14 Jul 2017
10:29 pm

American YouTuber known as “My Mate Nate” will be summoned by the railway police for questioning over his latest stunt for flattening coins on the rail track which was posted in his YouTube channel.

Pol Maj-Gen Surapong Thanomchit, commander of railway police, said Friday (July 14) that legal action would be taken against the controversial YouTuber, identified as Nate Bartling if his stunt was deemed illegal.

State Railway of Thailand (SRT) deputy governor Thanongsak Pongprasert, meanwhile, said Bartling’s stunt was inappropriate and might cause train derailment. He indicated that the American might have committed civil and criminal offences.

The deputy governor went on saying that he had instructed the railway police to summon Bartling for questioning to find out his real motive for carrying out the stunt by flattening the coins on the rail track to be crushed by train.

The video was posted on July 13 and got almost 600,000 views in less than 24 hours.

The SRT also issued a statement on Friday evening, saying that the video of the stunt staged by My Mate Nate which was posted in the Facebook page might tarnish the SRT’s image as far as public safety and confidence in travelling by train are concerned.

Citing Railway and Highway Act B.E. 2454, SRT said that unauthorized outsiders are not allowed to shoot a film in the compound of the SRT because it is regarded as territory to provide services to the public and any violation of the law is regarded as a petty offence.

The railway police are empowered to summon the violator for questioning, the statement said.

The statement added that although the flattening of coins on the track will not cause immediate train derailment because coins are softer than the track as they were made with tin, but if the stunt is done repeatedly, it might cause damage to the tracks which may, in the end, result in train derailment.

Also, the flattened coins may fly and hurt someone and the people who stage the stunt may get hurt or killed by train, the statement added.

Having heard about the summons to be served on him, Bartling pulled out his video clip about the stunt from YouTube and posted an explanation about his stunt on his Facebook page.

He said that he had done some research on scientific studies undertaken abroad about flattening coins on the rail tracks and all the studies confirmed that coins would not cause any damage to the track and would not cause train derailment “because coins are flat objects and the metal used to make coins are softer than the track.

Bartling said that the traces left on the track were glue from the tape used to fasten coins to the track and he had already removed the traces.

He claimed that the stunt was carried out to find out the coin of which country is the strongest and most durable.  He quickly said that no Thai coins were used in the stunt.

“We apologize if our content has upset some people.  I apologize this time and for the last time.  I know some groups of people still chastise me, but it does not matter.  I and my staff will try to improve the content of the video that somebody may feel it is a nonsense, but it is for entertainment sake,” said Bartling in his statement in the social media.

In another Facebook post, Bartling said railway police had already contacted him and summoned him for questioning.

“I will stop making new video for a while,” he said.

My Mate Nate became a subject of widespread criticism in the social media some months ago when he posted a footage in the social media featuring a fight between a cat and scorpions.  The controversial clip also prompted animal protection groups to demand charges to be brought against him for cruelty against animals.

 

14 Jul 2017
9:47 pm

A suspected southern militant was shot dead by paramilitary rangers in a rubber plantation in Pattani’s Muang district on Friday (July 14).

The victim, 44-year old Paoyee Tasamor, was, on Thursday, held in military custody by virtue of the martial law under the suspicion that he was a militant.

On Friday, Paoyee was escorted by a paramilitary unit to a rubber plantation in Village 4, Tambon Pakaharung to search for weapons which were suspected to be buried somewhere in the plantation.

Paoyee led the rangers to a spot where weapons were believed to be hidden and was ordered to dig them up.

He reportedly found a pistol, grabbed it and opened fire at the rangers who were mostly surprised by the sudden turn of event.

Paoyee escaped by jumping into a nearby klong, but closely pursued by the security force.  He reportedly used the same pistol to fire at the pursuing rangers who returned fire with their automatic rifles.

The victim was later found dead with multiple bullet wounds in the rubber plantation.

 

14 Jul 2017
4:29 pm

Deputy police commissioner Pol Gen Chalermkiat Srivorakarn flew to Krabi today (July 14) upon receiving information from investigation team that they gained some important clues to the shooting of headman Vorayuth Sunglung and his seven family members.

Pol Gen Chalermkiat will join Royal Thai Police commissioner Pol Gen Chaktip Chaijinda in the probe after some investigation gained some clues to the execution-style shooting of headman Vorayuth Sanglang and his seven family members in Ao Luek district on July 11.

Pol Gen Chaktip flew to Krabi last night to personally supervise the probe.

Pol Gen Chalermkiat, however, refused the give details about the important clues his investigation team has found.

Police chief Chaktip Chaijinda

A well-informed police said surveillance cameras have captured the images of a Toyota Fortuner and a Toyota Yaris, which was stolen from Vorayuth’s house,  heading toward Surat Thani from Krabi province following the massacre.

The source said police investigators had checked all the CCTV cameras from Vorayuth’s house in Tambon Ban Klang, Ao Luek district of Krabi and they found, from the footage taken from a roadside convenience store, the Fortuner and the stolen Yaris travelling on the Southern Seaboard road in Plaipraya district toward Surat Thani at about 3 am, about 35 kilometres from the victim’s house.

The Fortuner was running ahead and was about three minutes away from the Yaris, said the source, adding that they suspected the Yaris might be abandoned somewhere along the road.

Police investigators also detected signal of Vorayuth’s cellphone stolen by the perpetrators somewhere on the border between Krabi and Surat Thani, the source added.

Meanwhile, Crime Suppression Division (CSD) police have asked the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BACC) for examination of its two clients who are executives of rock grinding business in Krabi.

CSD commander Pol Maj Gen Sutin Sapmuang said an instruction was given to the police superintendent  of the CSD’s 5th subdivision to ask the bank for the examination of  the money transactions and  agreements dealing with loans and collaterals of two clients, Chetdanai Tinphang-nga and Narin Kengtanasap.

Both are executive directors of Krabi Phusap-anant which has applied for rock grinding concession in Krabi.

As rock grinding business is one of  several other motives of the execution-style shooting, they were therefore invited for questioning, the CSD commander said.

Mr Chetdanai, a close associate of the killed headman Vorayuth, has earlier turned himself in to the police investigators after his named was mentioned to prove his innocence.

But police will summon him for questioning again as more evidence collected indicated rock grinding concession is a strong motive.

Mr Narin also reported to the police in Bangkok and denied any involvement in the massacre.

14 Jul 2017
10:45 am

The National Legislative Assembly unanimously voted in support of amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code which will pave the way for the Supreme Court’s criminal division for holders of political offices to try corrupt politicians behind their backs.

The amendments a far cry from the standard norm specified in the Criminal Procedure Code that a court trial of a criminal case must be done in the presence of the defendant.

Before the vote yesterday (July 13), several members of the NLA expressed doubt about whether the amendments which are contradictory to the judicial principle that the court trial of a criminal case must be undertaken in the presence of the defendant and whether they would go against the spirit of the Constitution.

Assemblyman Mr Thanee Onla-aid noted that it was also an international legal practice that court trial of a criminal case must be done with the defendant or defendants being present in the courtroom.  He doubted that the amendments would contravene with the Constitution and the citizen’s right as guaranteed by the United Nations.

Mr Udom Rat-amarith, a member of the Constitution Drafting Committee and a member of the scrutiny committee scrutinizing the amendments, pointed out that, in the past and at present, corrupt politicians managed to escape scot-free  because the court could not put them on trial without their presence before the court.

The amendments, he explained, were intended to close the legal loophole and to empower the court to put the corrupt politicians on trial even though they have escaped overseas.

“Ordinary people are under the jurisdiction of the justice process and the law, but the escapees are not.  The question is how can we deal with them?  This is about the law that will create equality and fairness,” said Mr Udom. 

13 Jul 2017
12:57 pm

Royal Thai Police commissioner Pol Gen Chaktip Chaijinda voiced confidence that the police will be able to arrest all those responsible for the execution-style shootings in Krabi while assuring that all positive motives won’t be discounted.

His confidence came as he flew to Krabi yesterday to direct the investigation by himself in the cold-blooded shootings of the village headman Worayuth Sanglang, his family members and relatives at his home in Ao Luek district.

Pol Gen Chaktip

The group of 6-7 gunmen entered his house which is also used as the village headman’s office at about 4.00 pm as if they were authorities and wanted to search  his house.

Worayuth was not in. The gunmen then detained all people inside and waited until 8.00 pm when he returned.

The shootings then started around 11.00 pm  after the gunmen separated family members to their rooms.

Pol Gen Chaktip said he has ordered the investigative team to carry out their investigation as thoroughly and comprehensively as possible.

He confirmed that the police  had not discounted any possible motives for the slaying.

However he was not able to confirm if southern extremists were hired to carry out the executions saying only that the matter was still under investigation.

But he said judging from the style of the crimes, it almost resembled the way southern militants did.

They destroyed video cameras fixed around the house and vicinities, took away the headman’s guns, and escaped in stolen car of the victim’s.

He also stated that he has ordered a 24 hour intensive security detail around the three surviving members of the family.

One man survived the shooting by pretending dead after he was shot on the head by the gunman. The bullet missed vital part on the head.

He managed to call relatives for help and the first word spoken to the relative in the phone call is “police kill them”.

The commissioner closed by saying that no details in the investigation can be made public at present as it could have dire consequences for the victims.

Possible motives are conflict with local politicians, conflict with villagers over a rock grinding concession, forced eviction of villagers from concession area of the rock grinding mill, drug trafficking and adultery.

Adultery was suspected after the headman was reported to frequently  visit his pregnant minor wife in Ang Thong.

Forensic police also said the gunman used  the headman’s service handgun to shoot and kill two victims

Commenting on suspicions that the gunmen in fatigues might be government authorities, and they might be familiar with the headman because they were with the victims for many hours, and the execution might be to gag their mouths, Fourth Army Region commander Lt Gen Piyawat Narkwanich assured that they are not military authorities but just dressed like authorities to divert attention.

He also dismissed the gunmen are southern militants.

Forensic police inspected the scene of the shootings yesterday and found seven CCTV video cameras around the house  were removed and hard disks taken away.

But police assured they might have evidence from neighbours’ CCTV cameras and from car video cameras which might have videotaped their vehicles.

The gunmen  escaped in Toyota Fortuner van and   the headman’s wife’s Toyota Yaris car.

Senior forensic expert says Krabi execution-style murder was well-planned in advance

A former police forensic expert says the execution-style shooting in Krabi was well-planned in advance and the perpetrators might be familiar with their victims.

In an exclusive interview with ThaiPBS, Pol Gen Charumporn Suramanee, a former assistant commissioner of the Royal Thai Police and now a member of the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission, said he believed the shooting was well-planned in advance.

Pol Gen Charumporn

The perpetrators might first intend to negotiate rather than to take the life of the whole family members of the village headman.

This was judged from the time the gunmen spent in the house for several hours, he said.

They came in for negotiation with the headman on some unsettled disputes on conflict of interest, he said.

They were not hired gunmen and they were not related to any religious sect, the senior forensic expert said.

He said the reason which the gunmen had to shoot all inside the house because they were held hostages for several hours and
might recognise all the gunmen.

It was also possible that the gunmen and the victims might be familiar with each other, he said.

Commenting on the camouflage fatigues that the gunmen wore and the use of the guns of the village headman in the shooting, Pol Gen Charumporn said this indicated neither a hidden motive nor any symbolic sign.

According to police’s crime files, the first case of execution-style murder of the whole family members in the Southern Region happened 20 years ago in Songkhla province at a house of a health station chief at Rawa village.

In this case, five were killed. They included three children who were hanged and the mother tied and smashed to death on the face and the house was ransacked.

The murderer was arrested and later convicted to life sentence by the Supreme Court.

He confessed to the serious crime after learning that the family had sold a piece of land for one million baht.

He killed all of them after forcing them to reveal where they kept the money.

He was later arrested after police traced him from the loots he stole from the house

12 Jul 2017
10:17 pm

An elderly Australian tourist was fatally injured when he plunged to the sea in Kata beach in Phuket from a parasail on Wednesday.

Mrs Busabong Thongsangka, a Thai girlfriend of the 71-year old tourist, Roger John Hussey, told the police they both went to the Kata beach and the victim parasailed with the help of an instructor as she took a video of the event from the beach.

About 20 seconds afterward as the parasail was airborne at about 70 metres above the sea, for unknown reason, the tourist fell to the sea from the parasail. Rescue workers and spectators on the beach then rushed to pluck the victim out of the sea and had him sent to Patong hospital for medical treatment.

But the victim was eventually pronounced dead.

Pol Lt Suvisit Khirirak, deputy inspector of Karon police, said that the accident might stem from the assumption that the victim did not properly wear safety gears and, while airborne, he might not grab the strap tied with the parasail but might have grabbed the lock on his chest which resulted to the fatal plunge

Police later summoned the parasail operator, Mr Monthien Chandang and instructor, Mr Rungroj Rakcheep, for interrogation to find out the cause of the fatal mishap.

Both were initially charged with negligence causing the death of another person. But the victim’s wife said she didn’t want to take legal action the duo, but only wanted compensation to cover funeral expenses.

Officials of the Phuket tourism office were sent to the hospital to provide convenience and moral support to the relatives of the victim.

 

11 Jul 2017
7:22 pm

Deputy Bangkok Governor Chakkraphan Phiew-ngarm on Sunday led concerned city officials to inspect a land plot of the Treasury Department in Soi Charoen Nakorn 7 which was designated as the construction site of Bangkok Observation Tower.

The deputy governor said that the on-site inspection aimed to set the guidelines for construction work before a construction permit was to be issued to Bangkok Observation Tower Foundation after the civil works office sought consultations from the City Hall regarding construction guidelines.

He said that the project gone through environmental impacts assessment and the City Hall was awaiting the project design from the foundation.

He also assured the Suvarnabhumi Muslim community which is close to the construction site would not be relocated during the construction period because most of the equipment and construction materials would be transported to the site by boat.

If any houses in the community are damaged as a result of the construction, they will be compensated, said Mr Chakkraphan, adding that the landscape of the community will also be developed and beautified.

The community leader, Mrs Somsuk Somsong, said that the community residents had no objection against the project and they believe that the project will bring  benefits to the community.

The 459-metre high Bangkok Observation Tower, when completed, will be the highest building in Thailand and a new landmark for Bangkok.  The constructer of the project will be picked by the Transport Ministry without an open bid as mandated by the government in order to expedite the project.

 

11 Jul 2017
6:15 pm

The Cambodian parliament on Monday swiftly passed controversial law amendments that ban former opposition leader Sam Rainsy from the political arena and from bolstering the opposition’s position ahead of next year’s elections, according to a report in The Phnom Penh Post Online on Tuesday.

The amendments to the Political Parties law are the second round of changes this year after an earlier amendment that forced Rainsy to resign as president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party to avoid the possible dissolution of the party.

Rainsy on Monday branded the amendments “Anti-Sam Rainsy Law”.  “I am honoured to be Hun Sen’s constant obsession,” he said as he urged the prime minister to push for the adoption of really useful laws aimed at putting things right in a country that is just “upside down”.

He also suggested that there were “millions of Sam Rainsys” in the Cambodian citizens who yearn for freedom and justice and claimed he had attained near-mythological status.

The National Assembly spent less than an hour of debate to pass the controversial amendments with 66 votes though Hun Sen and Interior Minister Sar Kheng were conspicuously absent from the session.  The CNRP which holds 55 seats boycotted the session.

CNRP deputy president Mu Sochua defended the party’s decision to boycott the session.  “It is the same questioned asked every time we decided not to be there.  Would there be a true democratic debate?”  she said in an e-mail as she doubted the law would have its intended effect.

The amendments ban parties from “using the voice, image, written documents or activities of a convicted criminal…for the interest of theparty, and from accepting or conspiring with a convicted criminal to do activities in the interest of the party.

Source : http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/cpp-assembly-members-vote-anti-rainsy-law

11 Jul 2017
6:09 pm

All northeastern-bound trains resume service as normal as of Tuesday evening after railway workers have fixed the damaged rail tracks in the municipal area of Nakhon Ratchasima.

Train services to northeastern provinces were suspended as of Monday night after 20 carriages loaded with cement from TPI Polene Company derailed at a railway crossing in Nakhon Ratchasima municipality.


A mobile huge crane was transported in a train from Bangkok to the site of the accident to lift the derailed carriages out of the rail tracks.


Railway officials said most of the derailed carriages except six had been removed with the rest pending investigation by officials from TPI Polene Company.

The State Railway of Thailand has set up a fact-finding panel to investigate the cause of the accident.

 

 

11 Jul 2017
4:42 pm

People living along the klongs in Samut Songkhram as well as fish and shrimp farm operators have uged authorities concerned to come to their rescue against the proliferation of an invasive fish species thought to be brought into Thailand from an African country.

A team of Thai PBS reporters who have been following up this alien fish species for the past three weeks were told by klong-side residents all the klongs in Ampawa district such as Klong Don Chan, Klong Chek, Klong Somboon, Klong Tamon and Klong Phi Lok are choked with the alien fish species Cichlids, locally known as pla morsee khangdum, that the other native fish species appear to have disappeared.

The fish has also spread to fish and shrimp farmers and has devoured fish and shrimp in the farms, causing extensive damage to the farmers.

If the alien fish is not eradicated quickly, it may spread to neighbouring  Ban Laem district of Petchaburi province.