24 May 2017
10:25 pm

About 100 police, army and local officials on Wednesday inspected two houses located on Khao Takiab hill in Hua Hin seaside resort town suspected to be encroaching on state land.

Hua Hin district officer Rootprateep Thampitak who headed the inspection said that initial findings showed that the two houses which are for rent by tourists encroach on state land.

The owner of the two houses, 65-year old Lt-Col Suwat Vivattananont, was then told to dismantle the houses within 180 days. But he said that he would appeal against the demolition order.

Mr Rootprateep further said that it was discovered that a few other resorts in the Khao Takiab area were found to have partially encroached on the beach which was regarded as public land.

The beach used to be mangrove forest which was reclaimed by encroachers.

 

24 May 2017
8:42 pm

The fiscal policy committee agreed to maintain the key policy rate at 1.5 percent, citing clear sign of economic recovery and low inflation pressure which is likely to pick up in the second half of the year.

Fiscal policy committee secretary Chaturon Chantharangs said that the Thai economy was showing clearer sign of recovering, resulting from export growth, increased consumption of the private sector, especially the farming sector and growth in tourism.

However, he said government spending still remains the key engine to drive the economy while private investment is gradually picking up.

He warned that there are risk factors which may affect Thailand’s economic growth, especially from economic and trade policies of the US and China’s economic reforms.

Inflation pressure has eased than anticipated, resulting from price decrease of fresh produce in line with increase in the prices of vegetables and fruits. However, it is anticipated that inflation will crease in the second half of the year.

Chaturon said that the committee is confident that the monetary system remains stable and is capable of coping with fluctuations of financial situations internally and externally.

 

24 May 2017
8:28 pm

The Government Lottery Office is to issue new lottery tickets which will be more difficult for counterfeiting starting September 1, GLO director Maj-Gen Chalongrath Nark-arthit disclosed on Wednesday.

The new lottery tickets which will be priced at 80 baht apiece will feature new two-dimensional bar code that will be make it more difficult to counterfeit and buyers can check the authenticity of the tickets with QR reader application from their smart phones.

The new tickets will be smaller than the old ones with size 5.9 cm x 11.8 cm. There is one ticket priced at 80 baht instead of today’s one pair of two attached tickets priced at 80 baht.

The GLO director said the GLO was pondering increasing the price of lottery tickets to 100 baht apiece instead of 80 baht apiece and, at the same time, increasing the rewards accordingly and that lottery tickets can be cashed at Krung Thai bank branches and postal offices instead of at the GLO office for public convenience.

Despite the new look tickets, the amount of rewards remain the same at 48 million baht in total for a set of lottery tickets which carry 14,168 prizes.

 

24 May 2017
12:09 pm

More heavy to very heavy rains are anticipated today until Sunday in four parts of the country, the Meteorological Department said.

In the latest announcement before noon, affected by heavy to very rains from today until May 28 are provinces in the northern, northeastern, central and southern regions.

People in the northeastern provinces are warned to brace for rains first, following by people in the eastern part of the North.

Later from May 26-28, those in central, eastern region and Bangkok will be affected by heavy to very heavy rains, it said.

It added that the rains are anticipated as low pressure front is blanketing Vietam and Tonkin Bay while the southwesterly monsoon blowing in the Andaman Sea is strengthening.

It warned people in affected areas of possible flashfloods and surface runoff.

 

24 May 2017
11:20 am

First Army Region commander said yesterday that the bombing at Phramongkhutklao hospital was carried out by a well organized group.

Lt-Gen Apirat Kongsompong speculated that their backers might be person or persons who are dissatisfied with the current political situation in Thailand.

He asked the public to denounce and condemn them as they had no place in civil society.

“No one in the world will tolerate the unprecedented attack on a medical facility,” he said.

He said everyone from the prime minister to the deputy prime minister and the commander-in-chief himself has been patient in not ordering a state of emergency.

He assured that security forces and he himself and soldiers under his command are ready and on standby for the word from his superiors.

He said the media should realize from news reports that there are many inscrutable groups all over the world, but he wouldn’t point any fingers.

But in light of the recent spate of bombings, he said he has ordered that modifications be made to the location of closed-circuit TV
cameras around Sanam Luang Field.

Also 200 more closed-circuit TV cameras will be installed at strategic locations in the area. Thirty roving motorcycle patrols have also been ordered along with military checkpoints at all important landmarks in the capital, he added.

24 May 2017
10:45 am

Investigators of the bombing at Phramongkhutklao hospital have now strongly believed political motive was behind the attack while ruling out southern insurgency link.

They said politics was the most probable cause as evidence collected so far and many circumstances were coincidental.

The explosion happened in front of the “Wongsuwan” room inside the Chalermphrakiat building of the hospital.

Wongsuwan is the family name of deputy prime minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan. He was reported to be sick and treated at the hospital .

The explosion happened on May 22, which is the day when the military junta seized power from the Yingluck Government on May 22, 2014.

The hospital is also the army hospital.

Earlier Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha also voiced his suspecions of all coincidental incidents but didn’t point finger at any particular group.

Although investigators did not pinpoint any certain group, but they all said the bombing was carried out by well-organised group with link to overseas.

Royal Thai Police deputy commissioner Pol Gen Srivara Rangsibhramanakul (Right)

Royal Thai Police deputy commissioner Pol Gen Srivara Rangsibhramanakul said the bombing was more closely resembled the five cases of bombings during the 2007 political disturbances.

There was no evidence to indicate that the hospital bombing was in any way connected to the bombings in the southern provinces, he said.

The connection to the 2007 political disturbances is backed up by the similarity of the bomb fragments and explosive material that has been collected by forensics experts.

Meanwhile police revealed that 3 days prior to the hospital bombing, a warning was sent to the Thailand’s National Cancer Institute which located near Phramongkutlklao hospital by an unknown individual.

Police yesterday revealed the pictures of the green porcelain vase that was used to conceal the bomb.

The pictures were taken by a visitor to the hospital before it exploded.

Before it went off, it held a bunch of orange flowers and was attached to a wall at the scene.

A closed circuit TV footage initially showed that there was one individual very close to the vase prior to the bombing.

Commenting on this, Pol Gen Srivara stated that investigators have now discovered that the person in the clip was in fact one of the victims whom was also injured when the bomb went off.

Investigators have questioned the person as well as other victims and will be adding their accounts to the case file.

Examination of closed circuit TV footages however has failed to produce leads on the perpetrators but police investigators stated that they will be employing other investigative means to identify the bomber.

 

23 May 2017
11:48 pm

The cabinet and the National Council for Peace and Order on Tuesday agreed to allow Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha to invoke Section 44 of the interim constitution to bypass legal redtape in order to speed up the implementation of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) plan.

Government spokesman Lt-Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the use of Section 44 to speed up the realization of EEC plan means that the National Environment Committee can immediately start conducting environment impacts assessment study by setting up a team of experts to do the job without having to wait for approval from relevant agencies. The EIA study is due to be completed in one year.

The EEC committee headed by the prime minister can give approval to PPP projects within the standard scope of PPP.

Also, the legal requirement of over 50 percent stake holding by Thai nationals for the aircraft maintenance project in the EEC is to be dropped because foreign investors are reluctant to invest in the project if they are not allowed to hold majority stake in the project, said the spokesman.

 

23 May 2017
5:57 pm

Two paramilitary rangers were killed in a roadside explosion in Krong Penang district of Yala province on Tuesday.

The two rangers, Prasert Kaichart and Hilham Puteh, were riding on a motorcycle on their way from their outpost in Ban Sueror, Yaha district, to market in Ban Huey Krathing to shop for consumer products.

The two used a detour route and as they arrived at a spot where a roadside bomb was planted, suspected militants who had been waiting near the spot detonated the bomb.

The force of the explosion instantly killed the two rangers at the scene.

23 May 2017
2:00 pm

Foreign criminal gangs are now using Pattaya as haven for their online crimes to cheat their country men, or for online gambling, according to the Chonburi Transnational Crime Coordination Centre.

Pol Lt-Col Chiddecha Songhong, an officer attached to the centre, said Pattaya has become a haven for transnational criminals for illegal online activities.

They came either as tourists or students and looked for commercial buildings to use as their offices for online crimes.

They had turned from renting big houses in housing estates to renting offices in big commercial buildings to avoid attention from residents in the communities, and from government authorities, he said.

The change of office location in housing estates was found out after Pattaya police recently busted a Chinese call centre gang and arrested 13 Chinese suspects, including the gang leader identified as Ming Chou Lee.

The gang used a four storey commercial building as it’s office.

The arrest followed several months long of monitoring and tracking of the gang members to a major commercial building.

The officer said police became suspecious of their daily living as these tourists didn’t go out to visit other tourist destinations but just stayed at the same place for a long time.

They came and left at same time every day unlike tourists, prompting the police to believe they were using the place for online crimes, he said.

Besides, he said the police are also monitoring commercial buildings where renters have installed high speed internet facilities and large number of computers for use as they might be used for online crimes such as online gambling and call centres.

22 May 2017
10:33 pm

A non-commissioned police officer of Pone Thong district police in Roi-et province was temporarily relieved of police service and charged with malfeasance for allowing two alleged drug suspects to escape from detention cell of the police station.

A CCTV system at the police station showed Pol Mst-Sgt Chalard Nan-udon opening the detention cell gate to let the two drug suspects, Surachai Poomipark and Surasak Kanthamat, to meet their girlfriends on Saturday evening. The two suspects then escaped with their girlfriends in waiting car.

Pol Col Pansak Uppapong, the police superintendent, said that visitors were not permitted to visit suspects after 5 pm, not even policemen who are not in charge of overseeing detained suspects.

He added that Chalard might know the two suspects because he used to work in narcotics suppression.

Chalard insisted that he had no intention to let the two suspects off the hook.

The two suspects were arrested on Friday on drug trafficking charges. They face an additional charge of escaping from detention whereas their girlfriends face charge of abetting their escape.