda was built in AD 550, during the time of the Srivijaya Empire. The temple and several other buildings in the complex were registered as historic sites in 1936. (Source: The Nation)


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Tigers are well in sanctuary

Posted by hasekamp on 23 June 2013 at 11:15 AM
Known as the crown jewel of Thailand's forested terrain, Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary is home to an abundance of plants and wildlife. However, an important step in preserving the sanctuary is to boost the area's tiger population, as this is a real indicator of the park's rich diversity, wildlife experts say. "To preserve the tiger is to preserve the whole forest," said Saksit Simcharoen, chief of the sanctuary. (Source: The Nation)


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Rice scheme may become flexible

Posted by hasekamp on 23 June 2013 at 11:09 AM
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has promised to make the government's rice pledging scheme flexible enough that it can be adjusted to better please farmers if market conditions improve. Her comment on Saturday was aimed at defusing growing anger among farmers who face a 20% reduction in the price the government pays them for rice. The prime minister brought all the senior figures directly or indirectly involved in the programme to her weekly TV programme, devoting the entire hour to the highly charged issue. Authorities had no choice but to reduce the price paid for rice by 20%, given local and world market conditions and the need for fiscal discipline, she said. The cabinet last week approved the cut to 12,000 baht a tonne from 15,000 baht, effective from June 30. The prime minister then promised adjustments to the price cap subject to improving conditions. World rice prices did not increase last year as expected amid weak demand, and as a result the cabinet had to approve a pledging price reduction, she said. She insisted that if global rice prices increased, the pledging price for rice would be raised accordingly. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Two tourists drown in Phuket

Posted by hasekamp on 22 June 2013 at 11:26 AM
Two tourists drowned within half an hour of each other yesterday on the west coast of Phuket. In both cases, red warning flags had been posted on the beaches. Belgian Laurent Jacques Leopold Wanter, 43, was pulled from the surf at Laem Sing Beach, north of Patong at 3:30pm. Despite efforts by lifeguards to resuscitate him, Mr Wanter was pronounced dead minutes later. He had been swimming with his wife when the couple were overpowered by waves. “My husband and I were swimming. Big waves came and we were dragged further out to sea. We were frightened. We screamed for help. I was rescued, but my husband was pulled out of the water unconscious,” Ms Wanter said.
Not 30 minutes later, Patong Police received a report of a tourist drowning near Loma Park. Patong Police Superintendent Chiraphat Pochanaphan identified the drowning victim as 29-year-old Russian national Aleksandr Poleshchenko. “My brother and I went swimming at about 4pm. I swam out to deeper water, but Aleksandr was playing in water that was only knee deep,” Aleksandr’s older brother told police through a translator. “I saw a big wave hit him and he disappeared,” Mr Poleshchenko said. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Airport security officer arrested for stealing

Posted by hasekamp on 22 June 2013 at 11:21 AM
Police arrested a baggage security worker at Phuket International Airport on Thursday after the officer was found to have stolen AUS$900 from an Australian tourist’s carry-on bag while it was passing through the x-ray machine. Tah Chat Chai Police arrested Uraiwan Yhobkhaan, 34, from Ranong, at her rented accommodation in Sakoo at about 9:30am. “Australian tourist Andreas Paolo Clappis reported the money missing to airport security officer Montri Perphol at about 5:50am,” said Lt Col Theerawat Leamsuwan. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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American dies on motorbike

Posted by hasekamp on 19 June 2013 at 11:35 AM
A 27-year-old American man died instantly on Saturday when he was hit by a Chang beer delivery truck on Wiset Road, in Rawai. “According to witness reports, American Nicolas Javier Solis exited Soi Kok Ma… onto Wiset Road, heading to Rawai Beach,” said Lt Wuthiwat Leangboonjinda of the Chalong Police. “As he exited Soi Kok Ma, he was struck by a six-wheeled beer truck, which was northbound, heading toward Chalong Circle [map here],” he added. Mr Solis died instantly, said Lt Wuthiwat. The force of the impact shattered the windshield of the truck. The truck driver, 24-year-old Jakrit Kaewloy, suffered a broken leg. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Flood diversion may never come

Posted by hasekamp on 19 June 2013 at 11:29 AM
The government's plan to build a flood-diversion channel on both sides of the Chao Phraya River may never be completed because it would require tens of thousands of residents to be relocated, the Engineering Institute of Thailand (EIT) said yesterday. And if the project does not get completed within a five-year deadline, the government may end up being sued by contractors for compensation - if they are unable to complete the job due to strong opposition by local residents. The government is expected to finalise bid winners after talks on project prices and costs were completed last week. During the first phase, the government will have to pay Bt35 billion to Bt40 billion in advance to the contractors. While advance payment is part of the process, the government could lose this money if environmental and health impact assessments for projects fail to be approved because of a lack of participation by local residents, EIT president Suwat Chaopreecha told the press yesterday. (Source: The Nation)


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Private Jet Monks are OK, doing Buddhist activities

Posted by hasekamp on 19 June 2013 at 11:25 AM
The National Office of Buddhism insists monks boarding a private jet, wearing sunglasses and using luxury items is not a serious breach of monastic rules, but it is inappropriate. Their conduct was not tantamount to breaching monastic rules and they would not be defrocked, he said. The office had earlier warned the monks against acting inappropriately while staying in the monkhood. He made his remarks in response to a recent YouTube clip featuring three monks travelling on a private jet. In the video, the monks are wearing earphones and sunglasses and a Louis Vuitton bag can be seen. It was said that one of the monks in the clip is Luang Pu Nen Khum, the abbot of Wat Pa Khantitham in Kanthararom district of Si Sa Ket. The temple staff told reporters that the abbot is visiting France for a month for Buddhism activities. Meanwhile, another monk, Phra Kru Palad Sitthiwat, better known as Luang Phi Namfon, is known to be on a Department of Special Investigation list for possession of luxury cars. However, Mr Nopparat said Luang Phi Namfon, who is the abbot at Wat Pailom in Nakhon Pathom, is not the type of person to be fond of using luxurious items. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Tollway fee goes up

Posted by hasekamp on 19 June 2013 at 11:17 AM
The Expressway and Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (Exat) board has approved a proposal to raise tolls on Bangkok's urban and suburban expressways by at least five baht. Exat governor Aiyanat Tinapai said in a written statement the toll increase for the urban expressway network will come into force on Sept 1 and the toll hike for the suburban network will take effect on Nov 1. Tolls for the urban network will rise from 45 to 50 baht for four-wheel vehicles; from 70 to 75 baht for vehicles with six to 10 wheels; and from 100 to 110 baht for those with more than 10 wheels. Details of the increase on the surburban network were not given. Mr Aiyanat said the increase was based on the consumer price index in March. The last toll increase was in September 2008. Mr Aiyanat said the Bangkok Expressway Company's concession for the first-stage and second-stage expressways has another nine years to run. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Illegal elephant transport

Posted by hasekamp on 19 June 2013 at 10:32 AM
Thalang police seized three elephants being illegally transported into Phuket this morning. Nine people were arrested in the early-morning raid and the two trucks transporting the elephants were seized. Suspects told police that a “Piang Sala-ngam” had sent his son-in-law Sa-ngad Padphai down with the trucks from an elephant camp in the northeastern province of Surin. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Europe wants safer tourism

Posted by hasekamp on 16 June 2013 at 12:02 PM
Ambassadors from 17 European nations today brought to the Phuket Governor’s attention four critical issues plaguing Phuket’s tourism industry: road transport, boat safety, tourist security and jet-skis. "The meeting today was held to identify several key issues affecting European tourists to Thailand and to come up with solutions to these problems,” said European Union (EU) Ambassador to Thailand David Lipman, who led the 18-ambassador delegation. At a press conference after the closed-door meeting, Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut explained that an “incremental” approach was being taken in improving Phuket’s road transportation for tourists. “We are working with local authorities in developing several key aspects of road transportation. We are working on providing public bus services and on improving the taxi situation. It will improve gradually,” he said. He added that the same approach was being taken in improving boat safety. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Young elephant electrocuted

Posted by hasekamp on 16 June 2013 at 11:58 AM
A seven-year-old wild elephant in Phetchaburi's Kaeng Krachan National Park was fatally electrocuted by an oil palm plantation's 220-voltage electric fence yesterday. The incident prompted provincial governor Monthien Thongnit to inspect the scene. He criticised the type of fencing used, saying that it was unnecessary. Petchaburi province has campaigned for elephant conservation and substantial funding has been channelled into taking care of the park’s elephants and reducing conflicts between the pachyderms and farmers. Following the 9 am report of the electrocution at Ban Pa Ka Yor in Tambon Pa Teng of Kaeng Krachan district, police rushed to the scene and found the carcass of a male elephant entangled in the fence. The electric fence - erected to prevent elephants to eating the palms in the 25-rai plantation - belonged to Nareunart Ketrat, 50, who admitted to setting up the fence. Previously, two cows belonging to a neighbour were also reportedly electrocuted near the same spot. (Source: The Nation)


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Dengue Fever

Posted by hasekamp on 16 June 2013 at 11:53 AM
The Public Health Ministry has announced it will push for the establishment of dengue-fever "war rooms" across the country in all provinces. The move follows a dengue fever pandemic that has claimed over 50 lives this year alone. As of June 11, 43,609 Thais have contracted dengue fever this year. According to the ministry, war rooms have currently been set up in only 26 of Thailand's 77 provinces. (Source: The Nation)


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Food Festival

Posted by hasekamp on 16 June 2013 at 11:51 AM
In quest to turn Thailand into the World Destination of Food, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) invites both domestic and international tourists who love food to participate in the "Thai Food Festival". This campaign goes hand in hand with CNNGo's naming Bangkok as the world's best city for street food. The "Thai Food Festival" will be held between June 13-16, 2013 at the activity zone of CentralWorld. TAT also launched website, http://www.tourismthailand.org/amazingthaifood, to provide information on the variety of Thai food, including recommended must-try dishes from differentregions of the country. (Source: The Nation)


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Warning for heavy downpour and flooding

Posted by hasekamp on 12 June 2013 at 15:31 PM
A warning was issued Wednesday for heavy downpours and possible floods and landslides until Friday in 39 provinces of upper Thailand as well as Phuket, Krabi, Trang and Phang Nga in the South. Small craft were advised to stay close to shore due to high waves and strong winds. Chatchai Phromlert, director-general of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, said the department had already instructed its regional branches and provincial authorities to prepare for disasters and emergencies and monitor conditions around the clock. Disaster victims should call the 1784 hotline for help. (Source: The Nation)


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No Expo 2020

Posted by hasekamp on 12 June 2013 at 15:28 PM
The Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) has rejected Thailand as a contender to host the World Expo 2020 after the government failed to endorse the bid. The BIE executive committee on Tuesday unanimously accepted a recommendation from its inquiry mission team to drop Thailand's bid to host World Expo 2020, according to BIE documents obtained by the Bangkok Post. The team visited Ayutthaya from Jan 28 to Feb 1 this year and gave the government until April 5 to answer its questions about the project's financial, legislative, organisational and diplomatic aspects. But the failure of the government to respond had cast doubts on the project's feasibility. The team said Ayutthaya had the potential to host the grand event, adding the proposed theme, centred on His Majesty the King's sufficiency economy philosophy, had merit. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


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Products for sale, made in prison

Posted by hasekamp on 11 June 2013 at 21:39 PM
The 10th annual Southern Prison Products Fair gets underway at Saphan Hin this evening and continues to June 17. The fair showcases products made by inmates in the 14 southern provinces. “There are many handmade products for sale at fair prices, including good quality furniture,” said Phuket Prison Chief Rapin Nichano. “The project is excellent for prisoners because 50 per cent of the profit from sales goes back to them. This allows inmates to earn money while in prison, which can be used to get their lives started again once their sentences have been served,” Chief Rapin said. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Thai baht on a low

Posted by hasekamp on 11 June 2013 at 21:36 PM
The baht was today at the lowest point in a year against US dollar. At the end of 2012, it was 30.60 per dollar. "The baht has depreciated against the greenback, in line with regional movement. Malaysian ringgit and Philippine peso are also under pressure," said a treasurer at Bank of Ayudhya. He expects the baht to trade in the range of 30.60-85. The greenback tends to rise further, he said, but the US Federal Reserve Board’s decision on quantitative easing would dictate the direction. (Source: The Nation)


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English skills too low

Posted by hasekamp on 11 June 2013 at 21:33 PM
The JobStreet.com English Language Assessment (JELA) results show Singapore workers have the highest average score in the English language, while Thai workers have the lowest. The results are from the 1,540,785 assessment takers in the Southeast Asia countries of Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. JELA consists of 40 questions randomly picked out from the 1,000 questions of the programme. The assessment results show assessment takers from Singapore obtained the highest scores at an average of 81 percent, followed by the Philippines at 73 percent, Malaysia at 72 percent, Indonesia at 59 percent and Thailand at 55 percent. (Source: The Nation)


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Problems with water managment

Posted by hasekamp on 11 June 2013 at 21:29 PM
As bidders queue up, environmental groups threaten to mobilise protesters. Problems with implementation of the government's water-management and flood-prevention mega-projects became more clear once the list of contenders that passed technical review was unveiled yesterday. Environmental groups are preparing to mobilise supporters against the project's nine modules, some of which are controversial. Prachern Khonthet, adviser to the We Love Tha Chin River Club, said his organisation and its allies would reveal their opposition to the proposed flood-diversion channel on June 22 or June 23. The channel would block the river flow on the western flank of Bangkok and cause floods in Nakhon Pathom, he said. Harnnarong Yaowalert, chairman of the Foundation for Integrated Water Management, said conflicts between locals and bid winners would become even clearer very soon. If the government really required the successful bidders to complete their projects within five years, the conflicts could be really intense as the bidders will try hard to meet the deadline, he said. Even without the protest, it was almost impossible for the consortia to complete the projects as scheduled, he said. The government has approved a Bt350-billion budget for the nine modules. All four bidders in the final round came up with at least one of the nine modules. Their quotes for the modules were barely different, prompting speculation that these firms might have engaged in some sort of conspiracy. (Source: The Nation)


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British heroin dealer caught

Posted by hasekamp on 9 June 2013 at 15:31 PM
A Phuket Marine Police sting operation last night busted a British national with 6.1 grams of heroin smuggled onto Phuket from Koh Samui. John Robert George Cawley, 22, was caught in a Rassada rental room at about 11:30pm in possession of the category 1 drug stuffed into seven plastic bottles, said Phuket Marine Police Inspector Chatchai Sakdee. Marine Police, having received a tip-off about the drug deal, decided to take immediate action, fearing that any delay would lead to an opportunity for Mr Cawley to escape, Col Chatchai said. The sting operation involved an undercover Marine Police officer entering the residence as a potential buyer. “As Mr Cawley began to negotiate with our officer, our team rushed the room,” Col Chatchai said. “The suspect panicked and threw a small black bag of heroin out the back door.” Officers collected the bag, as well as seven bottles that also contained heroin. “Mr Cawly confessed that the drugs belonged to him, and we made our arrest,” Col Chatchai said. Mr Cawly was charged with the possession of a category 1 drug with intent to sell. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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VAT fraud

Posted by hasekamp on 9 June 2013 at 15:28 PM
Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong Friday said his ministry had found a group of more than 30 people jointly suspected of involvement in VAT fraud, which cost the state about Bt2.6 billion. He said the ministry's secret examination found that this group of people did not run any business but unlawfully filed value-added-tax claims with the Excise Department. He added that state officials were also allegedly found involved in the case. Kittiratt appointed deputy permanent secretary Rangsan Sriworasat to place charges. (Source: The Nation)


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Exam cheating

Posted by hasekamp on 9 June 2013 at 15:26 PM
Nakhon Ratchasima's Office of the Teacher Civil Service and Educational Personnel Commission (OTEPC)'s subcommittee Saturday agreed to dismiss 51 newly appointed assistant teachers over allegations of being involved in exam cheating. The move followed the Department of Special Investigation's call for a total of 344 people allegedly involved in the scandal to be fired as government officials, 51 of the accused being from Nakhon Ratchasima. Following the three-hour meeting, Primary Educational Zone 1 director Pathomreuk Maneenet said the accused-and-dismissed persons were still given a chance to explain themselves within 15 days. (Source: The Nation)


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Tax scam with cars

Posted by hasekamp on 9 June 2013 at 15:24 PM
The Department of Special Investigation Sunday impounded 20 luxury cars on suspicion their owners had not properly paid import taxes. The high-end cars were seized pending tax clarification by the owners after DSI officials inspected seven premises suspected of being involved in the allegedly massive tax evasion scam. The DSI has stepped up checking alleged tax evasion by luxury car owners after four high-end cars were damaged in a fire on May 29 and two other cars on the same trailer were left unclaimed. (Source: The Nation)


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Brave Irish woman

Posted by hasekamp on 7 June 2013 at 12:50 PM
Police barely have their shoe in the door for a case against a pair of snatch thieves after a botched attempt to grab an Irish woman’s purse led to a motorbike crash and a lost flip flop. Hannah Louise O’Hagan, 27, was driving a motorbike to her boyfriend’s place at Baan Term Fun Housing Estate yesterday evening after a trip to Tesco Lotus when two men on a motorbike started following her, said Preecha Rakjan of the Thalang Police. The two men pulled up next to Ms O’Hagan and attempted to rip her bag from her shoulder – the Irish woman fought back, causing the bikes to collide and sending all three of them to the ground. “One of the thieves, as well as Ms O’Hagan, lost a flip flop during the accident. When the two men stood up to escape toward Baan Bang Jo, one of them accidentally grabbed Ms O’Hagan’s slipper, leaving behind his own,” Lt Preecha said. “When we arrived at the scene at 8:30pm she was standing next to her motorbike looking very pale,” Lt Preecha said. At the scene police found Ms O’Hagan’s brown leather bag, two unmatched flip flops and a crowd of local residents attempting to assist the Irish woman in contacting her boyfriend. “I didn’t have a chance to see their faces, because they came from behind me and it was too dark, everything happened too fast. I was shocked,” Ms O’Hagan told police. With no CCTV footage of the incident and no witnesses, police are stuck with finding a foot that matches the flop flop of the "Cinderella" snatch thief. “Even though the two men did not get away with the crime, they did attempt the robbery. We will find them and charge them with attempted robbery at night while using a motorbike. However, at this stage we only have the shoe as evidence,” Lt Preecha said. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Two arrested over elephant slaughter

Posted by hasekamp on 7 June 2013 at 12:44 PM
Examination of Remington bullets taken from elephants slain by poachers in Phetchburi's Kaeng Krachan National Park earlier this year has led to the arrest of two brothers at their homes in Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan. Weerapong Thoum-sub, 25, and his brother Sanya Thoum-sub, 37, were arrested at their homes in Huai Sat Yai sub-district by a team of police and Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation officials Thursday morning. They have denied any wrongdoing. The brothers are suspected of killing two female elephants at the park's Pateng Forest near Karang 3 Reservoir, and harvesting their tusks and sexual organs to be sold later. The brothers are reportedly relatives of a man, identified only as "Lee", who was evicted from his home near the reservoir. (Source: The Nation)


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One dead in hotel fire

Posted by hasekamp on 7 June 2013 at 12:42 PM
A woman man jumped to her death in a panic after a fire broke out at a eight-storey hotel Friday, police said. The fire, which broke out at the Success Hotel on Soi Phaholyothin 26 at 7:30 am, also injured seven others people. Police said the woman, identified as Jurairat Boonsom, was apparently frightened by the blaze and jumped down from the fifth floor. The fire was put out at around 8:40 am. (Source: The Nation)


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Billions of tax loss

Posted by hasekamp on 7 June 2013 at 12:39 PM
Tax-evading luxury cars probably cost the country more than Bt20 billion in lost revenue, according to the Department of Special Investigation (DSI). DSI chief Tharit Pengdit made the estimate based on the assumption that more than 8,000 luxury vehicles in the country had been or were about to be registered illegally. A total of 5,834 registered luxury cars were suspected of getting their papers through a tax-evasion process. Some 3,000 others were in the process of receiving registration papers through a system officials said was illegal. Major Sukchart Sasomsap reported himself to the DSI last night, after a licence plate number that he once owned was linked to an alleged tax-evading vehicle. Sukchart is a son of Labour Minister Phadermchai Sasomsap. A DSI source earlier suggested the tax-evading scheme involved politicians or persons with political connections. Many luxury cars were smuggled into the country, but were later registered under claims they were imported as auto parts and re-assembled later. (Source: The Nation)


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Patong gets facelift

Posted by hasekamp on 5 June 2013 at 10:55 AM
A plan to beautify over 3.5 kilometers of the Patong beachfront road by hiding unsightly power lines underground was presented at a public hearing in Patong. If the 203-million-baht project passes the public hearing process, as it is expected to, construction could start this year, covering the stretch of Taweewong Road from the three-junction in Kalim to Klong Pak Bang bridge, a total of 3.65km. “88 million baht will come from the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) and 115 million baht will come from Patong Municipality,” said Patong Municipality Chief Technician Surapon Buakaew. “But first we need to present the idea to the public and allow them to comment,” he said. At the hearing yesterday, led by Patong Mayor Pian Keesin, Patong Superintendent Jiraphat Pochanapnat and PEA staff, local residents voiced concerns about pollution and traffic congestion. “The traffic problem is the only thing that I’m really concerned about. Other than that, I just think the construction should be fast and have a clear time line,” Weerawit Kurasombat, President of the Patong Entertainment Association said. Once the plan passes the public hearing process, budget documents will be presented to the governor and construction bids will be solicited. (Source: The Phuket Gazette)


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Keep the newspapers fresh!

Posted by hasekamp on 5 June 2013 at 10:51 AM
The newspaper may be an old media, but it does not have to be "old" internally. Providing a fresh, vibrant and inclusive working environment in the newsroom is one effective way of keeping content up-to-date and relevant, said Azrul Ananda, president of Indonesian newspaper Jawa POS. The paper has maintained its lead in the industry amidst the rapidly evolving digital culture. "We try keep the newsroom fresh and fun. We have a music studio in the office, and regularly bring in new activities for staff to enjoy such as martial arts classes and ping-pong tournaments. "That way we have more brains thinking about the company and how to keep up with the evolving times. If we do not practice being inclusive, the group will get 'stuck'," said Ananda during the "Focus on Asian media" session at the World Newspaper Congress at the Centara Grand in Bangkok. (Source: The Nation)


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Conductor Somtow honored

Posted by hasekamp on 5 June 2013 at 10:47 AM
Thai conductor and composer Somtow Sucharitkul is the first Asian to win the "Golden W" award celebrating Richard Wagner's 200th birthday. Thousands of Wagner enthusiasts gathered at the composer's birthplace, Leipzig, last month for a festival that included the Leipzig Opera's productions of Wagner's complete works as well as a conference of the International Wagner Society, which has over 100 chapters all over the world. At the conference, Eva Martson, the president of the society, presented the award to Somtow for bringing Wagner's oeuvre to Southeast Asia. Ten years ago, Somtow inaugurated the Richard Wagner Circle Bangkok in the presence of Wolfgang Wagner, grandson of the composer, his wife Gudrun and late HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana. The visit of the Wagner family to Thailand had the air of a state visit, with the concert opening with the Bavarian national anthem. (Source: The Nation)


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Bangkok at risk

Posted by hasekamp on 5 June 2013 at 10:43 AM
The World Bank yesterday warned that Bangkok faced a high risk of natural disaster, especially massive flooding that could cause huge economic losses. It suggested that policy-makers make three preparations to deal with disasters: optimise the effectiveness of the Bt350-billion water-management budget; ensure cooperation among agencies assigned to analyse and study legal aspects of disaster issues; and develop city plans that minimise disaster risks from urban expansion, said World Bank official Abhas Jha. Bert Hofman, the World Bank's chief economist for the East Asia and Pacific region, said major cities including Bangkok had faced increasing risk of disasters as they lacked good urban planning. This has the potential to cause huge economic losses despite the strong growth the region currently enjoys. "More than 50 per cent of the population of East Asia lives in cities such as Bangkok, Jakarta and Manila. The high expansion of cities within the region is of concern as it creates higher risks of disasters. The expansion of cities will increase continuously in the next 30 years and [oblige] the governments in this region to launch good management techniques to protect their countries from disasters," he said. (Source: The Nation)


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Stretching the Thais

Posted by hasekamp on 2 June 2013 at 10:30 AM
The Public Health Ministry aims to boost Thai youths' average height to 175cm for males and 162cm for females in 10 years and also lengthen the average life span to 80 years through a campaign to drink milk every day. Saying that Thais drank only 14 litres of milk per head per year, compared to the Southeast Asia average of 60 litres and the world rate of 103.9 litres per year, Deputy Public Health Minister Cholanan Srikaew yesterday said Thai youths aged 18 were hence rather short with the average height of males at 167.1cm and females at 157.4cm. Cholanan made his comments on the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation's World Milk Day yesterday. He said Thais of all age should be urged to drink milk. Starting with the ministry's campaign to get 60 per cent of newborns (or 800,000 newborns) breastfed for at least six months after birth, then be fed with breast milk along with nutrient food until the age of 2, he said other Thai age groups should also be encouraged to drink cow milk. (Source: The Nation)


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Road accident

Posted by hasekamp on 2 June 2013 at 10:26 AM
Five people were killed when two pick-up trucks crashed head-on in this northeastern province early Sunday. Police said the accident happened at 4 am on the highway No 212 in Ban Paeng district. A truck was driven by Chumpol Singkha, 40, who died at the scene. He was killed along with his father and his son. His wife and sister were seriously injured, police said. Police said two men inside the other truck were also killed and had yet to be identified. (Source: The Nation)


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Convict on holiday

Posted by hasekamp on 2 June 2013 at 10:22 AM
A German ex-convict who managed to escape from Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport while being escorted from Australia to Germany, said he simply wanted to enjoy the city's tourist sites before going home. Carlo Konstantin Kohl, 25, told police investigators after being rearrested on Thursday that he had heard about many interesting places for foreign tourists - like Patpong, khao san Road and Soi Cowboy, said Immigration Police Commissioner Panu Kerdlabpol yesterday. The man, who was arrested at the German Embassy in Bangkok, also said he was impressed after visiting those places and that he would certainly come back, according to Panu. Police took Kohl to Suvarnabhumi in a van yesterday for a re-enactment of his escape. He was accompanied by some 50 policemen and security guards and was mobbed by a large group of media photographers and cameramen. In a brief interview with the media at the airport, Kohl said he did not plan the escape on May 15 and that he was just "lucky".
After his escape, the German said he had remained in Bangkok the whole time. "I holidayed for two weeks. It's enjoyable - a very nice country," he said with a smile. "I want to see Thailand again; it's a beautiful country." (Source: The Nation)


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