8 Jun 2018
2:27 pm

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his cabinet members will make an inspection trip to the lower Central provinces of Nakhon Sawan, Kamphaeng Phet, Phichit and Uthai Thani on June 11-12 and hold this year’s 4th mobile cabinet in Nakhon Sawan on June 12.

Government House sources said since the four provinces are rich with natural resources and suitable for growing rice and other agricultural produce, the cabinet will attach importance to the rehabilitation and development of water resources for agriculture and maintenance of the eco-system.

It will also look into the development of infrastructure and logistics as well as sources of production to reduce the production cost and increase income for farmers.

On June 11, the prime minister, cabinet members and accompanying officials will fly on a C-130 cargo plane of the air force from the military airport in Don Mueang to the military airport of the air force’s Wing 46 in Phitsanulok. They will pay respects to the image of Luang Pho Phet at Wat Tha Luang in Muang district of Phichit province before proceeding to meet the people at the Bung Si Fai Lake, which will be developed to be the fifth largest reservoir in the country.

Gen Prayut and his entourage will later visit the office for the rehabilitation of the Phichit river in tambon Yan Yao in Phichit’s Muang district.

In the afternoon on June 11, they will take a special train from Chum Saeng station to Nakhon Sawan railway station to see the construction of a dual-track railway project between Lop Buri and Pak Nampho. They will inspect the rehabilitation of the Bung Boraphet Lake which has been hit with problems over water shortage, degradation of the environment and extinction of some fish species.

The prime minister will then proceed to meet the people and local leaders of the lower Central provinces and see an exhibition at a meeting hall near Bung Boraphet. He will preside over a ceremony to hand over a letter of permission for the people to make use of land in forest reserves and the hand-over of loans to farmers to build silos under a project of the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives.

On June 12, Gen Prayut will preside over the social and economic meeting of the lower Central provinces before chairing the 4th mobile cabinet meeting at the Phra Bang auditorium of the Nakhon Sawan Rajabhat University.

The prime minister and cabinet members will visit a number of development projects in the afternoon before returning to Bangkok.

8 Jun 2018
1:08 pm

A businesswoman wanted for assisting former assistant abbot of Wat Samphanthawong, Phra Prommethi, to escape via the Laotian border and later to Germany has fled the country.

The wanted woman, Sasiorn Jiamvijitkul, 54,
a disciple better known by her nickname “Jum” is now in England.

She was reported to have escaped shortly before the immigration officials would be notified of the arrest warrant.

The police are still looking for four others who helped the monk to escape.

They include Peerawich Srisattha, 28, a close aide to former Phra Prommethi, and three other three Lao people for allegedly abetting Phra Prommethi’s escape out of Thailand.

The monk is currently in Frankfurt and is reported to be in the custody of German immigration officials after he reportedly asked for asylum.

8 Jun 2018
11:21 am

The government says it will boost selling of Thai products through its official e-commerce channel,  Thaitrade.com, to 10 billion baht next year from 5 billion this year.

The assurance of doubling of sales through Thailand’s Thaitrade.com, the official business-to-business e-marketplace, was declared by Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak when he delivered a keynote address, titled “Changing Thai Businesses to Online World, underlining the importance of Thaitrade.com. ” yesterday.

He said the government was  determined to boost  sales of Thai products to 10 billion baht in 2019 on the back of the launch of Thaitrade.com.

The online channel is aimed  to export as many Thai products and to raise transaction value on the national e-commerce platform.

Dr Somkid  said the website is a new form of the e-marketplace developed to support foreign markets and is the countrys online market.

He said the Ministry of Commerce has been assigned to promote the website and launch a new service, called Thaitrade Shop where buyers can shop a variety of quality products from retail operators directly.

Meanwhile, Commerce Minister Sonthirat Sonthijirawong said the ministry  aimed  to increase the number of Thaitrade.com members to 100,000 from 25,000 within three years.

He said annual sales via the platform are expected to increase to 10 billion baht from 5 billion baht by the end of next year.

8 Jun 2018
11:08 am

The government yesterday launched a major PR blitz to sell the investment potential in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) with a briefing for foreign envoys on its most ambitious development project.

Diplomats and delegates from 56 countries were invited to the briefing by ministers in charge of promoting the special economic zone in the Eastern Seaboard.

They were assured of the facilities and benefits foreign investors would get as well as the six much-touted projects under public-private partnerships (PPP) in EEC.

Prime Minister’s Office Minister Kobsak Pootrakool said winning bidders for the projects are expected to be announced later this year.

The six projects are U-Tapao airport and Eastern Aviation City; the U-Tapao aircraft maintenance center; high-speed rail linking three airports; the third phase of Laem Chabang Port, the third phase of Map Ta Phut Industrial Port; and a digital park worth 600 billion baht in total.

At the same time, Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana said the government is setting up a fund to take care of residents in the area and working on a new city plan, which is expected to be completed within one year.

When everything has made some progress, the government will begin launching roadshows to promote EEC in foreign countries, starting from the United Kingdom, France, China, Japan and South Korea.

8 Jun 2018
10:22 am

The Australian co-founder and former chief editor of Yangon-based Myanmar Times newspaper Ross Dunkley was arrested by police at his apartment in Bahan township early Thursday morning allegedly in possession of a large amount of mehamphitamine tablets and crystal meth, according to a report in The Irrawaddy Online on Thursday.

Banhan township police chief, Pol Maj Thein Win, said police found 797 mehamphitamine pills and 303 grams of “ice” in Dunkley’s rented residence in San Yan Twin street. He added that Dunkley was charged under the anti-narcotics law and his allleged offence is punishable by death or unlimited jail term.
Dunkley’s arrest caused a stir among local netizens, coming as anti-narcotics police hunt suspects linked to a record drug bust in Malaysia’s Port Kelang in May and a day after they arrested one of the chief suspects, Haj Yassin, aka Maung Maung, in Mandalay division.

But Maj Thein Win denied there was any connection between the two cases, saying that Dunkley is a drug user rather than a drug dealer.

Dunkley established the Myanmar Times in 2000 in partnership with Sonny Swe, son of a notorious senior Myanmar military intelligence officer, Brig-Gen Thein Swe with the permission of then spy chief Khin Nyunt.

However, the entire military intelligence was disbanded by junta leader Senior-General Than Shwe in 2004 with Khin Nyunt and several senior intelligence officers being imprisoned.

Dunkley was jailed about one month in 2011 for assaulting and drugging a woman he met at a nightclub.

Myanmar Times is currently owned by Pepsi U Thein Tun and publishes both Burmese and English newspapers.

7 Jun 2018
10:35 pm

National police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda has ordered the Immigration Bureau to set up a committee to investigate two immigration officers based at Nakhon Phanom-Kammouen border checkpoint for allowing Phra Prommethi to leave the country for Laos on the night of May 24.

A well-informed police source said that the former assistant abbot of Wat Samphanthawong, Phra Prommethi, travelling in a van with a driver and his helpers, passed through the border checkpoint legally with the use of a passport at about 9.30 pm on the night of May 24.

The two immigration officers – one inspector and one deputy inspector – who allowed the senior monk to go through the checkpoint face charge of dereliction of duty.

Earlier, the Nakhon Phanom provincial court issued warrants for the arrest of two Thai and three Lao people for allegedly abetting Phra Prommethi’s escape out of Thailand.

The monk is currently in Frankfurt in the custody of German immigration officials as he reportedly asked for asylum.

 

7 Jun 2018
7:05 pm

A 17-year-old boy was arrested and a large haul of drugs, including 8.67 million methamphetamine pills, with a street value of over 100 million baht, seized in a police raid on an apartment room in Lat Phrao area on Wednesday.

 

The drug seizure was revealed by Pol Gen Chalermkiat Srivorakhan, a deputy police chief, and other high-ranking police officers in a press conference today.

Pol Maj Gen Ruchakorn Jornjewut, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitian Police, said the raid came after a lengthy investigation in to the delivery of drugs from the North to be stored in Lat Pla Khao area.

At about 10pm on Wednesday, police arrested the boy, whose name is withheld, while he was walking down from the apartment on Lat Pla Khao road in Lat Phrao district, holding a plastic bag. Found in the bag were 4,000 methamphetamine pills and 3 kilogrammes of ice or crystal methamphetamine.

The boy said he took the drugs from an apartment room. He admitted to have sold drugs in areas under the jurisdiction of the 3rd and 4th Metropolitan Police Divisions for two months. He held no previous drug records.

In a search of the apartment room, the police found 8.67 million methamphetamine pills, 37 kilogrammes of ice or crystal methamphetamine, 2,822 ecstacy tables, 38kg of ketamine flakes and 569 bottle of liquid ketamine.

Police were looking for other suspects for legal action.

7 Jun 2018
2:54 pm

Two more celebrities turned themselves in to the police to give testimonies over their roles in product reviews  for Magic Skin cosmetics and food supplements.

The two actors,  Phutthichai Kasetsin or DJ Put, and Kan Kantathavorn told  deputy national police chief Pol Gen Weerachai Songmetta and police investigators that they were contacted to review the products and personally, they believed the products were reliable because they saw Food and Drug Administration registration numbers on the labels.

Both claimed that  many celebrities had also reviewed the products and the  advertisements of the products  were widely seen on the internet and billboards.

After testing the products they found no side effects, so they thought the products were safe and met the standard.

But they said they later  heard on the news media  that the  food supplements and skin care products under the Magic Skin were substandard and were  illegal.

Pol Gen Weerachai said  the police will summon 22 other celebrities and net idols to give information about their product review for the Magic Skin brand from June 14-16.

Among them are  actor Patchara Peach Chirathivat, actress Warattaya Jui Nilkuha, singer Tom Room 39, singer Baitoey, and Chalita Suansane, Miss Universe Thailand 2016.

He said this group will be the last group to be summoned in the case.

He said so far, 59 celebrities were summoned by the police and 27 persons have already met the police to testify.

The police have not yet pressed any charges against them as they are gathering evidence to wrap up the case, but would do later after all investigation is finished, he added.

7 Jun 2018
12:46 pm

Former Malaysian prime minister and finance minister Najib Razak will be asked to explain how he could approve dubious contracts of two pipeline projects worth RM9.4 billion (about 75 billion baht)  that jeopardise the interest of the Malaysian people and the government, according to The Straits Times of Malaysia.

Malaysia’s Finance Ministry has discovered that nearly 90 percent of the RM9.4 billion  worth of the contracts were paid out but only 13 percent of the construction work has been completed.

The projects – one multi-product petroleum pipeline running from Melaka and Negeri Sembilan to Kedah, and a gas pipeline from Kimanis to Sandakan and Tawau, all in Sabah – were handled by Suria Energy Resources (SSER), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Finance Ministry.

The projects were awarded to China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau in November 2016.  They were signed by then Treasurer-General Irwan Serigar Abdullah who was also chairman of SSER.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said in a statement issued on Tuesday that he had instructed his officials to file a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

He said he is calling on former treasury secretar-general Tan Sri Irwan Serigar Abdullah and Mr Najib to explain the deal.

Work on the projects began in April 2017.  By the end of March this year, work on MPP was only 14.5 percent complete but RM 4.7 billion had been paid to contractor CPPB.  The other project, TSGP, was 11.4 precent complete, but RM3.54 billion were paid out.

“We have discovered that the payment schedules for the contracts are based almost entirely on timeline milestones, and not on progressive work completion milestones.  Worse, based on the agreements signed, 85 percent of the project value would be paid by March 1, 2018,” said Mr Lim.

He further noted that the payments did not cover another RM1 billion worth of agreements – two for consultancy services of the projects worth RM312 million and RM213 million and a maintenance contract wirth RM476 million – also awarded to Chinese companies.

Responding to the allegations in Facebook post, Najib said he was confident that all necessary process procedures and laws have been complied with.

7 Jun 2018
12:39 pm

Nakhon Phanom Provincial Court today issued warrant for the arrest of five persons who were responsible for  aiding the former assistant abbot of Wat Samphanthawong, Phra Prommethi to escape across the border to Laos.

The five persons are two Thais and three Laotians.

One of the two Thais is a female disciple of Phra  Prommethi and a local business woman.