17 Aug 2017
10:57 am

A man who has produced various kinds of fake official documents as ordered online has been arrested, Metropolitan Police chief Pol Lt Gen Sanit Mahathavorn said at a press conference on Wednesday (Aug 16).

Pol Lt Gen Sanit said the man, Nitipong “Jo” Thavornwiwatbut, 35, was arrested on Tuesday under a warrant approved by the Criminal Court after a long investigation.

He was arrested at a house in Soi 14 off Choke Chai 4 raod in Bangkok’s Lat Phrao district.

Police seized in his possession 67 fake citizen identification cards, 33 fake driver’s licences, a number of fake student cards of various universities, a printer, a computer and many other equipment for counterfeiting official documents.

Nitipong confessed to have produced fake IDs and other official documents for sales as ordered on LINE application and Facebook for about two years.  A fake ID card was sold for 5,000 – 7,000 baht, he said.

Police are investigating to find out if the man had worked alone or worked with other people as a forgery gang.

Nitipong was initially charged with faking official documents.

16 Aug 2017
6:48 pm

Songkhla – A group of six to seven men broke into a used car shop in Na Thawi district of this southern province in a daylight robbery on Wednesday morning, drove away five pick-up trucks and took the shop owner and 3 employees hostages, according to media reports.

Two of the four hostages, including the owner of the shop, were shot and wounded by the robbers while on the run.

The incident occurred at about 11.30am when the robbers, all armed, broke into Wang To car centre, a used car dealer, in Na Thawi district.

The robbers forced Thanisak Yeejeen, the shop owner, and three employees — Saharat Naehi, Prathanporn Nualkamol, and Jirasak Rattanaphan — at gun points, telling them not to resist.

They then drove off five pick-up trucks from the shop — a Mitsubishi Triton, a bronze Isuzu spacecab, a black Isuzu spacecab, a grey Isuzu D-Max, and a black Toyota Vigo. The five vehicles were driven from the shop in different directions.

The robbers also forced Thani, the shop owner, and the three employees into the Mitsubishi Triton, taking them as hostages.

After the robbery, all police checkpoints on different routes were alerted to intercept the stolen vehicles.

The Mitibishi Triton, in which Thani and his employees were taken hostages, ran out of fuel and ground to a halt at Moo 3 village in Tambon Wang Yai in Songkhla’s Thepha district. The robbers handling the vehicle fired shots at all four of them, wounding two Saharat and Prathanporn.

Thanisak, the shop owner, and Jirasak, an employee, managed to escape unhurt.

The black Isuzu spacecab was fired at by police while trying break through the Ko Mokaeng checkpoint in Pattani’s Nong Chik district. The vehicle was forced to stop after an explosion.

The Toyota Vigo ground to a halt in Tambon Yabi in Pattani’s Nong Chick after an explosion. It was still unclear what happened to it.

The black Isuzu D-Max was found abandoned on a road in Tambon Khuan Nori in Pattani’s Khok Pho district.

Only one of the stolen pick-up trucks — the bronze Isuzu spacecab — was still missing. Police were looking for it.

Lt Gen Piyawat Nakwanich, the 4th Army commander, ordered all security checkpoints to look for the pick-up truck which was still missing, particularly in Khok Pho and Nong Chik districts of Pattani adjacent to Songkhla.

Bomb disposal teams were sent to examine to see if any of the robbers were killed and left in the vehicle which was fired at by the police.

Police were investigating to establish the motive of the robbery.

Initially, it was not reported whether any of the robbers had been caught.

16 Aug 2017
4:03 pm

Kanchanaburi provincial police yesterday (Aug 15) charged raft operator and his daughter for illegal advertising of alcohol after they held a riverine bikini party which went on Facebook Live for six hours.

The live broadcast of the bikini party on the raft at Srinagarind dam went viral on the social media with many viewers commenting it was  inappropriate and obscene.

The indecent exposure of girls in bikinis however did not prompt police action but the showing of alcohol drinks with their brands in the live broadcast that took the police to task.

Kanchanaburi police commander Pol Maj Gen Kamron Boonlert said the “Money” raft operator Mr Sakchai Udon, 49, and his 23-year-old daughter Ms Nutchanat were summoned for questioning yesterday (Aug 15).

Both said they held the bikini party to commence the opening of their floating raft house.

The police commander said the police initially charged them for illegal advertising of alcohol drinks.

The offence carries a maximun jail term of one year, and a fine of not more than 500,000 baht, or both.

He said the operator intended to live broadcast a brand of a well-known alcohol drink because they displayed the alcohol bottles on all dining tables.

He said other charges were not pressed no matter they be underaged or drugs.

Examination of all participants in the party were over 18-year-old and urine test also detected no drugs, he said.

However he has instructed Srisawat district police to re-examine the live video thoroughly again if there is any violation of the Computer Crime Act.

16 Aug 2017
7:42 am

Only 34 districts in eight provinces are still affected by flooding, Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department reported on Aug 15.
The 34 districts are:
Sakon Nakhon
– Muang, Kusuman and Khok Si Suphan
Kalasin
– Muang, Yang Talat, Khong Chai, Kamalasai and Rong Kham
Nakhon Phanom
– Nakae and Nawa
Yasothon
– Muang, Kham Khuan Kaeo, Maha Chanachai and Kho Wang
Roi Et
– Selaphum, Chiang Khwan, Chang Han, Phochai and Thung Khao Luang
Ubon Ratchathani
– Muang, Warin Chamrap, Muang Sam Sip, Don Mot Daeng, Trakan Phuetphon, Det Udom, Khuang Nai and Sawang Wirarong
Nong Khai
– Fao Rai of Nong Khai
Ayutthaya
– Bang Ban, Sena, Bang Pa-in, Phak Hai, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya and Bang Sai
Altogether 137,726 people of 42,461 households in 1,253 villages are still affected.

15 Aug 2017
6:29 pm

Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, alias Pai Daodin, was sentenced to two years and six months jailterm today (Aug 15) after he confessed to the charges of lese majeste and violation of the Computer Crime Act before the Khon Kaen provincial court.

Jatupat was accused of lifting portions of a BBC Thai commentary titled “Biography of the New King of Thailand” and posting them in his Facebook page – an act which was deemed to be lese majeste and in violation of the Computer Crime Act.

He was arrested on December 3 last year and has since been held in detention with his requests for bail rejected 10 times.

Jatupat appeared before the court for the first hearing of his trial on Aug 3 to defend himself against the charges.

But during the hearing today at Khon Kaen provincial court, he pleaded guilty to the charges. The court initially handed down a five-year imprisonment, but commuted it by half to two years and six months due to his confession.

15 Aug 2017
4:32 pm

The operations of ride-sharing company Uber has been suspended for a month by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) of the Philippines, The Manila Times Online reported on Tuesday (Aug 15).

The board also suspended Uber’s online booking applications which allow users to book rides through their smartphones.

The board urged Uber “to extend financial assistance to its affected peer-operators during the period of suspension as an expression of good faith as their accredited peer-operators would not have suffered current predicament were it not for the predatory actions of respondent Uber.”

Uber and the other ride-sharing operators have been under fire for allegedly allowing unregistered vehicles to take on passengers.

Meanwhile, Uber has issued a statement on its Facebook page, saying that the company has filed a motion for reconsideration with the LTFRB.

“This means that Uber’s operations will continue until the motion is resolved. Consequently, we will be resuming serving Metro Manila and Cebu.

“Over the course of this morning, tens of thousands of riders were left stranded, causing needless inconvenience, while drivers were unable to access the earning opportunities they rely on. We are looking forward to urgently resolving this matter with LTFRB in the interests of everyone who depends on Uber every day,” the statement said.

15 Aug 2017
4:01 pm

The cabinet on Tuesday (Aug 15) agreed to retain the value-added-tax (VAT) at the rate of 7% for another year from Oct 1, 2017 to Sept 30, 2018, Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong said.

Mr Apisak said the decision to retain the VAT at 7% is intended to shore up the people’s cost of living and to build public confidence in the Thai economic growth.

If the VAT is increased at this time the country’s consumption and economic growth may be affected, he added.

The VAT was introduced in Thailand in 1992 at a rate of 10% but was immediately slashed to 7% after business operators said the high rate cut into purchasing power. This rate has been retained since.

Finance Ministry sources said the government does not have a problem about the revenue and is of the opinion that a VAT increase during this time is not necessary.  Moreover, the country’s public debt is still low at 42% of the gross domestic product (GDP) — well below the 60% ceiling.

There are still ways of obtaining loans for investments in the country’s infrastructure projects to spur the economy.

15 Aug 2017
1:44 pm

Bodies of three men, one of them a drug ex-convict, were found buried near an irrigation canal in Maharaj district of Ayutthaya province yesterday (Aug 14).

Two motorcycles were also found at the bottom of the canal.

Police suspected narcotic trafficking might be the motive of the slayings of the three men. The victims are identified as Somparn Boonsarng, 39; Phairaj Homcha-em, 38; and Samruay Wongaksirn, 32.

Somparn, the ex-drug convict, was earlier reported missing two weeks ago by his sister Pacharee after he was recently freed from prison.

According to Ayutthaya police commander Pol Maj Gen Sutthi Puangpikul, Pacharee and relatives of two other men had reported the police that the three were friends and went missing on Aug 6 .

He said villagers alerted the police after they found suspicious holes with foul smell near the irrigation canal.

Police and rescue workers arrived at the scene and began digging the holes where they found two bodies in the first hole and another in the second hole.

A search near the scene also produced two motorcycles in the canal, and burnt clothes and three mobile phones.

The three were later identified to be those whose relatives reported missing to Maharaj police on August 6.

The police commander said he suspected the killers might be acquainted with the three, and might have heated brawling before killing them all.

Drug trafficking might be the probable cause as one was a former drug prisoner, according to police investigator.

15 Aug 2017
12:30 pm

The Indonesian finance minister has admitted that the Directorate General of Taxation has not been able to optimally collect taxes from the rich people due to regulation constraints, The Jakarta Post Online reported on Monday (Aug 14).

Minister Sri Mulyadi said in Jakarta over the weekend that she had asked the tax office to study the tax system of the other countries to know whether the collection system for income taxes and value added taxes for both individuals and institutions can be improved.

She said that her ministry wanted to revise the regulations on taxation so that the tax system would reflect the justice system.

Minister Sri Mulyadi

Under the current system, there are four brackets of income taxes for individuals:  people with incomes of more than Rp 50 million (US$3,846) per year (5 percent tax); people with incomes more than Rp50 million but less than Rp 250 million (15 percent tax); people with incomes exceeding Rp250 million but less than Rp500 million (25percent tax); and people with incomes over Rp 500 million (30 percent tax).

Center for Indonesia Taxation Analysis executive director Yustinus Prastowo agreed with the minister that the four brackets of tax payers had not reflected the justice system in tax collection.

He said the tax system should be more progressive by expanding the number of brackets of taxpayers.

15 Aug 2017
9:39 am

The House Committee investigating the illegal entry of P6.4 billion worth of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) has recommended the dismissal of Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon for alleged gross incompetence and corruption, The Manila Times Online reported on Monday (Aug 14).

“When he assumed office, he centralized all powers by creating a command center.  He did not even ask permission from the Secretary of Finance.  He did not issue a department order creating it.  He is simply managing it by himself.  These actions are signs of incompetence,” representative Robert Barbers, chairman of the dangerous drugs committee, told a forum in Manila on Monday.

Barbers said he would submit the committee’s report with its recommendation to President Rodrigo Duterte next week.

He further said that he would also recommend a replacement for Faeldon.

Faeldon’s competence was questioned after a P6.4 billion worth of shabu shipment passed through Bureau of Customs’ priority lane without inspection.  If not for a tip from China, the contraband could have been sold on the streets.

Barbers said his committee has finished its hearing and was now readying the final draft.