16 Mar 2018
1:18 pm

Three Russian tourists were injured when a tour coach crashed into a roadside tree at Tambon Khao Kram in Krabi’s Muang district early on Friday (March 16).

The tour bus was on its way from Phuket to Krabi international airport with 36 Russian tourists on board.

The bus driver Rachen Sawaengsook told police that as he was driving on the Phetkasem Highway, heading for the airport, he saw three motorcycles racing each other on the same traffic lanes.

One motorcycle instantly cut into his way, forcing him to swerve to the left.

The bus lost balance, flipped over and crashed into a roadside tree by the ditch, he said.

He said he immediately contacted his bus company to arrange a new bus to take the tourists to the airport.

15 Mar 2018
10:14 pm

Health and livestock officials in Tak province have stepped up their watch for rabies after a 7-year old Myanmar boy suspected to be infected with the disease from a dog bite in Myanmar died at Phop Phra district hospital one day after he was admitted for medical treatment.

Doctor at the hospital took tissue samples from his brain and spinal cord and had them sent to the Office of Epidemiology for laboratorial tests.

About 10 medical personnel who were in close contact with the boy were given vaccine shots against rabies.

Tak livestock official Mr Permsak Ngok-ngam said local administrators in four border districts close to Myanmar, except Mae Ramat, had urged owners of pet dogs and cats to have their animals vaccinated.

Meanwhile, it was reported a 61-year old man in Prachuab Khiri Khan who was suspected to suffer from rabies after being bitten by a pet cat died on Wednesday (March 14).  Tissue samples from his brain and spinal cord were removed and sent for lab tests.

Prachuab Khiri Khan health officials have urged owners of cats and dogs to have their animals vaccinated and if they are bitten by dogs or cats which do not belong to them to quickly see doctors if they develop unusual symptoms.

In Bangkok, Governor Aswin Kwanmuang assured that city officials were able to control the situation.  He said that only six dogs were tested positive with rabies.

For the stray dogs and cats, he said officials would trap them for vaccination and vasectomy and to put them in a shelter.

The City Hall has prepared 550,000 doses of anti-rabies vaccine for mass vaccination and owners of dogs and cats are welcome to have their animals vaccinated free of charge, said the governor, adding that, so far, about 80,000 animals had been vaccinated.

15 Mar 2018
4:13 pm

Political “young blood” Thanathorn Jungroongruangkit and his teammates announced the launch of their new party, to be named Anakot Mai (Future Forward) party.

The group held an event to introduce the party to the media at a coffee shop in Bang Rak district before travelled to the Election Commission to register the new party.

No political or military officers accepted his invitation to show up to join his “meeting over coffee” and the meeting went on smoothly without any interference from either the police or the military after he was warned that the meeting could be considered as a political assembly which is prohibited by an order of the National Council for Peace and Order. 

The 39-year-old senior executive of Thai Summit Group and a nephew of former transport minister Suriya Jungroongruangkit of the Pheu Thai party, told the media that his party would not support an “outsider” to be the next prime minister and would highlight economic equality, access to capital by all and strong democracy.

It was reported that he had resigned from his posts in the private sector effective as of Thursday (March 15).

Mr Thanathorn who is viewed as a “young blood” politician said one main reason that inspired him to form a new political party was the deep political divide in the past several years which has put people in the country into two opposing camps.

He said that the new party would have a policy to improve the livelihood of the people by making them economically equitable and equally accessible to financial sources, to strengthen democracy which inspires creativity and to phase out monopolies.

He announced that he would be the first to quit if the party strays away from the promises it declared.

Asked about his party-list candidates, Mr Thanathorn said he did not have any of them in mind for the time being, but he reiterated that his party would not support an outsider to be the next prime minister.

Mr Thanathorn and his 26 co-founders who include Thammasat law lecturer Piyabutr saengkanokkul and political academic Chamnan Chanruang went to the Office of the Election Commission to apply for registration of their Future Forward Party.

 

15 Mar 2018
3:04 pm

The deputy minister for education yesterday questioned the role of the Mahasarakham University in protecting a university student intern after she exposed in public corruption at the Khon Kaen Centre for the Destitute, but was later ordered to apologize a wrongdoer at the centre by her thesis supervisor, who is a lecturer at the university.

The student intern, Ms Panida Yospanya alias “Nong Bam”, was also reported to be slapped on the shoulder by her supervisor who gave instructions to interns in receiving training at the centre as part of their thesis doing.

Prof Dr Udom Kachintorn, the education deputy minister, said yesterday (Mar 14) he has received unofficial report of the case by the High Education Commission’s secretary-general Dr Supatra Champathong that the fact finding committee appointed by the Mahasarakham University has found that the supervisor did slap on the shoulder of the student intern and forced her to apologize officials at the centre for the exposure.

The supervisor earlier came out to defend herself after Nong Bam said she was threatened and slapped on the shoulder with force after she exposed irregularities at the centre she was receiving training.

She said she did it in a lenient way as a gesture of comforting the intern, and denied she did slap the intern with force.

Prof Udom said the committee concluded that the supervisor was guilty and has proposed the university board to appoint an ethical committee to consider penalties.

But Prof Udom said he remained doubtful as the university board remained silent and did nothing to protect the student intern.

Instead the lecturer remained the intern’s thesis supervisor as she only asked the student intern to change training place to continue doing her thesis, he said.

In such case, he questioned if the university has done enough to protect the student intern.

He said he has ordered the High Education Commission to look into these issues.

He said the ministry’s executives have agreed that what the students intern did was admirable as it was an interest to the country.

“As we’re in academic institutions, we have to protect her, and admire her,” he said.

15 Mar 2018
1:33 pm

Controversial rock star Seksan Sukphimai, who is also widely known as “Sek Loso”, was sentenced to serve 10 days in prison and 4,000 baht fine after the Nakhon Si Thammarat Provincial Court found him guilty of shooting into the air, and carrying licensed gun to public places without good reasons.

However the sentence was commuted by half when he pleaded guilty to the charges.

He was then given 5 days in jail with no suspension, and fined 2,000 baht.

Sek Loso was escorted by his lawyer to the court on Thursday to hear the ruling of the first court for shooting a gun into the air inside a temple compound in Phrom Khiri district of Nakhon Si Thammarat on December 29 last year.

The shooting was broadcast live on his Facebook page which prompted the local police to seek warrant from the Nakhon Si Thammarat Court to arrest him the next day.

After the verdict was read at his presence, his lawyer said he would pose bail for his client and appeal the sentence.

15 Mar 2018
1:09 pm

Tak provincial police yesterday (Mar 14) arrested two wildlife traders after finding 24 elephant tusks and 16 elephant tails in their pickup truck.

The two suspects Saitarn Maliwan, 45, the driver, and his passenger Bunoeng Uttawat, 54, a mahout, were ordered to stop for search after their vehicle passed Huay Ya-u checkpoint in Tak.

Both confessed to the police that they bought the elephant tusks and tails from Myanmar poachers at the border for resale to customers in the northeastern provinces.

They said the tusks were meant for home decoration while the tails for talismans.

Tak provincial police deputy commander Pol Col Tararak Parameesa said the seizure and arrest came after the police have been given instruction by the Royal Thai Police to crack down on ivory trade under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species which Thailand is a member country.

He said both were detained for having tusks for trade which carries a high penalty of 3 years in jail and 6 million baht in fines.

He added that the police investigators would expand investigation into the original place of the crime so as to bring all those involved for trials.

 

 

 

 

15 Mar 2018
12:37 pm

The Counter Corruption Division (CCD) police will summon Italian Thai Development president and chief executive Premchai Karnasuta to hear bribery conspiracy charge on Monday.

CCD commander Pol Maj Gen Kamol Rienracha

CCD commander Pol Maj Gen Kamol Rienracha said the CCD investigators would press the charge against Premchai and his driver Yong Dodkrua after they have questioned the Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary chief Vichien Shinawong yesterday.

The CCD commander said Vichien told the police investigators that both attempted to bribe him in exchange for releasing them and dropping charges for wildlife poaching.

He said the driver tried to convince Vichien to free them and drop poaching charge while offering to give them all equipment necessary for their routine operations.

Pol Maj Gen Kamol said therefore the CCD police would summon both to hear the charge on Monday.

15 Mar 2018
11:15 am

A man turned himself in to Huey Kwang station police in Bangkok on Wednesday night for kicking and punching a 82-year-old scrap vendor unconscious.

Narathorn Sodtiyang, 21, showed up at the police station last night to confess to Pol Col Kampol Ratanaprateep, superintendent of Huey Kwang police, that he was the person seen on a video clip kicking and punching an old scrap vendor on a four wheel bicycle.

The old vendor was identified as a 82 year-old Charoon Meephan

Narathon admitted that he assaulted the old man out of anger and would pay for his medical bills and compensation.

He said he was also ready to apologize the old man.

Police later detained him for serious body assault under Article 295 of the Criminal Code, and would seek permission from the court for extended detention pending prosecution.

The clip posted by “แหม่มโพธิ์ดำ” on Facebook went viral on the social media after it showed a teenger riding on a motorcycle falling down to the ground after side hitting the vendor’s four wheel bicycle loaded with recycled materials.

The poster said the teenager was using a mobile phone while riding in his motorcycle.

The teenger was seen chasing the vendor and when catching up with him, kicking and punching him unconscious to the ground.

The clip was widely shared with most viewers calling the police to hunt and bring him for maximum penalties allowable by laws.

The incident happened in Soi Chanmuang Yaek 2 on Prachasongkroh road in Din Daeng.

The old man was declared out of danger after he was rushed to nearby hospital, and later recovered from fainting.

15 Mar 2018
10:48 am

The deputy prime minister has sought another extension of the deadline to submit written explanation of his pricey watches to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) when it dues today.

NACC deputy secretary-general Worawit Sukboon said Gen Prawit has sought to postpone giving a written explanation despite the deadline expires today.

But he said he couldn’t say whether the NACC would give him more time to clarify on the issue.

He said the NACC is gathering evidence and giving him a chance to clear himself off all allegations

Meanwhile the fact-finding committee assigned by the NACC board to probe the pricey wristwatches owned by the deputy prime minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan remained undecided whether to invite him for oral explanation after the fourth extended deadline for him to submit written explanation expires on Thursday.

The fact-finding committee will await Gen Prawit’s written explanation of his 25 luxury watches he was seen to wear on several occasions by today.

There were split opinions within the committee. Some wanted to invite Gen Prawit to clarify the watches by himself before the committee, while others would like him to submit written clarification instead.

NACC president Pol Gen Watcharapol Prasaenrajkit

NACC president Pol Gen Watcharapol Prasaenrajkit revealed that the NACC secretary general had written to Gen Prawit, demanding he provides specific details on how he acquired 25 luxury watches.

Pol Gen Watcharapol reiterated his earlier declaration that he would not attend the meeting to make ruling on the case due to conflict of interest.

He said conflict of interest doesn’t mean only for him, but all members of the NACC if any of them would have personal connection with persons facing the probe, they have to pull out of meeting.

This was to prevent criticism over the transparency of the ruling, he said.

14 Mar 2018
7:12 pm

Breaking his long silence on the illegal hunting trip in Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary last month, Italian-Thai Development Plc CEO Premchai Karnasuta told the media today (March 14) that he felt sorry for being accused by the society for being a wildlife poacher.

He apologized the media for making them busy with his case and denied he killed the black panther.

Mr Premchai reported to Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division today to acknowledge two charges–illegal possession of African tusks and illegal possession of firearms.

The attempted bribery charge is still being investigated by the Counter-Corruption Police Division.

Mr Premchai denied all charges that were pressed against them by the police.

“I believe I am innocent. I am sorry for making you reporters to be tired and I am sorry that the society views me in this light.  I can’t talk much because it concerns the case. But I reiterate my innocence,” said Mr Premchai.

Mr Premchai was escorted by police to the Criminal Court in the afternoon to have his detention extended.

He was eventually released on 300,000 baht bail and banned by the court from leaving the country.

While at the court, a group of protesters rallied outside the court house, with one of them holding a banner which reads “Save Wildlife”.

An unidentified man shouted at Premchai asking:  “Was the panther meat delicious?” The ITD boss however did not respond.

Police inquiry officers said that they needed to extend the detention of Premchai for 12 days until March 25 because they are yet to question seven more witnesses.

Meanwhile, the police issued a summons for Mr Premchai’s wife to acknowledge charge of illegal possession of African tusks on March 20 after she failed to report to police today.

14 Mar 2018
1:33 pm

A 5-year-old bull gaur died mysteriously shortly after it came out of roadside bushes to encounter motorists on the road in Kaeng Krachan district of Phetchaburi province on Tuesday.

The incident happened on the road from Pong Luek to Bang Kloei and was reported by a motorist Bodin Chining as he was driving on the road.

He told local authorities that a wild gaur came out of the bushes and blocked him as he was driving on the road.

A few minutes later, the animal fell on its knees, flipped on its back before falling to the roadside ditch.

He said he then alerted local officials who later arrived with park officials from Kaeng Kracharn national park but only to find it already dead.

He said the gaur died half an hour later after he alerted local officials.

Initial inspection showed no wounds on the one-ton weight bull animal.

Officials said normally gaurs would not wander out to the place for food.

It was possible that heat might force it to wander out of their sanctuary, or it might be drive out by its herd due to growing population.

Veterinarian Kanokwan Taruyanon said she would cut pieces of it’s internal organs and feces for laboratory tests to find the exact cause of death.

14 Mar 2018
12:54 pm

Lawmakers are now proposing an amendment to the Animal Cruelty Prevention and Welfares of Animals Act that will require pet owners to register their dogs and cats, and implanted with microchips as part of the effort to preven pet abandonment, and spread of deadly disease.

Failure to abide by the law, pet owners will be penalised.

The amendment was in line with the current spread of rabies with dogs and cats becoming potential disease carriers. Over 30 provinces were reported to have rabies infection cases now.

Under the amendment, pet owners in Bangkok will be required to register their pets with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration while those living in the provinces will register at local administrative offices.

Besides, all pets must undergo a microchip implantation, so they can be traceable, and their owners can be identified in case they abandon their pets.

The amendment is now carried out by the National Legislative Assembly’s committee on animal protection.

The committee expects to finish the draft amendment and forwards to the NLA on March 21. The law making process is expected to be ready end of June.

The current rising rabies infections in the country have forced many agencies to take immediate actions and launch a vaccination campaign.

Pet owners are encouraged to have their animals vaccinated to prevent them from being infected with the virus.

As for stray dogs and cats, local officials will transfer them to sanctuaries if they are found and taking care of them for 15 days pending delivery to their owners.

Strict measures will also be implemented against people who let their pets wander freely in streets and communities.

Committee chairman Wallop Tangkananurak explained that under the amendment, registration would address pet abandonment.

All pets will have identifiable owners. If there is any disease spread, owners are duty bound to have their pets vaccinated.

Moreover pet owners will not be allowed to leave their pets unattended anymore.

In case that their pets bite people, the owners must fully take responsibility.

14 Mar 2018
12:07 pm

Prime Minister Gen Prsyut Chan-o-cha brushed aside a call by the pro-election activists for his resignation if he chooses to enter politics.

He told those activists to look back to the past when politicians were in government and prepared for new election.

“Did any of them resign from their government positions to campaign for elections,” he said.

He recalled that in the past, a party leader who was then prime minister declared to run in election and launch election campaign while still in the position of prime minister.

“Today, I haven’t done anything or hold any election campaign, but still is working hard to make changes to the country,”he said.

He asked these activists not to mislead the public or distort facts as it was different matter and would only create hatred on the military junta and himself.

It was impossible to dissolve the NCPO, he said and asked them to study the Constitution.

The prime minister said Article 265 of the Constitution has stated clearly the National Council for Peace and Order will have to perform its duty until a new elected government will assume office.

Earlier the pro-election group has threatened to step up its demonstrations if the ruling junta fails to respond to its demands for the next election to be held this year.

The group also demanded that the NCPO be dissolved and their orders be nullified, with the coup-makers remaining as a caretaker government until the election is completed.

The group leader, Rangsiman Rome, said as the coup’s fourth-year anniversary is coming up in May, this should be the last year of the coup-installed regime.

They said the election must be held by the end of November.

Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wingsuwan also said dissolution of the NCPO could not be done as it would be against the Constitution.

He reiterated that he had never had an idea to enter politics when asked if any political party has approached him.

14 Mar 2018
11:50 am

The cabinet yesterday approved in principle to regulate trades in cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and activities related to digital assets which will see profits and earnings taxed.

Under the approval, a 15% withholding tax on profits and dividends generated by transactions involving digital assets may be imposed.

Nattaporn Jatusripitak, an adviser in the Prime Minister’s Office, said that the main impetus prompting the cabinets decision was to prevent fraud and money laundering.

He said all corporate entities involved in digital currencies whether brokers or legal representatives must register their operations with the government.

Furthermore, profits and earnings from digital currency transactions will be taxed by the Revenue Department.

He said the Revenue Department has proposed the legal amendment of the Revenue Code with regard to the direction for tax collection on profit and dividends from digital-currency investments.

The tax collection on digital-currency investments will be considered by the Council of the State. Details of both legal drafts will be clearer next week, Nattaporn said.

Normally income from a digital-currency investment can be collected in the same way as other income, which is taxed with a ceiling rate of a 15% withholding tax rate.

Mrs Kesara Manchusree

Meanwhile Mrs Kesara Manchusree, the managing director of the Stocks Exchange of Thailand (SET), stated that she agreed with the cabinet’s approval to regulate digital currencies.

She reported that at present more and more SET registered companies are investing in digital currencies.

She was confident that by 2019 the market capital value of digital currencies in the SET will rise to 2022 trillion baht which corresponds to 150% of GDP.

At present, this stands at 18 trillion baht. Furthermore, she expects the value of daily trading with digital currencies to increase to 100 billion baht which is currently at 73.61 billion baht.

14 Mar 2018
11:17 am

Italian Thai Development president and CEO Premchai Karnasuta turned himself in to the police at the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division on Wednesday morning for acknowledgement of three charges.

Premchai was escorted by his lawyer as he arrived this morning to acknowledge the charge filed by the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division police for possession of wildlife carcasses without permits.

He was summoned to acknowledge the charges today but his wife, Mrs Kanika Karnasuta, did not show up. Mrs Kanika was charged for having in possession African ivory tusks, while the official, Mrs Wandee Somphum, who registered her tusks as Thai pet elephant tusks was also charged for different charge.

Police from the Counter Corruption Division are also at the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Division this morning to press attempted bribery charge against him.

Premchai faced the attempted bribery charge when he offered to give the arresting wildlife sanctuary officials anything in exchange for dropping the poaching charge.

He also is facing charge for having unlicensed gun in possession, in addition to nine charges which have already been pressed against him by the police in Thong Phaphum district of Kanchanaburi province.

13 Mar 2018
11:23 pm

Anti-corruption officials have so far found evidence of corruption in 44 out of a total of 76 centres for the destitute after a nationwide investigation was launched on February 13 since the exposure of embezzlement at the Khon Kaen centre by a handful of student interns.

Acting secretary-general of Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Lt-Col Kornthip Darote thanked centre officials and members of the public who came forward to offer information about the alleged corruption to PACC officials.
He expected that, in the next 1-2 weeks, PACC would be able to implicate officials of all levels who were involved in the plundering of fund meant for the destitute for their own benefits.

About 97 million baht of the fund for the destitute were found to have been embezzled so far from the centres of the destitute already examined by PACC officials.

The northeastern region came top with corruption being found in 17 provinces, followed by nine provinces in the South, six provinces in the North and two provinces in the western region.

PACC officials will this week expand their investigation to include self-help cooperatives in the Northeast where about 30 million baht had been allocated to help the poor.

 

13 Mar 2018
11:07 pm

The cabinet on Tuesday (Mar 13) decided to waive toll fees of motorways during April 11-18 to enable Songkran revelers to return to their home provinces or to tourist destinations to celebrate the Songkran festival.

Starting on midnight of April 11 until midnight of April 18, toll fees for motorists using Motorway No 7 between Bangkok and Pattaya, No 8 between Bang Pa-in and Bang Phli and Burapavithi expressway between Bang Na and Chon Buri will be waived.

The Ministry of Transport estimated that about 15 million people would travel during the 8-day festive period.

The ministry has also sought cooperation from operators of Blue train line between Hua Lamphong and Taopoon and Purple train line between Taopoon and Bang Yai, Airport Link as well as city bus service to waive train fare for elderly people who are 60 years old and upward on Songkran Day on April 13.

 

13 Mar 2018
10:53 pm

Loss-ridden Thai TV company won a lawsuit against the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission after the Administrative Court ordered the broadcasting regulator to return bank guarantees worth 1,750 million baht to the digital TV operator.

Thai TV company

Thai TV company filed a lawsuit with the Administrative Court challenging the NBTC’s order in 2016 revoking its licenses to use its frequency and to operate its television business and to pay license fees as illegitimate.

The company claimed it had already paid the license fees to the NBTC before it decided to end its broadcasting operations.
The court ruled that Thai TV had the right to revoke its license because the regulator failed to expand broadcasting network as promised and also it had belatedly distributed digital TV coupons to the consumers causing damage to the digital TV broadcaster.

Hence, the court ordered the NBTC to return bank guarantees for the 3rd up to 6th instalments of license fee worth a total of 1,750 million baht to Thai TV. But the court dismissed Thai TV’s demand for the return of the first and second instalments of the license fee plus damage worth altogether 700 million baht reasoning that the digital TV operator had already been operating for some time like the other operators.

Thai TV proprietor Mrs Panthipa Kritsakulchai

Thai TV proprietor Mrs Panthipa Kritsakulchai said she was satisfied with the court’s ruling, noting that she believed the ruling would set a precedent for the other digital TV operators to shut down their operations.

As for the first and second instalments for the license fee, she said she would appeal the court’s ruling to the Supreme Administrative Court.

Mr Sombat Leelapata, director of the legal affairs of NBTC, said he would appeal the ruling regarding the return of the bank guarantees to the Supreme Administrative Court.

Because of the court’s ruling, he said that, in future biddings for broadcasting licenses, the NBTC might require the successful bidders to pay the full amount of the license fee instead of allowing them to pay in instalments.

In this case, he said the court felt that the TV operator should pay NBTC for the period it made use of the frequency and not the whole amount of license fee for the whole period of the license.

Sombat pointed out that Thai TV claimed expansion of broadcasting network by the Public Relations Department was delayed, causing damage to the company whereas, in reality, Thai TV did not use the PRD’s network, but the network of Thai PBS, an independent public broadcaster.

NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tanthasit, meanwhile, said the court’s ruling would be a way out for digital TV operators to return their licenses to the NBTC as they would not want to continue operating.

 

13 Mar 2018
9:07 pm

The Nang Rong provincial court in Buri Ram province on Tuesday dismissed a 40 million baht lawsuit against 222 farmers by a fertilizer selling company on the ground that all the defendants have not signed any contract to buy fertilizer from the plaintiff.

The lawsuit was instituted to the court by Deesing Thaveechoke limited partnership against the 222 farmers, accusing them of breach of contract to buy fertilizer worth about 40 million baht from the plaintiff under the state-sponsored Occupation Promotion Project for Buri Ram People 2015.

The court ruled that the defendants were not a direct party in the contract with the plaintiff and they had never engaged in any talk with the plaintiff about buying fertilizer from it.

However, the defendants – many of whom members of the female farming group – signed their names to receive subsidy under the Occupation Promotion Project for Buri Ram People.

One of the defendants, Mrs Nudaeng Thongbai reacted with joy after the acquittal verdict. She explained that they signed their names to receive the fertilizer to be given to them free of charge under the project.

She also complained that no state or provincial agency came to their assistance after they were sued by the company until they took their case to the Department of Special Investigation and legal counselling was provided.

 

13 Mar 2018
8:45 pm

Crime Suppression Division police decided on Tuesday to press charges against 15 individuals, including eight footballers, for alleged involvement in the match-fixing of Toyota Thai League soccer tournament 2017.

The national police chief, Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, said Tuesday that this was the first case of its kind when a group of footballers, financiers and a referee were charged with football match fixing.

Accompanied by CSD police handling the case, the national police chief handed over the case file to Mr Pornchai Chalavanichkul, deputy director-general of the Prosecution.

He told the media that he was confident that the police had a strong case to pin down all the perpetrators in the match-fixing scam.

After receiving the case file, Mr Pornchai said he would form a panel to scrutinize the police case file and, if there is any doubt about the case, he would invite the police officers in charge of the case for questioning. He added that the prosecutor might agree or disagree with the police in proceeding with the charges against all the 15 individuals or some of them.

The penalties for those who offer or receive bribes for match fixing are five years’ imprisonment and/or a fine from 200,000-500,000 baht, but, for a referee, the penalties are higher: 1-10 years imprisonment and/or a fine of 300,000-600,000 baht.

Former police chief and president of Football Association of Thailand Somyot Poompunmuang filed a complaint with the Royal Thai Police last week accusing of match-fixing of four matches of the Toyota Thai League Tournament 2017.
CSD police summoned 16 individuals to the CSD command today (Tuesday) to be notified of the decision of the police investigators to press charges against 15 of them. The police decided to drop charge against Mr Kantapat Srirattanachote.

The 15 facing match-fixing charges include Thirachit Sitthisuk, linesman; Cherdsak Boonchu, director of Si Sa Ket FC club; Parkpoom Pannikul, a financier; Manit Komonwattana, a financier; Wallop Samarn (a financier); Kittipoom Paphu-nga, a financier; Poomarin Kamruen, a Fifa referee; Veera Kerdputcha, goalkeeper of Nakhon Ratchasima Mazda FC; Seksak Chaothonglang, footballer of Navy FC; Sutthipong Laoporn, footballer of Navy FC; Suwittaya Namsinlark, footballer of Navy FC; Narong Wongthongkham (goalkeeper of Navy FC; Thirachai Ngamcharoen, footballer of Si Sa Ket FC; Tossaporn Kamenkit, footballer of Si Sa Ket FC; and Aekkaphan Chindaporn, footballer of Si Sa Ket FC.

 

13 Mar 2018
5:47 pm

An Air Asia flight from Macau bound for Don Mueang airport made an emergency landing at Udon Thani airport before noon today (March 13) after an automatic warning of abnormal functioning of the engine was switched on.

There were 141 passengers and 11 crew members on board the Air Asia’s flight FD761 when it left Macau at 11.50 am and was scheduled to arrive at Don Meuang airport at 12.40 pm.

An official of the airline later said that it was a standard practice for maximum safety in case of an emergency for the captain of the flight to make an emergency landing after there was such a warning.

The plane landed safely and all the passengers were ushered out of the plane and taken to the emergency centre of the departure terminal while the airline tried to find a new plane to take the passengers to Bangkok.

Food and drinks were provided to the passengers as they were waiting for a new plane.

Meanwhile, a team of technicians checked the “abnormal” engine, but did not find anything wrong, said the official, adding that more examinations were needed to ensure the plane was safe.

Airline official said all the passengers were taken to a new plane which arrived at Don Mueang airport safely but about three hours after original schedule.

13 Mar 2018
5:01 pm

Police in Samut Prakan’s Samrong district have launched a manhunt against two motorcyclists and a pillion rider after they allegedly threw a stone at a taxi and then attacked the taxi-driver reportedly over a horn blaring incident.

The clip and message about the incident which involved a green-yellow taxi and took place in Soi Dan Samrong 50/1, Tambon Dan Samrong before dawn today were posted in the social media by a Facebook user, Aummara Imjai.

The cabbie, 63-year old Preeda Saensuk, lodged a complaint with Samrong Nua police after the incident. He told the police that he was driving home in Tambon Dan Samrong when he came across three men, riding on two motorcycles in front of him.

He said that he pressed the car’s horn to ask for right of way and, after a while, he found the two motorcycles followed him into Soi Dan Samrong 50/1, with one of them kicked his car and, moments later, he heard an impact on the rear windshield.

Preeda went on saying that he then stopped his car to investigate and it was then that he was attacked by the three men, one of them struck him on the head and face with a stone. He collapsed on the soi and the three assailants escaped.

The cabbie said he suspected his sounding of the car’s horn might have provoked the three assailants.

Police have checked the CCTV system at the scene of the attack and the route used by the motorcyclists to try to identify the three assailants.

 

13 Mar 2018
4:22 pm

Lop Buri provincial livestock officials are preparing to inoculate more than 3,000 crab-eating macaques in the province with anti-rabies vaccine on March 26-29.

Mr Charoon Chukiatwattana, the livestock chief and a veterinarian, said Tuesday (March 13) that the 3,000 plus macaques were living at and around Phra Karn shrine and Phra Prang Sam Yod in Muang district.

The vaccination was intended to prevent the spread of rabies among the animals and possible spread of the disease to humans, he said, adding that, so far, officials concerned have not found any serious communicable diseases among the monkeys such as ebola or tuberculosis although some were inflected with skin diseases.

Although no rabies cases have been reported in Lop Buri, Mr Charoon said livestock officials had been sent to various communities in the province to give free anti-rabies vaccination to many stray cats and dogs – most of scattering in temples.

As a precautionary measure, he urged owners of cats and dogs to being them for vaccination against rabies or to report to livestock officials if they found any of their pet animals showing symptoms of rabies infection.

13 Mar 2018
4:08 pm

Police have wrapped up the illegal hunting case against Italian-Thai Development Pol boss Premchai Karnasuta and three members of his hunting party to be submitted to the Thong Phaphum district prosecutor tentatively this afternoon.

The deputy national police chief, Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul, together with Pol Maj-Gen Chayaphol Chatchaidej and Pol Maj-Gen Sombat Militthachinda, deputy commissioners of Central Investigation Bureau and First Region Provincial Police Bureau respectively, travelled to Thong Phaphum district police station to check the final investigation report of the case which was wrapped up by police inquiry officers of Thong Phaphum district police station.

Pol Gen Srivara told the media that the case file was complete with sufficient evidence to proceed with the case to the prosecutor.

Mr Premchai and three other members of the hunting party which included his aide, a hunting guide and a female cook face nine counts of charge, including illegal hunting of protected wildlife species in Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary, illegal possession of carcass of protected species and carrying firearms into the game reserve.

The deputy police chief said that the report from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation regarding the forensic examination of animal carcasses and other material evidence such as knives and cutting board was already incorporated with the police case file.

An informed police source told the media at Thong Phaphum police station that the case file was expected to be submitted to the district prosecutor late this afternoon.

12 Mar 2018
11:22 pm

A disabled campaigner has claimed that he banged the glass door of an elevator at the Asoke station of the BTS sky train because the door was locked and that he was demanded to sign his name for using the lift.

The 50-year old campaigner for accessibility to public transport for the disabled, Mr Manit Inpim, claimed on Monday that he didn’t seek publicity for himself for his act in banging the door of the lift on Sunday which landed him being charged by the police at Lumpini station following a complaint to the police by BTS officials.

He told the media that it was the BTS official at Asoke station who started the trouble for making him to sign his name for demanding access to the train service. He said he refused to sign because it was the basic right of the disabled to have access to the train service.

He said he then bought a ticket and went to the lift in his wheel chair, but the door of the lift was closed and no one bothered to open it. He admitted that he was angry and started banging the lift’s door until a guard came.

Mr Manit claimed he had demanding a lift to be installed at all BTS stations for years and, until now, 18 stations still lack the basic facility for the disabled despite an order from the Central Administrative Court for lifts to be installed at all stations.

He warned that he would sue the Transport Ministry, the BTS and the city administration if he could not get a satisfactory answer from any of them about when elevators would equipped at all BTS stations.

He insisted that he wanted the public to realize the problem faced by the disabled people in their access to public transport and wanted the authorities concerned to take action to address the problem.

 

12 Mar 2018
10:46 pm

A temple in Sukhothai province has sued the Fine Arts Department demanding 50 million baht in compensation for damage for the department’s alleged occupation of a small structure housing Phra Arjana, a Buddha statue, and for demanding entry tickets for visitors to the statue.

The abbot of the Srichum temple, Phra Khru Sakharakkriangkrai Supatharo, clarified to the media on Monday that the temple did not want to create any division for taking legal action against the department as well as the Sukhothai historical park.

He said he merely wanted the department to remove the barricade around the Buddha statue so that worshippers could go there to pay respect to the statue.

Each visitor to the temple will be required to pay a 20-baht entry fee to get into the Mondop structure to pay respect to Phra Arjana statue.

The abbot said that the temple and villagers in the neighbourhood had lodged a complaint with the provincial Buddhism Office and the Damrongtham Centre to remove the barricade, but without any success.

However, Mr Bunyarit Chaisuwan, director of Sukhothai historical park, said Monday that he was not worried with the lawsuit filed by the abbot of the Srichum temple, Phra Khru Sakharakkriangkrai Supatharo.

The case has been referred to the legal affairs of the Fine Arts Department for consideration, he said, adding that the present Wat Srichum was a different temple from the Sukhothai-era Wat Srichum.

Mr Bunyarit said monks from Wat Srichum were allowed to get to the Buddha statue through a small bridge to pay their respect free of charge, but tourists and lay people would have to use another access for the sake or orderliness.

 

 

12 Mar 2018
8:19 pm

Customs and forest officials seized about 240 million baht worth of timber, including Siamese Rosewood or Payoong processed wood, and pirated goods in seven containers at Laem Chabang deep-sea port, Chon Buri province, on Monday.

Mr Natthawuth Sratan, director of the investigation and suppression of the Customs Department, told the media at Laem Chabang deep-seaport that officials decided to check the content in the six containers after it was discovered that the people who wanted to export the goods inside the containers were connected with members of a gang arrested in February at Klong Toey port for attempting to export protected processed wood out of the country.

Search of the six containers uncovered timber such as Payoong, Pradoo and Chingchan instead of canned fruits and other merchandised as declared in the documents.

Customs officials that the seized timber was estimated to worth about 19 million baht in local market, but it could fetch as much as 100 million baht when they arrive at their overseas destination.

In the seventh container, the officials found about 130,000 items of pirated goods which included fake automobile spare parts, cosmetics, electric cigarettes and accessories, wristwatches and porn materials totally worth about 140 million baht. The container was to be sent overland to Laos.
All the seven containers were impounded at the port.

 

 

 

 

12 Mar 2018
3:41 pm

His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun has issued a Royal Command appointing Mr Chirayu Isarangkun na Ayuthaya as a privy councilor effective as of March 11.

Mr Chirayu was Grand Chamberlain of the Bureau of the Royal Household and director-general of the Crown Property Bureau since 1987. In 2016, he was appointed the Lord Chamberlain of the Bureau of the Royal Household.

The Royal Command was counter-signed by General Prem Tinsulanonda, president of the Privy Councilor and published in the Royal Gazette.

Earlier on March 3, the Royal Gazette announced a Royal Command removing Mr Wirat Chinvinijkul from the privy council.

In the meantime, HM the King also appointed Air Chief Marshal Sathitpong Sukwimon the Grand Chamberlain of the Bureau of the Royal Household and director-general of the Crown Property Bureau.

 

12 Mar 2018
2:49 pm

Environmental groups on Monday asked the Administrative Court to order Italian Thai Development to stop pruning and removing trees along the construction of electric train routes in Greater Bangkok Metropolis unless it could produce right techniques in removing trees for replanting elsewhere.

The lawsuit against the construction firm came after several trees pruned and removed had been dead after they were not properly taken care of.

Acting on behalf of the environmental and conservation groups is human rights activist Srisuwan Janya, secretary-general of the Stop Global Warming Association.

Srisuwan told the court that the company had applied wrong techniques in removing the trees, thus resulted in the death of so many trees which were removed for replanting elsewhere.

He cited the recent pruning of trees in front of Kasetsart University where many of them might be left standing dead.

He asked the court to order the company to stop pruning and removing trees until it could assure that it has correct techniques and proof in removing trees without harming them.

Beside the company and relevant government agencies must show exactly that these fallen trees would be replanted in new locations.

Srisuwan said trees are important and considered the lung of the capital.

He anticipated over 10,000 trees would be pruned and removed to pave the way for the construction of the 11 train routes.

He added as many cities in the world have protected green areas and big trees, it was therefore unnecessary to trade the capital’s natural lung with urbanisation that come along the rail routes.

 

12 Mar 2018
2:11 pm

A drug suspect who escaped arrest during a police raid on a Bangkok- Sungai Kolok train at Ban Pong railway station in Ractchaburi last month was arrested yesterday in Tha Utane district of Nakhon Phanom province.

Suriyon Buntiem, 31, was apprehended by local and narcotics suppression police, after he returned from Lais to visit his mother.

He was wanted by narcotics suppression police after they and railway police searched a Bangkok-Sungai Kolok train for drugs while it was on the way from Ban Pong to Hua Hin railway station on February 6.

The train was destined for Hat Yai in the South.

Three identified as Visarut Trachai, 23, Poltawat Mala, 20, and Chakrapachara Pumpuang, 27 were arrested but Suriyon managed to run away.

The four suspects jumped off the train while it was at Ban Pong station.

Their escape from the train forced the police to conduct thorough search of the 18 cars of the train when it arrived at Hua Hin.

The search found nine abandoned baggages with 250 kilos of Ice hidden inside.

Upon arrest yesterday, Suriyon admitted to drug trafficking and also implicated a mastermind in the drug trafficking.

He said he fled to Laos for hiding but returned a month later after he felt the case had been forgotten .

Narcotics suppression police said they were seeking cooperation from the office of Anti Money Laundering to seize the assets of the drug smuggling gang and bring all of them for trial.

12 Mar 2018
11:13 am

Two car caught fire after they engaged in a fiery crash in the Udon Ratthaya expressway during the morning rush hour.

Expressway police said the incident happened at about 9.00am on the expressway heading Bang Pa-in, about one kilometre away from Srisamarn Songprapha exit.

Initial report said drivers of both cars were injured in the fiery car crash.

The traffic accident caused heavy traffic jam on the Udon Ratthaya expressway toward Bang Pa-in as authorities have to block cars to facilitate firemen to put off fires on both cars.

It was still unknown the cause of the fiery car crash.

11 Mar 2018
11:05 pm

The Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency is expected to propose to the National Energy Policy Committee headed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha next month a project to buy power generated from solar rooftops of households and commercial buildings.

The department chief Mr Praphon Wongtharua said that, in the initial stage, it was estimated that as much as 300 megawatts of electricity generated from solar rooftops would be purchased at a price not exceeding the price of energy sold by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat).

The project which is now being worked out between the DAEDE and the energy regulatory committee before it is to be submitted to the energy policy committee chaired by the energy minister and, finally, the project will go to the National Energy Policy Committee for final approval.

Mr Praphon disclosed that, at present, the private sector was capable of generating power from their solar rooftops for their own use at price relatively lower than the price charged by the either the metropolitan electricity authority or the provincial electricity authority.

However, he pointed out that the private sector’s power generators would not gain the optimum benefits from solar rooftops if their leftover power cannot be sold into the power grid system.

It will be beneficial to the power producers if state utilities are allowed to buy energy from the private sector’s solar rooftops, he added.

The department has commissioned Chulalongkorn University to conduct a study on the most appropriate format for the purchase of power generated from solar rooftops of the private sector.

Three formats were proposed: purchase of 300 megawatt per year until the target of 6,000 megawatts is achieved in 2036; purchase of 600 megawatts per year up to 12,000 megawatts in 2036; and purchase of 1,000 megawatts per year for three years or up to 3,000 megawatts until 2020.

Sellers of energy from solar rooftops are divided into three groups: households, big commercial buildings of big factories, and medium-sized buildings or factories. The acceptable prices are 2.30-2. 50 baht/ unit for households; less than one baht/unit for big buildings or factories; and one baht for medium-sized buildings or factories.

 

11 Mar 2018
10:46 pm

A committee is to be set up to investigate alleged cheating of per diem and risk allowances for border patrol policemen serving in three southernmost provinces.

The national police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda said Sunday that he had ordered a panel to be formed to conduct an investigation after a complaint was received from border patrol policemen based in the Deep South, claiming that their per diem and risk allowances since 2015 until September last year had been unfairly cut.

He said he ordered a probe to be taken although, personally, he thought it could be a misunderstanding about the payment system by the BPP men. He added that he had instructed BPP commanders in the restive region to try to clarify to their men about the payment system.

The police chief went on saying that he didn’t think any BPP commanders would have cheated their men of their per diem and risk allowances.

The allegation of cheating was first reported in the Facebook page of CSI LA.

 

11 Mar 2018
10:17 pm

Anti-graft officials are expected to wrap up their investigating report about the embezzlement of fund for the destitute in six southern provinces for submission to the Public Section Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) by the end of this week.

Pol Lt-Col Samart Chainarong, director of the 9th regional PACC office, disclosed that the investigators had divided recipients of the fund into three groups: those who received full amount of the handouts; those who received partial amount of the handouts and those who received nothing but with the names showing that they had received the handouts.

He said officials from the 9th regional PACC officials had been dispatched to the 6 provinces namely Songkhla, Satun, Phatthalung, Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat to interview people shown on the list of the destitute who had received handouts amounting 3,000 baht each from the provincial centres for the protection of the destitute.

Their findings showed that there was corruption in every centre.

Citing the example of 20 destitute people in Klong Thom and Lumtab districts of Krabi, Pol Lt-Col Samart said each was supposed to receive 2,000 baht, but all of them were partially paid, ranging from 1,000-2,000 baht each.

One disabled woman with a disabled son whose name appeared on the list of the recipients claimed that she had never received any handout at all.

 

11 Mar 2018
10:05 pm

More than one million people visited the Royally-initiated “Oun Ai Rak, Klai Kwam Nao” or “Love and Warmth at Winter’s End” festival at the Royal Plaza which came to a close on Sunday (March 11).

Dressed in pink traditional costume, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn graced the festival Sunday night – much to the joy and happiness of the visitors, many of whom also dressed themselves up in traditional costumes to match with the old days’ atmosphere.

Initiated by HM the King, the festival which started on February 7 featured beautiful flower orchards, impressive old days’ structures, exhibitions of the Thai way of life and traditional Thai cuisines, performances and the art of food decorations of the Court to evoke the good old days. Visitors were encouraged to don traditional costumes of King Chulalongkorn’s era to reflect the close bondage between the Monarchy and the Thai people.

Before the visit of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sindhorn, privy councilor Admiral Pongthep Nuthep paid a visit to the festival on behalf of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun. He presided over the drawing of the Oon Ai Rak charity lottery with the result to be announced in Daily News newspaper dated March 13-14.

 

11 Mar 2018
9:12 pm

Two men have been arrested in Chiang Rai’s Muang district by police and military personnel on charges of operating illegal gambling through slot machines which look like karaoke juke boxes.

A combined force of police and military officers raided a shop in Tantichai market in Muang district after a tipoff that the shop had installed several slot machines which were modified to look like karaoke juke boxes to distract police attention.
The raiding officials found the shopkeeper, identified as Arkor Chemue, 58, in the shop, 196 chips and 2,085 baht cash. He was booked on charge of operating illegal gambling.

As the officials were taking note of the arrest, Somchai Rithimahun, showed up claiming he was a co-partner of the shop and presented a license to operate a karaoke business to prove the legitimacy of his business.

He also claimed that the slot machines were actually karoke juke boxes for vendors and people in the market who love singing to enjoy sing-along with the music from the juke boxes.

The officials were not convinced and arrested Somchai for operating illegal bambling.

 

11 Mar 2018
3:50 pm

The national police chief said Sunday that the conflict between the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation and the police team handling the illegal wildlife hunting case against Italian-Thai boss Premchai Karnasuta was normal and it should be resolved soon.

Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda also said that there was no need to replace Pol Gen Srivara Rangsibrahmanakul, the deputy national police chief, who oversees the police team handling the case because there was nothing wrong with the team and Pol Gen Srivara had been doing his job in a straightforward manner.

The police chief said further that he was not worried with the criticism in the social media against Pol Gen Srivara for allegedly delaying the case and biased in favour of the Italian-Thai boss.

As for the criticism against Pol Gen Srivara, he said the deputy police chief could take legal action against some of his critics to defend his reputation as he thinks fit.

11 Mar 2018
2:44 pm

Hundreds of Thai and foreign tourists ran in panic out of a walking street in South Pattaya late Saturday afternoon after an explosion from a huge transformer followed by fires at two beer bars.

No one was injured but the two beer bars in Soi Marine walking street were gutted, causing damage estimated at about ten million baht.

Bang Lamung chief district officer said Sunday that the fire started from the bursting of a huge transformer installed on the mid-section of an electricity pole and flame from the transformer spread to the nearest beer bar and, later on, to another one.

Ten fire trucks were rushed to the scene and it took them about an hour before the fire was put off, but after two beer bars and about 20 cars were damaged.


 

 

 

 

11 Mar 2018
10:25 am

Inspectors from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand are examining the crash site of a propeller plane in Thalang district of Phuket to find the clues which may explain the cause of the plane crash on Saturday which killed the pilot and a passenger and left two other passengers seriously injured.

Mr Suchart Raksa-ngob, managing director of Phuket Air Park airport, said that the pilot, Mr Wattana Thinphang-nga, and Flying Officer Narin Thaveewat, a special lecturer at Thalang Technical College, brought about 30 aviation engineering students to the airport for a field trip.

Then the pilot conducted a flying demonstration with Narin and two students on board, he said, adding that the test was smooth until he learned afterward that the plane crashed in the woods in Tambon Pa Klog, about one kilometer from the air strip.

According to police report, the plane took off at 10.05 am on Saturday and, after about 20 minutes of flight, the pilot flew around the air strip apparently trying to land but could not due to strong wind. Then the pilot flew over the air strip for a second round before he made the landing, but the plane was struck by strong wind and nosedived toward the ground, the report added.

A witness who lives in the neighbourhood of the air strip, Ms Pitchayathida Pitchayodecha, said she saw the plane made a circular flight over the air strip, but did not take much attention to it until the plane came back again and, this time, she said she heard an unusually loud noise from the craft before it dived toward the ground.

However, initial investigating report said the pilot tried to land after the second flight around the air strip, but overshot the runway and tried to lift off again, which might have caused the accident.

Regarding the conditions of the two students, Dr Chalermpong Sukhonthapol, director of Wachira Phuket hospital, said that the two were still in the intensive care units, with one of them, Ardel Samae, in coma and awaiting to be operated on.

The other injured, Ms Orawan Chindarat, is suffering from internal bleeding in the stomach and awaiting to be operated on. However, doctors said her condition is stable.

 

 

 

10 Mar 2018
10:37 pm

A vendor in Wangchin district of Phrae province was arrested by soldiers and police after she was found to have in possession slaughtered porcupines for sale.

Ms Pailin Kaeodam, 44, a vendor at a market in Phrae, was stopped for check after she drove in a motorcycle passing a security checkpoint on Highway 1048 from Thorn to Thung Saliem in Thoen district carrying two fertilizer bags.

The search of the bags showed eight slaughtered porcupines concealed in four small bags weighing about 60 kilogrammes and porcupines inards, weighing about 2.6 kg.

Ms Pailin admitted that she bought the slaughtered porcupines from villagers in Thoen district in Lampang to sell in the market in Phrae.

She bought them at 250 baht per kilogramme and sold it at 300 baht.

Police initially charged her for having in possession carcasses of protected wildlife species and for wildlife trade. She was later sent to Thoen police station for detention.

10 Mar 2018
9:07 pm

Pro-election activists rallied at the soccer field of Thammasat University late Saturday afternoon (March 10) to demand the dissolution of the National Council for Peace and Order and the transformation of the government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha into an interim government tasked with holding a national election this November.

The group said in a statement that they did not trust the NCPO’s promise to hold the election within February next year and wanted the junta to start acting instead of just mere words to prove its sincerity to hold an election as quick as possible and to not stay on in power after the election.

The dissolution of the NCPO is the first step of guarantee that there will be an election and no perpetuation of power by the junta after the election, said the group in their statement.

They also demanded that all the NCPO orders that restrict the right of free expressions, bans political assembly of more than five people and political activities by police parties be revoked immediately.

The group said as long as these orders exist, there will always be the excuse by the government or the NCPO to further postpone the election.

At the start of the rally, the group burned 36 joss sticks as the symbolic gesture of their demand for the NCPO to be disbanded.  

The group was led by Rangsiman Rome, Sirawith Seritiwat and Ms Nuttaa mahattana.

Meanwhile, the Internet Law Reform Dialogue (iLaw) has launched a signature campaign to collect up to 10,000 signatures to support the drafting of a proposed bill to revoke all the 35 NCPO announcement and NCPO head orders which restrict rights of free expression and liberties of the people.

Latest report from iLaw said that about 1,000 signatures have been collected on the first day.

The pro-election gathering ended at about 9 pm. They plansto hold their next rally on March 24, also at Thammasat University.

10 Mar 2018
5:01 pm

The Ministry of Commerce says it is now working to find a solution to the steel industry after US President Donald Trump has decided to impose high import tariffs on steel and aluminum that will have a long-term detriment to Thailand’s steel industry.

The US restriction will take effect  on March 23.

Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said after a meeting with steel industry representatives on Friday (March 9) that the industry viewed that in the short-term of 1-3  months, the impact would  be minimal as Thai steel will still remain competitive despite higher taxes.

Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong

However, in the long run, the impact on the industry will be significant not least for steel pipes and cold rolled steel factories, he said.

But Mr Sontirat assured that the ministry will be negotiating with the US to exempt Thai steel under special HS codes (Harmonized System) and will be closely monitoring developments.

He said that a united effort between the ministry and steel operators would  be needed if Thai interests are to be protected.

Thailand exported steel amounted to US$ 800 million or 25 billion baht a year to the US.

10 Mar 2018
3:23 pm

Rubber farmers in the South planned another protest over a recent rubber board’s agreement allowing the private sector to collect export fee.

They also will call on the governor of the Rubber Authority of Thailand (RAOT) and its board director to step down for alleged mismanagement of the rubber exports

Rubber farmer leader Pratop Suksanan who revealed the protest plan to media representatives earlier this week was briefly detained by soldiers at Trang airport on Friday (March 9) for questioning and for “attitude adjustment”.

According to Mr Pratop, the protest rally was planned on March 14 at the office of the RAOT in Trang.

The protest was aimed to call for the resignation of the RAOT governor Titus Suksaard and its board chairman Gen Chatchalerm Chalermsuk for their alleged mismanagement of the rubber affairs, particularly when both were reportedly behind the push for the private sector to collect rubber export fee, or cess, from exporters on behalf of the RAOT.

He also accused both of  their failure to promote the use of para rubber by the public sector.

He said of the 18,000 tons of para rubber under the promotion project, the RAOT could promote only 3,900 tons.

Meanwhile former Trang MP for Democrat Party Sathit Wongnongtoey said the government’s rubber management policy has encountered problems because the government put the wrong men to do the jobs.

He accused the two of lacking of experience in handling rubber management and failing to listen to the opinions of rubber farmers.

10 Mar 2018
12:52 pm

A 4-seater small plane crashed landed in Thalang district of Phuket province on Saturday morning (March 10) killing two persons and seriously injuring two others.

The incident happened at about 10.21am at Tambon Pa Klok in Thalang district.

The plane, which belonged to Siam Flying Club, crashed into a deserted rice field opposite a small airfield during a training mission.

Four persons were onboard the plane, including a pilot, a co-pilot, and two aviation students from Thalang Technical college.

Thalang police and rescue workers rushed to the scene after being alerted of the incident.

Thalang district officer said the two killed persons were pilot Wattana Thinphang-nga, 68, and co-pilot Flying Officer Narin Taweewat, 67.

Two injured students were Mr Adol Samae and Ms Orawan Jindarat. Both were rushed to Thalang hospital.

It was not immediately known the cause of the fatal crash.

10 Mar 2018
9:34 am

Chiang Mai provincial administration will step up publicity campaign to warn the residents against worsening air quality in the province after the levels of PM10 and PM2.5 fine particulate matters exceeded standard levels for more than a week.

Chiang Mai governor Pawin Chamniprasart admitted that most residents were not aware of the latest air quality report from the Pollution Control Department (PCD) and, hence, the need of publicity campaign.

According to the PCD, the average PM2.5 particulate matter in the air on Friday (March 9) was measured by the monitoring stations in Tambon Sriphum and Tambon Chang Phuek of Muang district at 98.98 microgramme/cubic metre and 93.48 μg/cu m respectively, against the standard level of 50 microgramme/cubic metre.

The PCD’s air quality monitoring website reported that the worsening air quality in Chiang Mai has been going on since late February.  During March 5-9, the PM2.5 fine particulate matter was measured at between 65-101 microgramme/cubic metre.

PM10 particulate matter reading in Lampang, Chiang Mai and Tak was also beyond the standard level.

 

PM2.5 level measured at an air quality monitoring station in Chiang Mai’s Muang district between March 5 to 9.

9 Mar 2018
9:36 pm

The Ministry of Education has recently found out that over 88 million baht out of a total of 166 million baht being disbursed from the so-called Sema Pattana Chevit Fund supposedly for poor children had been embezzled by corrupt officials for themselves and their relatives for the past ten years.

Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin said that the corruption concerning the Fund for poor children was uncovered during the internal auditing of the 2017 budget for the Office of the Permanent Secretary of Education.

He said that the embezzlement of the Fund had been going on undetected since 2008, with about 88 million baht of the fund, including 12 million baht in 2017, being transferred into the bank accounts of relatives and friends of the corrupt officials instead of the bank accounts of the poor children.

Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin

Five officials, including a C8-level official, have been implicated in the embezzlement and one of them has already made confession, said the minister, adding that all the five have been moved out of their original offices.

Describing the offence as serious, the minister said that the official who confessed would face dismissal from the service and legal actions, adding that those who received the money from the corrupt officials would face legal actions as well.

The education permanent-secretary Karun Sakulpradit has been instructed by the education minister to file complaints with the police against the alleged corrupt officials and to prepare a report to be submitted to the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Anti-Money Laundering Office.

Mr Karun said officials concerned would check 19-20 bank accounts of the recipients of the fund to find out the figures of the fund being embezzled after which the matter would be forwarded to the Fund board for consideration.

9 Mar 2018
6:28 pm

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has sent a strong protest note to the European Union president and the European Parliament against a recent decision to restrict exports of Indonesia’s crude palm oil to the union, The Jakarta Post Online reported on Friday (March 9).

“The President has written a letter to the EU president and parliament to express Indonesia’s rejection of and strong protest against the EU’s treatment of Indonesian palm oil,” said cabinet secretary Pramono Anung on Thursday.

In January, the European parliament endorsed a bill that would limit the use of palm oil as transportation fuel starting in 2021.  The bill includes a plan to increase renewable energy use to at least 35 percent of overall energy use but it also limits the use of biofuels.

In the letter dispatched last week, Jokowi deemed the EU’s move was a protectionist policy to protect the local cooking oil industry, said Pramono, warning that if the EU ignores the protest, Indonesia will consider taking a retaliatory measure, but he declined to elaborate.

He further said that the EU’s stance against Indonesia crude palm oil was a violation of fair trade principle.

9 Mar 2018
5:58 pm

Former Kanchanaburi police commander Pol Maj-Gen Sutthi Puangpikul was summoned to  acknowledge dereliction of duty charge for making change in the 30-million baht lottery case file that helped a school teacher to claim ownership of the winning lottery tickets.

Pol Maj-Gen Sutthi turned himself to the Counter Courruption Police Division (CCPD) commander Pol Maj-Gen Kamol Rienracha in Bangkok today (March 9) to face charge under Section 157 of the Penal Code.

Pol Maj-Gen Kamol said Pol Maj-Gen Sutthi was released after questioning without having to post bail because he voluntary reported to the CCPD.

Pol Maj-Gen Kamol Rienracha

The CCPD commander said from the information obtained so far, it was quite clear that Pol Maj-Gen Sutthi had ordered police inquirers to make changes to the case file to back up school teacher Preecha Kraikruan’s claim that he was the real owner of the five first-prize lottery tickets.

However, there was no evidence that Pol Maj-Gen Sutthi made such act in exchange for personal gain, the CCPD commander said, adding that two other police officers handling the case would be kept as prosecution witnesses.

Speaking at today’s press conference to updeat the progress of the police’s work on the 30-million-baht lottery dispute between Mr Preecha and retired police officer Charoon Wimoon, Pol Gen Chakthip said the investigation of the lottery ticket by the Kanchanaburi police was based on false information from the beginning.

“It’s like when you fasten a wrong button on your shirt from the first one, the rest with all go wrong,” he said.

Central Investigation Bureau comissioner Pol Lt-Gen Thitiraj Nhongharnpitak said he believed Pol Maj-Gen Sutthi’s alleged dereliction of duty stemmed from his lack of maturity, experience and professional skill in investigation.

9 Mar 2018
2:50 pm

The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation today (March 9) reported that summer storms have ravaged 24 provinces causing damages to 1,293 houses with one casualty.

Director-general of the department Chayapol Thitisakdi said summer storms during March 5-8 have wreaked havoc to 189 villages in 57 districts of  24 provinces in the North, Northeast, Central Region, East and  South.

He said of the 24 provinces hit by summer storms, four were in the North, 14 in the Northeast, two in the Central, two in the East, and two in the South.

One villager was killed by lightning strike in Chacheongsao’s Tha Takiab district.

Mr Chayapol said the department was coordinating with local authorities and soldiers to distribute primary assistance to the affected people.

The aids included daily necessary goods, roof tiles, and construction materials.

8 Mar 2018
11:06 pm

Officials of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) raided three houses in Chiang Mai province on Thursday (March 8) and seized about 1.5 million fake food supplement pills and about 100,000 tablets of fake weight loss medication.

DSI deputy director-general Pol Lt-Col Korrawat Panprapakorn said that the three houses – one in Saraphi district and two others in Muang district – belong to M Company and were suspected to be used as warehouses to keep the fake products.

He said that the diet pills, brandnamed Hi Herb Slimming, were found to contain sibutramine substance which suppresses appetite for food which will cause weight loss among users, but it has dangerous side effects as it may result in blood loss in the heart or the narrowing of blood vessels.

The DSI deputy chief said that the fake diet pills and food supplements have become popular among female students and working women in Chiang Mai, prompting the authorities to investigate to find out the source or sources of these weight loss medication.

An informed DSI source said that a check of M Company’s bank accounts showed that the company has a revolving fund amounting to 50 million baht.

8 Mar 2018
10:20 pm

Italian-Thai Development Plc boss Premchai Karnasuta has notified police that he will be leaving for an overseas trip on Friday (March 9) although police summon him to acknowledge three more charges on March 14.

The deputy national police chief, Pol Gen Srivara Rangsibrahmanakul, said Thursday that the police in charge of the suppression of natural resources and environment violations planned to summon Mr Premchai and his wife to acknowledge charges related to their illegal possession of African ivory tusks on March 14.

However, he said he learned that Mr Premchai would leave on Friday for an overseas trip to an unspecified country and for an unspecified period of time.

He insisted that Mr Premchai could make overseas trip because he was not banned by the court from leaving the country, adding that the ITD boss had already notified officials concerned about his overseas trip, but he did not specify where he would go and for how long.

The deputy police chief further said that he had ordered his men to find out more information about Premchai’s overseas trip because the ITD boss would be required to acknowledge the charges against him on March 14.

Pol Gen Srivara was at Provincial Police Region 7 in Nakhon Pathom to discuss the illegal hunting case with police handling the case.

Natural resource and environment police, meanwhile, disclosed that in 2015 Premchai’s representative asked to register four ivory tusks claimed to be inherited from his family, but it was discovered the ivory tusks were not from domesticated elephants, but from African elephants which could not be legally rergistered.

8 Mar 2018
8:36 pm

The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) on Thursday (March 8) passed the House of Representatives election bill and the Senate selection bill.

The MP election bill received 211 votes with seven abstentions whereas the Senate selection bill sailed through the NLA with 202 supporting votes against one opposition and 13 abstentions.

Eight amendments were made to the MP election bill during the scrutiny period by a tri-partite panel comprising representatives of the NLA, the Election Commission and the Constitution Drafting Committee.  

The amendments include the adjustment of voting period from 7 am-5 pm to 8 am-5pm; no entertainment activities during election campaigning; individuals or officials at polling units can vote on behalf of disabled or elderly voters; voters who fail to vote will be deprived of the right to contest an MP election or election of local administrators such as village heads or kamnan; candidates of the same parties will be designated the same numbers throughout the country.

For the Senate selection bill, one of the amendments is on the change of the number of the groups of candidates to contest the selection from 20 to 10.

The two bills will be submitted to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and, if within five days after the acceptance of the bills by the premier, no parties ask for either or two of the bills to be sent to the Constitutional Court for interpretation, the bills will be forwarded to His Majesty the King for Royal approval within 20 days.

Gen Singsoek Singprai, a member of the NLA, said after the NLA’s passage of the two organic bills that the election roadmap would not be affected even if either of the bills are to be forwarded to the Constitutional Court for interpretation.

He said he didn’t think opponents of either of the bills would be able to muster up to 25 votes to take the case to the court.

8 Mar 2018
5:21 pm

Women’s groups staged a march from the Democracy Monument on Rajdamnoen Avenue to Thammasat University today (Thursday) to mark the International Women’s Day.

Under this year’s conceptual theme of “Women’s Security is National Security”, the women’s groups repeated their demand for the expansion of maternity leave from 90 days at present to 120 days; centres for pre-school children; at least one-thirds representation of women in committees with decision-making power; the right of equal access to state services by disabled people similar to ordinary people; and safe zone for women and children in the restive Deep South.

Regarding the maternity leave, the women’s groups noted that 90-day leave was not enough for mothers to take good care of their new-born babies and the expansion of the leave to 120 days would be in conformity with the ILO convention regarding the right for the protection of mothers.

A leader of one of the women’s groups, Ms Nilaimon Montrikanon, said that although some of the demands had been met by the government such as subsidies for small children and centres for pre-school children, women still don’t have the right to decision makings and in present problems related to women.

At the auditorium of Thammasat University, members of the women’s groups took part in holding activities, including round-table discussion, to highlight their problems and demands.

 

 

 

8 Mar 2018
2:52 pm

Consumer confidence index (CCI) in February fell for the first time in seven months as concern has risen over political instability.

According to Dr Thanawat Pholvichai, director of the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Economic and Business Forecasting, CCI in February dropped to 79.3 from 80.0 in January this year.

The February CCI was the lowest in seven months since August last year.

He attributed the decline in CCI to growing concern of political instability, and farm prices.

He said although farm prices are on an uptrend, but prices of most crops are still at low levels, thus weaning the purchasing power of the people.

Moreover, concern about the strong baht currency, and minimum wage increase that could have impact in the economy thus resulted in subdued consumer confidence, he said.

But he said the subdued consumer confidence needed close monitoring for the next few months.

He also said the CCI could be back again if the government escalates spending on its “Thai Niyom Yungyuen” project to help low income earners, and pushes for the projected 4.2-4.6% economic growth this year.

8 Mar 2018
2:05 pm

Four persons were killed when a pickup truck they were travelling in was rammed in the middle by a local passenger train before noon today.

According to a village headman, the pickup truck from Chumphon province was dragged over 30 metres from the crash scene which is near Ban Song railway station in Wiang Sa district of Surat Thani.

The No 445 local passenger train was on its way from Chumphon to Hat Yai.

It was not immediately known if the warning signal at the railway crossing functioned or not but witnesses said the pickup truck was about to pass the unmanned railway crossing as the train was approaching.

The crash threw three persons out of the truck to the ground, and another stuck inside the badly damaged truck.

The critical injured was later rushed to Somdeh Phra Yupparaj hospital in Wiang Sa and pronounced dead at the hospital.

No passengers on the train were hurt in the fatal crash.

The train stopped briefly after the incident and continued its journey to Hat Yai while railway officials and police were investigating the cause of the accident.

A railway official said the railway crossing has no barricade but just light and sound signals.

8 Mar 2018
1:13 pm

The Bank of Thailand announced today (Thursday) that it will put into circulation new banknotes that bear the portraits of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun on April 6.

The first launch of the new banknotes will come in three dominations, 20, 50, and 100 baht, the central bank governor Veerathai Santipraphob said.

He said the second launch of the new banknotes will be on July 28, the royal birthday anniversary of the King.

He said the second launch will be in two other denominations – 500 and 1,000 baht.

He said the new banknote will feature a portrait of His Majesty the King in the uniforms of the Royal Thai Air Force.

The size and dimension will be the same as the banknotes circulated during the reign of the late King Rama IX, he said.

 

 

 

 

8 Mar 2018
12:38 pm

Bangkok will join 7,000 cities in 178 countries in the world to turn off lights for one hour on March 24 to mark the Earth Hour, the world’s biggest annual environmental event to ease global warming.

Deputy governor of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) Chakkaphan Piewngam said Bangkok will join in this significant event with 7,000 cities in 178 countries worldwide for one hour to show it cares about the environment.

He said official ceremony to mark this event would be held at Central Grand Plaza Rama 9 from 8.30pm-9.30pm.

BMA has fixed six major landmarks to turn off the lights during the event to raise awareness of climate change.

They are the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Grand Palace, the Temple of Dawn, the Giant Swing, the Rama 8 Bridge, and the Golden Mountain.

He said all government buildings, businesses, communities and individuals would also be asked to turn off lights at unnecessary places during the period.

He also said an online campaign would also be launched to encourage all the people to join the event with hashtag #connect2earth or #ปิดเพื่อโลกเปลี่ยนเพื่ออนาคต หรือ #ลดเพราะรักษ์ on their posts

He added that the event in March 24 would be Bangkok’s 11th year that it joined the world to encourage awareness of global warming.

Bangkok could save up to 1,953 megawatts of electricity which was equivalent to reduce 1,016 tons of Co2 emissions in the environment, or save up to 7,680,000 baht.

 

 

8 Mar 2018
11:44 am

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation has insisted that the existing evidence which the police and wildlife officials have collected could be sufficient to lay nine charges against Italian-Thai Development president Premchai Karnasuta.

 

Pinsak Suraswadi, deputy director-general of the department, said the evidence they have in hands were correlated and were substantial to charge the wildlife hunting team.

He assured that wildlife officials and forensic police work closely together as one team.

He said forensic police and wildlife forensic scientists of the department applied the same forensic standard in examining evidence which included cooked food at the crime scene and tusks from Premchai’s house in Bangkok, as well as DNA samples from the panther hide, slice of meat, and hair.

All evident were correlated and proved to be the DNA of the slaughtered panther, he said.

He said forensic scientists were still examining blood traces found on two knives seized at the campsite of the hunting team.

The chromosone examination showed it was a female panther, he said.

The department’s deputy chief said that the case was in the limelight as it happened in the world’s heritage site, therefore authorities were determined to prosecute the wrongdoers.

“They went hunting in this important world’s heritage site. We are confident in the evidence the investigators have. They will not get loose,” he assured.

He reiterated that authorities did not ignore the case but was trying to pursue the case with caution, including defending wildlife officials on duty.

He also said the department had investigated the entry to the wildlife sanctuary by the hunting team and found it was legitimately permitted by authorities.

It was the team’s own guilt when it broke the rules and laws, he said.

On the alleged bribery, he explained that in fact it was the offer of a former park official, Noppadol Prueksawan, to give five flashlights to officials in his capacity as a former graduate of Kasetsart University’s Faculty of Forestry same as the wild life sanctuary chief Vichien Shinwong.

Each flashlight customer just 120 baht and they all cost less than 1,000 baht, he said.

He said the bribery had nothing to do with Mr Premchai, but Mr Noppadol.

He said he had no idea if Mr Noppadol would be mentioned in the case file or not as it was up to police investigation.

7 Mar 2018
10:42 pm

Air quality in four districts of Lampang, Phrae and Tak has worsened on Wednesday (March 7), with the amount of PM10 particulate matter beyond the standard level of 120 microgramme/cubic metre, the Pollution Control Department (PCD) reported.

The air quality in Chiang Mai’s Muang district is not any better either, with the amount of PM10 particulate matter measured on Tuesday at 129 μg/cu m and, besides, PM2.5 particulate matter has been present in some spots in the Muang district since early February.

In Lampang, air quality in Muang and Mae Mo districts on Wednesday was measured at 167 μg/cu m and 218 μg/cu m respectively mainly due to 135 hot spots found in Mae Mo districts whereas the air quality in Muang district of Phrae and Mae Sot district of Tak were measured at 130 μg/cu m and 144 μg/cu m respectively.

But Lampang ranks top as the province with the highest amount of PM10 beyond the standard level of 120 μg/cu m for the northern region.

Smog remains another problem during the dry season although the smog condition has not yet affected aviation activities, said the department.

Meanwhile, Somporn Chanthara, chief of Environment Science Research Centre at Chiang Mai University, urged the PCD to speed up the installation of more monitoring devices to measure the fine particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns, or PM2.5.

Moreover, the PCD should include PM2.5 in calculation of air quality index to make the calculation more precise, she said.

At the moment, PM10 is the only fine particulate matter used in the PCD’s calculation of air quality index, she said.

7 Mar 2018
6:21 pm

Four people sustained minor injuries, five cars were damaged by 11 power poles which were pulled down by a freak storm which hit Thanyaburi district of Pathum Thani on Wednesday afternoon (March 7).

The collapse of the power poles along the Rangsit-Nakhon Nayok road in Village 3 of Thanyaburi district forced officials of the provincial electricity authority to cut off the electricity supply before they could remove the fallen power poles from the road with the use of heavy machinery.

Traffic on the road came to halt and the bumper-to-bumper traffic congestion extended as far as about ten kilometres while workers were trying to move the fallen power poles out of the road.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Thai Meteorological Department issued a warning of freak storm during today until Friday in most parts of the country, with the possibility of hailstorm in some parts.

People were warned to stay clear of huge billboards and not to stand in open space or under big trees.

7 Mar 2018
6:05 pm

The deputy national police chief overseeing the illegal hunting case against Italian-Thai Development Plc boss Premchai Karnasuta said Wednesday (March 7) that he was not perturbed by the criticism and hashtag campaign against him.

Insisting that he has done everything in accordance with the law, Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said that the case was progressing and was already 90 percent completed and he expected the police case file would be submitted to the public prosecutor within March 24.

He disclosed that 11 charges, including the charge of illegal possession of firearms which could not be legally registered, would be pressed against Mr Premchai.

“The case is not weak definitely.  Whether he (Premchai) will show up to give his testimony or not, it will not weaken the case because the law states clearly that the accused’s testimony is not acceptable and should not be treated as a key factor,” said the deputy national police chief.

“No to Srivara” hashtag campaign (#ไม่เอาศรีวราห์) has been launched by pro-wildlife netizens who share their mistrust of the deputy police chief in the handling of the illegal hunting case.  The hashtag has been widely used in the social media.

Asked about the campaign against Pol Gen Srivara, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said that the police handling the case had been doing a good job and he would have to wait for the result of the police investigation before he could comment whether the police team investigating the case should be replaced or not.

He insisted that the case would be treated in a straightforward manner without any favoritism for the accused.

Meanwhile, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation reported that tests showed that the two leg bones found in a cooking pot belong to a female panther and the meat which was earlier thought to be a barking deer meat was, in fact, meat of a wild boar and the feces found near the hunting camp belong to human’s.

Panther’s DNA were also found in some of the kitchen utensils, according to the department.

7 Mar 2018
3:40 pm

The mobile Cabinet meeting yesterday (Feb 6) endorsed the amendment of the Royal Decree on the Management of Alien Workers BE 2560 that will throw out jail sentence for migrant workers working without official permits.

The cabinet agreed only to keep the fine penalty but lower to 5,000- 50,000 baht from the previous hefty fine of 20,000-100,000 baht.

For employers who employ illegal migrant workers, the heafty fine of 400,000 – 800,000 baht for a worker will also be reduced to 10,000 – 100,000 baht.

However for repeated offences, employer will face one year in jail and 50,000 – 200,000 baht fine, and a 3-year ban to employ foreign workers.

Moreover the amendment also revokes the accommodation zones for foreign workers, and allows workers to stay or work at any places so as to correspond with the principles of human rights and freedom.

Meanwhile Public Health Minister Dr Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn said the ministry would try to finish health checks for foreign workers by the end of this month as instructed by the cabinet.

According to the ministry, almost 2 million foreign workers are subject to health check and come under health security scheme.

99% of foreign workers checked are in good health with only 440 of them requiring to have chronic treatment for tuberculosis, Lymphatic filariasis, and Syphillis.

Health officials also detected pregnancy in 1,608 workers, and also sent back 157 contagious workers in order to cut the spread of the contagious diseases.

The past four year records showed that foreign workers suffered most from diarrhea, unknown sickness, pneumonia, colds, and red eye disease.

7 Mar 2018
2:50 pm

Thailand Post yesterday (Feb 6) debuted the first portrait stamps of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun at the 46th National Book Fair & 16th Bangkok International Book Fair 2018 held at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre.

The royal portrait stamps will be officially launched to commemorate His Majesty the King’s birthday anniversary on July 28.

The royal postage stamps will come in 12 different prices from one baht to 100 baht.

According to Thailand Post’s customer service manager Mr Viboon Serichaiporn, the commemorative royal portrait stamps will be open for order from March 29-April 8 at the convention centre.

The order can also be made at all post offices and  www.thailandpostmart.com until May 15.

The royal stamps will be officially launched to celebrate His Majesty the King’s birthday anniversary on July 28.

The royal postage stamps will feature the portrait of His Majesty the King in ancient royal decorations, The Ancient and Auspicious Order of the Nine Gems, and come in different colours and prices ranging from 1 baht to 100 baht – starting at 1 baht, 2 baht, 3 baht, 5 baht, 6 baht, 7 baht, 9 baht, 10 baht, 12 baht, 15 baht, 50 baht and 100 baht.

The royal portrait stamps will be issued in two collection sets of 12 stamps at 220 baht for a small set, and at 4,400 baht for a large set of 12 stamp sheets with each sheet having 20 stamps on it.

7 Mar 2018
1:17 pm

Wildlife protection officials and Natural Resources and Environment Crime Suppression Division police raided a home in Sansai district of Chiang Mai province, seized two young pet leopards and charged a woman for illegal possession of reserved animals.

The raid at the house at Ban Si Ngam in Tambon Mae Faek yesterday came after they received a report from local people that owner of the house raised two leopards as pets and they were brought out daily to walk in the village, causing fear to neighbours.

They also doubted the recent disappearance of their pets might involve the leopards, said Issara Sirisaiyas, director of Wildlife Conservation Office in Chiang Mai.

Officials and police found two 3-year-old leopards, one male and one female, at the house.

House owner Niwat Na Lampang and his wife said the leopards belong to their friend, Nittaya Issarasilp, a 46 year old woman from Chonburi who also lived at the house.

Nittaya said she inherited the animals from her father in Chonburi and showed certicate issued by the Tiger Farm in Siracha to transport them from Chonburi to Chiang Mai.

She also showed document to occupy the reserved animals but it carried no official signatures.

Authorities later seized the two leopards, Fasai and Typhoon after she could not produce official document to own the animals.

Both leopards would be sent to Wildlife Conservation Centre in Chiang Mai for nursery and for DNA examination.

Nittaya will face charge of having reserved animals in possession without permit which is subject to four years in prison and/or 40,000 baht fine if found guilty.

 

 

 

7 Mar 2018
12:42 pm

The Meteorological Department on Wednesday (Feb 7) issued the latest weather forecast warning of summer storms in the upper region of the country from today to March 9 as a strong high pressure system moving down from China is blanketing Thailand’s upper region.

The approach of the high pressure system while heat is still prevailing in the country’s northeastern region and the South China Sea will bring about gusty winds and rainstorms.

It warned people living in the northern, northeastern, eastern and central region, including Bangkok and surrounding provinces, to be aware of summer storms that will come with heavy rains, gusty winds, and hails during the said period.

People should avoid staying in open areas, under tree shades and large billboards, while farmers should prepare themselves to prevent possible damages to their crops from the rainstorms, hailstorms and gusty winds.

To be affected by the summer storms from today until Friday, starting first in the North are Phitsanulok and Phetchabun.

In the Northeast are Loei, Nong Bua Lampoo, Nong Khai, Udonthani, Bung Karn, Sakhon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdaharn, Khon Kaen, Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima, Maha Sarakham, Kalasin, Roi Et, Yasothorn, Amnat Charoen, Buriram, Surin, Sisaket, and Ubon Ratchathani.

In the East are Nakhon Nayok, Prachinburi, Srakaew, Chachoengsao, Chonburi, Rayong, Chanthaburi, and Trat.

In the Central Region are Nakhon Sawan, Lopburi, Sraburi, Uthai Thani, Chainat, Singburi, Arng Thong, Ayutthaya, Bangkok and surrounding provinces.

From tomorrow until Friday more provinces to be affected by summer storms include Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phayao, Phrae, Nan, Lamphun, Lampang, Tak, Sukhothai, Uttaradit, Phitsanulok, Kamphaengphet, Phichit and Phetchabun.

For the central provinces, Suphanburi, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi and Bangkok will also warned to brace for the summer storms until Friday, .

7 Mar 2018
10:20 am

Italian-Thai Development Plc public relations office on Tuesday defended its method of pruning of roadside trees in front of Kasetsart University, assuring that they will not die and will soon be ready to be removed to be replanted elsewhere.

In response to fierce criticism against the ITD’s cutting of the 14 trees which completely stripped them bare of any branches and look much like tree stumps, ITD public relations manager Kamol Mahaphol said today (Tuesday) that the ITD had complied with the City Administration’s procedure in removing of trees to elsewhere by pruning the trees of all the leaves so the trees could make adjustments and reduce emitting water.

After that, ITD officials will place gunny bags around each of the trees before digging to remove the trees for rehabilitation and replanting, said Mr Kamol.

In response to the criticism that the trees were cut of all the branches making them look like tree stumps, he said there were many overhead cables and electrical wires which necessitated the extreme cutting. But he assured that the trees would not die.

The tree pruning was part of the work to expand the road space in preparation for the construction of the Green Line train project between Mor Chit and Saphan Mai which includes the construction of a flyover at Kasetsart intersection.

On Monday, the director of Chatuchak district office, Mr Pokklong Polamuang, lodged a complaint with Bang Khen police against ITD for arbitrarily cutting the trees without prior permission from the authorities.

 

7 Mar 2018
7:57 am

A complaint was lodged with the economic crime police on Tuesday (Feb 6) by the publisher of book, titled Buppae Sannivas, against a Facebook page owner who uploaded the entire book on the page in violation of the copyright of the publisher.

Ms Kaweeya Naowaprateep, executive editor of Happy Banana printing house which published the book who lodged the complaint of copyright infringement said she wanted the case to set an example for individuals who plagiarized the literary works of the other people to enrich themselves.

Regarding the compensation to be demanded from the copycat who also offered his ID line for anyone who wanted to download the book, Ms Kaweeya said she would consult with the author of the book first.

However, her lawyer estimated that the compensation would roughly amount to the price of the book multiplied by twice of the number of shares in the Facebook page which, for the time being, has risen to 60,000 shares.

Meanwhile, Ms Chanyawee Somprida, the writer of the book, announced via her Facebook page that she would the copyright offender to court. For the time being, she said she would allow her lawyer and her publisher to carry on with their legal action.

Captain Somsak Khaoprasit, the permanent secretary for digital economy and society, said the ministry could not intervene yet as no complaint was lodged with the ministry.

Anyhow, he said the ministry would closely follow up the case.

 

6 Mar 2018
9:44 pm

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation has wanted the police to file charges against wife of Italian-Thai boss for illegal possession of African tusks.

Mr Anuwat Leelapata, head of the Yiew Dong task force of the DNPWPC, met with Pol Maj-Gen Panya Pinsook, commander of the Suppression Against Violations of Natural Resources and Environment Division, for discussion on the department’s recommendation that ITD boss Premchai Karnasuta’s Common Law wife, Mrs Kanita Witthayanan, should be charged for illegal possession of two pairs of African tusks found in their house.

Officials of the department found out that the four ivory tusks were not Asiatic tusks as declared with the department back in 2015, but were actually African tusks. Violation is liable to 4 years imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of 40,000 baht.

Meanwhile, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment General Surasak Kanchanarat said the DNPWPC would lodge a complaint with the police to charge Mr Premchai’s wife for illegal possession of African tusks.

As for the ongoing case against Premchai, the minister assured that the ITD boss would be treated like any other suspects without any privilege, claiming that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had ordered authorities concerned to treat the case in a straightforward manner.

He disclosed that Pol Gen Jarumporn Suramanee, a member of the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission, would meet with police inquiry officers handling the illegal hunting case to discuss the case on Thursday while the committee following up the case will meet on March 12.

 

6 Mar 2018
9:22 pm

Her Majesty Queen Sirikit was admitted to Chulalongkorn hospital today for ear examination, the Bureau of the Royal Household announced.

The Queen of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej will remain at the hospital until Thursday.

 

6 Mar 2018
9:08 pm

Central Administrative Court on Tuesday (Feb 6) revoked an order of the arbitration panel demanding the Pollution Control Department to pay six billion baht in compensation to NVPSKG consortium, the building of the corruption-prone Klong Dan wastewater treatment plant in Samut Prakan.

The lawsuit was filed with the Central Administrative Court by Vichitphan construction company and six partners, demanding compliance of the arbitration panel’s ruling dated January 12, 2011 ordering the Pollution Control Department to pay the five companies 4,983 million baht and US$ 31 million plus 7.5 percent interest thereon for the revocation of the project by the department.

The Central Administrative Court ordered the PCD to pay the compensation as ruled by the arbitration panel and this was upheld by the Supreme Administrative Court. But the PCD demanded a retrial of the case, citing that the implementation of the project was illegal and there was collusion of corruption between the builder and PCD officials.

In its ruling which was read on Tuesday, the Central Administrative Court said there were irregularities in different implementation processes, ranging from defying rules and cabinet’s resolution by PCD officials; selection of the builder for the project; bidding process to changing of some provisions in the contract already approved by the Attorney-General’s Office and land acquisition for the project.

As such, the court ruled that the altered contract had no binding effect on the PCD and, hence, compliance with the arbitration order would amount to violation of public peace and order.

Klong Dan project dated back to 1995 when the cabinet then approved two waste water treatment plants in Samut Prakan. The project design was later changed to just one plant and the project site was moved about 20 kms away to a 1,900 rai of mostly swamp in Bang Bo district owned by Klong Dan Marine and Fishery Company. This caused the construction cost to balloon from 13.6 billion baht to 22.9 billion baht.

Former deputy interior minister Vatana Asavahame was sentenced to ten years in jail by the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Police Offices for bribing officials to issue land title deeds for the land in Bang Bo district which were later sold to the PCD for the Klong Dan project.

 

6 Mar 2018
7:26 pm

The Livestock Department has declared 13 provinces a red zone for close watch for rabies which has claimed three deaths since January.

The department deputy chief Mr Chirasak Pipattanapongsophon said Tuesday that the latest rabies case involved a Siberian dog which has recently died from the disease in Rattaphum district of Songkhla.

The 13 provinces under close watch for rebies are Surin, Chon Buri, Samut Prakan, Chachoengsao, Nan, Buri Ram, Ubon Ratchathani, Chiang Rai, Roki-et, Songkhla, Rayong, Tak and Si Sa Ket.

Mr Chirasak blamed the spread of rabies to the fact that many owners of pet dogs and cats did not bring their pet animals for vaccination and allowed their pet animals to stray outside and got bitten by rabid dogs.

Meanwhile, Mr Soravich Thaneeto, spokesman of the Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, said that the Livestock Department placed altogether 31 provinces under temporary watch for rabies.

He said that if no additional rabies incidence was reported within 30 days, the 31 provinces would be removed from the watch list.

 

6 Mar 2018
5:58 pm

The Office of Food and Drug Administration and the Fisheries Department assured consumers that they don’t have to be worried with the fish imported from Japan’s Fukushima prefecture as they were strictly checked by officials concerned to make sure they are safe for consumption.

A joint press conference was held this morning by FDA secretary-general Dr Wanchai Satayawutthipong and Mrs Umaporn Pimonbutr, deputy director-general of Fisheries Department to clear the air after a Japanese news report of fish from Fukushima prefecture where a nuclear reactor accident took place in 2011 were imported to Thailand and on sale at Japanese restaurants.

Dr Wanchai said that the FDA and the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives had meted out measures for radiation-tainted non-processed food to be imported into the country that the total amount of radio-active isotopes such as iodine-131, cesium-134 and cesium-137 must not exceed 500 Bq/kg.

Also, the importer of the food in question must produce a certificate or origin assuring that the radio-active contaminated food is well within the acceptable limit, he added.

The Japanese embassy has informed the FDA and the Public Health Ministry that Japan has adopted a strict measure to control food tainted with radiation that the amount of radiation must not exceed the safety level or the food will be immediately destroyed to prevent them to be distributed to consumers in Japan and elsewhere.

The Japanese Health Ministry last year checked 7,408 fish samples from the sea in Fukushima prefecture for tests and found only eight samples which have excess amount of radiation, including cherry salmon and white-spotted char.

Dr Wanchai disclosed that tests of seafood from Japan conducted during March-April last year did not find any food samples with radiation contamination beyond the safety limits.

He said that food which were tested with radiation contamination beyond safety limits would be immediately destroyed as he pleaded with consumers to have trust and confidence in the officials concerned in doing their job to ensure public safety.

Any consumer who doubt that the food he/she has bought is not safe can call 1556 hotline or contact Oryor Smart Application or health offices across the country.

 

6 Mar 2018
5:55 pm

The Supreme Court on Tuesday (Mar 6) ordered Banpu, one of Asia’s largest coal producers, to pay Thai-Lao Lignite Co (TLL) 1.5 billion baht plus 7.5% interest over Hongsa coal-fired power plant dispute.

The ruling by the Supreme Court reversed earlier ruling by the Appeals Court that found Banpu not guilty of causing damage to TLL, which was the company’s former partner in coal mining and power plant project in Hongsa, Laos.

TLL was granted a concession by the Lao government to develop the Hongsa project in 1994, and in 2005 it brought Banpu in as a partner.

In September 2006, Lao government notified TLL that it was scrapping the contract, and two months later it awarded a new concession to Banpu.

TLL owner Siva Nganthavee accused Banpu of using information gained from their partnership to “misinform” the Lao government, leading to the termination of the contract.

Mr Siva later sought damages of 63.5 billion baht from Banpu based on lost earnings.

The Civil Court in 2013 ordered Banpu to pay over 31 billion baht in damages to Mr Siva. Banpu appealed to the higher court, seeking damages of 4 billion baht from Mr Siva.

The Supreme Court today reversed the Appeals Court’s ruling and ordered Banpu to pay 1.5 billion baht in compensation plus 7.5% interest to TLL.

TLL lawyer Adul Raksanit said his client was satisfied with the final rulingthat ordered Banpu and its two subsidiaries to pay the compensation to the company.

The compensation and the interest Banpu has to pay TLL amounted to 2.6 billion baht in total, he said.

Banpu lawyer Kasem Pumpuang said the three companies would meet to consider the amount each company has to pay to TLL.

5 Mar 2018
9:16 pm

It was a happy ending between a 64-year old man who poured ashes from joss papers on the vehicle of his 60-year neighbor next door who often parked the car in front of the former’s house.

The two elderly neighbours, 64-year Mr Prasit sae Heng and 60-year old Mr Phipob Chiarawongtrakul, were invited to Hat Yai district police station to settle their long-standing conflict over car parking with Pol Col Chatchai Bamrungkorn, the superintendent, offering as a go-between to mediate the dispute.

Initially, the mediation talk hit snag ad the two men appeared to be in a bad mood toward each other. But Pol Lt-Col Chatchai patiently talked both of them to cool down and to talk reasons.

Finally, both decided to apologize each other, with Mr Prasit saying sorry for pouring ashes on Phipob’s pickup truck whereas the latter promised not to park his truck right in front of his neighbour’s house.

Both were told to shake hands to end their dispute.

Pol Lt-Col Chatchai said the two would be fined for a taken amount as their case was insignificant and the case would be dropped.

Prasit was seen in a CCTV camera pouring ashes onto Phipob’s pickup truck’s front bonnet which was parked in front of his house. He earlier said he had lost patience with his next door’s neighbor for frequently parking his truck in front of his house and, sometimes, caused him to miss doctor’s appointments because he could not get his car out of the house.

5 Mar 2018
8:22 pm

The Thai Meteorological Department issued a warning of freak storm in regions of the country tomorrow (Tuesday) until Friday, with the possibility of hail storm in some parts of the northern and northeastern regions.

The freak storm was attributable to strong high pressure from China which has blanketed southern China and is expected to move downward to cover the Northeast and the South China Sea on Tuesday.

During the storm, the department warned people to avoid taking cover under big trees or standing under huge bill boards which are not strong and to refrain from staying in the open field for their safety sake.

Farmers are also warned that their crops may be damaged from the freak storm.

The following provinces to be hit by freak storm tomorrow and Wednesday include Loei, Nong Bua Lamphu, Nong Khai, Udon Thani, Bung Karn, Sakhon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Muk Dahan, Khon Kaen, Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima, Maha Sarakham, Kalasin Roi-et, Yasothorn, Amnart Charoen, Buri Ram, Surin, Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani in the Northeast; Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri, Sa Kaew, Chachoengsao and Chon Buri in the East; Nakhon Sawan, Lop Buri, Saraburi, Uthai Thani, Chainat, Sing Buri, Ang Thong and Ayutthaya in the central plains; Bangkok and its peripherals.

During March 8-9, areas to be affected with freak storm include Loei, Nong Bua Lamphu, Khon Kaen, Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Surin, Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani in the Northeast; Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phayao, Phrae, Nan, Lamphun, Lampang, Tak, Sukhothai, Uttradit, Phitsanuloke, Kamphaeng Phet, Phichit and Petchabun in the North; Nakhon Sawan, Lop Buri, Saraburi, Uthai Thani, Chainat, Sing Puri, Ang Thong, Ayutthaya, Suphan Buri, Kanchanaburi, Rat Buri, Bangkok and its peripherals in the central region; and southern provinces of Petchaburi, Prachuab Khiri Khan, Chumporn and Surat Thani.

 

5 Mar 2018
7:01 pm

The “axe lady” and her sister turned themselves in to the police at Prawet district police station to acknowledge the charges against them for the axe-bashing of a pickup truck which parked in front of the entrance of their house in Seri Villa housing estate on February 18.

Accompanied by their lawyer, Ms Rattanachat and Ms Maneerat Saengyoktrakarn were slapped with three charges – causing damage to the other people’s property; intimidation causing panic to the other people and carrying a weapon in public.

However, the two ladies acknowledge the charge of causing damage to the other people but denied the two other charges, said lawyer Anantachai Chaidet, claiming that the two women had no intention whatsoever to harm anybody.

He added that a complaint would be filed against the owner of the pickup truck, Ms Ratchanikorn Lertvasana.

A police inquiry officer in charge of the case explained that the three counts of charge against the two women were based on the testimony of Ms Ratchanikorn as well as the evidence collected.

The axe-bashing incident became the talk of the town in mid-February after footage of the incident was posted on the social media and went viral. Reactions were mixed but most them were in sympathy with the axe lady after it was disclosed that the family has been suffering for almost a decade with cars blocking the driveway to their house, noise pollution from cars of shoppers flocking to the 5-7 markets – most of them illegally built – in the housing estate.

5 Mar 2018
4:42 pm

The cold season has ended with the arrival of the dry season starting Saturday, the Thai Meteorological Department announced on Monday.

The department said that, from now on, the mercury in the upper part of the country will rise gradually, with continuing hot weather during the day time as the northeastern monsoon which used to blanket most part of the country has been replaced by southeastern wind.

However, the northern and northeastern regions will still experience cool weather during the morning for a little while.
The dry season is expected to end in May with the onset of the rainy season, said the Weatherman.

 

5 Mar 2018
1:43 pm

The Royal Thai Police has issued an order banning on duty police officers to wear black sunglasses.

The order was issued by deputy commissioner of the RTP Pol Gen Chalermkiat Sriworakhan.

Under his order dated March 2, he said police in charge of investigation and suppression work must:

1. Dress politely in line with the police regulations, and must wear short hairstyles.

2. No wearing of black sunglasses while on duty.

3. Superior officers at all levels must have good behaviour and be role model for their subordinates, while at the same time supervising performances of their subordinates seriously and continuously.

Pol Gen Chalermkiat, meanwhile, clarified further that the order was meant to ban fashion sunglasses as he had seen on several occasions that several police officers on duty wore fashion sunglasses with colourful coating mirror lens.

It was inappropriate, he said.

However he said for officers who are on duty in broad daylight and have sighting difficulty, he didn’t mean to prohibit them to wear.

Meanwhile deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau Pol Maj Gen Panurat Lakboon said it still was necessary for police officers to wear black sunglasses while performing duty in broad daylight.

He said the order is enforced on police officers across the country, and not only in the capital.

 

5 Mar 2018
1:30 pm

PTT Plc and Bangchak will lower their retail petrol and diesel prices 30-50 satang, starting at 5am on Tuesday.
 

All Gasohol petrol and diesel oil prices will drop by 50 satang per litre, while E85 petrol will drop by 30 satang.
 

Following the reduction, premium 95 benzene will sell at 34.56 baht per litre, Gasohol 95 at 27.35, Gasohol 91 at 27.08 baht,  E20 petrol at 24.84 baht, and E85 at 20.14 baht. The diesel oil price will be 26.59 baht per litre.
 

Prices in certain areas will be higher due to local taxes.

5 Mar 2018
12:49 pm

Wildlife forensic scientists are still examining the blood stains on leaves and knives seized from the jungle campsite where Italian Thai Development president and chief executive Premchai Karnasuta was arrested along with three others for poaching wildlife animals in Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary on February 5.

Mr Pinsak Suraswadi, deputy director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation,

Pinsak Suraswadi, deputy director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation, admitted of the lengthy forensic process because it needed cautious steps to prosecute all those involved in the poaching.

He believed the police themselves also did the same in collecting forensic evidence substantial to lay charges on poachers.

He said what wildlife forensic scientists wanted to make sure was that the wildlife meat seized at the campsite belonged to the killed panther.

He said initial examination has been known. But as wildlife forensic scientists received latest evidence of blood stains on leaves and on knives seized from the campsite, they needed to conduct DNA test if they were blood from the slaughtered panther.

The DNA analysis would take a week and afterwards the department would forward the forensic result to the police as additional evidence to lay charges on those responsible, he said.

Meanwhile a wildlife forensic scientist Dr Kanita Uithavorn, chief of the department’s wildlife forensic unit, said they needed to find the DNA of the blood stains on the leaves and knives as they would be significant evidence to prove that the panther was killed by Premchai’s poaching team in the jungle.

She said earlier evidence collected by the police such as bullets, rifles, finger prints showed the panther was killed and slaughtered in the jungle.

She said scientist would also test the human feces collected from the scene to prove if Mr Premchai had eaten the panther’s meat or not.

Although this process would be difficult but scientists would try to prove it to seek justice for the killed panther, she added.

5 Mar 2018
12:00 pm

Prime minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha and his cabinet ministers flew in helicopters to visit Samut Sakhon and Phetchaburi provinces.

Prime minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha

The visit was one day ahead of his scheduled mobile cabinet meeting tomorrow aimed at discussing fishery industry and problems relevant to labour, mostly migrant workers in the fishing industry.

In the morning, the prime minister visited the Labour Rights Promotion Network which is taking care of social welfare activities of migrant workers.

The foundation serves as a centre to provide consultant service to migrant workers on legal affairs, and their rights.

During the meeting with migrant workers in Samut Sakhon, the prime minister asked them to respect Thai laws, and to love Thailand as it is the country which provided them jobs.

He said that as the government was trying to resolve human trafficking, illegal working, it needed cooperation not only from state officials, employees , but also from migrant workers.

The prime minister pledged to deal drastically with state officials involved in human trafficking, as well as Thai employers if they wouldn’t cooperate with the government on the issue.

Gen Prayut also talked to children of the migrant workers and their teachers.

He encouraged teachers to promote public awareness, merits and to create a peaceful community so as to prevent rifts.

In the afternoon, the prime minister will proceed to Phetchaburi to follow up several projects on water management and farming.

5 Mar 2018
11:22 am

A combined force of police and soldiers raided a gambling den in Don Mueang district of Bangkok and rounded up 34 gamblers on Sunday night.

The gambling den was located in the compound of the houses of Mr Amnuay Kiatdonmueang, an influential tycoon in the area.

A large number of gambling machines and equipment were seized when police and soldiers raided two houses in the compound with court’s warrant.

They included gambling cards, dices, slot machines, and soccer gambling cards.

Amnuay managed to escape but 34 gamblers who comprised 12 men 22 women were arrested.

They were all detained at Don Mueang police station pending charge for illegal gambling.

According to the police, the den had been raided 4-5 times in the past year but it still defied the law and resumed operations, by making access by outsiders to the den more difficult.

Secret doors were added, steel frame gates were built and deployed by men to keep watch, thus obstructing smooth access to the den.

Police said they were asking the Anti Money Laundering Office to check the money transaction of the escapee and see whether he was involved in money laundering.

 

 

5 Mar 2018
10:52 am

Thailand Tobacco Monopoly (TTM) says it is expected to suffer it’s first time loss in history of a tremendous amount of 5 billion baht this year from the government’s recent excise tax increase.

TTM managing director Daonoi Suthinipaphan said the expected huge loss stemmed from the new excise tax law which became effective on September 16 last year.

She said the new excise tax resulted in higher retail prices of cigarettes produced by TTM by 3-20 baht per pack.

But on the contrary, prices of imported or foreign cigarettes which have lower production cost adjusted retail prices slightly, or some brands even lowered retail prices, she said.

This situation, she said, has affected TTM’s market share falling from 80% to 55-60% in February this year, she said.

She said the new excise tax has enabled sellers to reduce retail price for foreign cigarette to 60 baht per pack, while Thai cigarette which was earlier sold at 35-40 baht per pack instead has gone up to 60 baht, or same as foreign cigarettes.

She said TTM’s production this year was expected to be 18,000 million cigarettes a year from its full production capacity of 65,000 million cigarettes after its new factory has officially started operations.

With its huge machinery cost of over 16 billion baht, TTM therefore has to allocate it’s annual profit to pay for the machines with now has 7 billion remainder still unpaid.

She said this year TTM was committed by its contract to pay 2.9 billion baht.

Apart from the machinery cost, TTM still has to pay for the relocation of factory from Rama 4 road in Bangkok to new factory in Ayutthaya, take care of its own hospital’s expenses, buy tobacco leaves 22 baht higher than market price from farmers under the state’s subsidy programme, and 1.5 billion baht renovation for Benjakitti park, she said.

In total, initial estimate of loss was expected to be 5 billion baht this year, she said.

This would be the first time loss of the TTM’s history since it was established and began operation in 1948 or 70 years ago, she said.

4 Mar 2018
10:26 pm

Many fans of TV Channel 3’s popular prime-time drama series, Buppae Sanniwas, have been flocking to Wat Chaiwattanaram in Ayutthaya every weekend reportedly to trace their past-life destinies.

Officials at the temple which was featured in the highly-rated drama series said that normally about 1,000 tourists who appeared to be fans of the drama visited the temple during the weekends.

However, they said the number of visitors soared to about 3,000 on Sunday, causing traffic jam around the temple.

To promote temple visits, the temple has offered special amulets to mark the 666th anniversary of Ayutthaya empire to the first 200 visitors who dressed up in Thai traditional costumes today.

It was reported that all the 200 amulets ran out after many visitors showed up in Thai traditional costumes.

 

 

 

4 Mar 2018
10:02 pm

Officials manning a checkpoint in Rattana Wapi district of Nong Khai province seized the carcasses of about 80 wildlife, including five mouse deer and one giant squirrel in six bags on Sunday (Mar 3).

It was reported that a group of Laotian traders carried six bags of supposedly wild mushrooms into a market in Ban Baengchan, Tambon Ponepaeng, Rattana Wapi district for sale to Thai traders.

However, the officials manning a checkpoint to watch out for wildlife or carcasses of wildlife smuggled from Laos asked for a search of the six bags. Instead of wild mushrooms, they found the carcass of six mouse deer, one giant squirrel and of many other wildlife species.

It was reported that Nong Khai provincial governor, Mr Ronnachai Chitwiset, had ordered officials manning border checkpoints with Laos to step up the screening of goods brought by Laotian merchants into the border markets to prevent the smuggling of wildlife or wildlife carcasses in the guise of ordinary goods.

Two weeks ago, officials at the same checkpoint seized skins of several wildlife species, including a fishing cat, at the market in Ban Baengchan.

 

 

 

4 Mar 2018
9:03 pm

The top five police officers of Somdet Chao Phraya police station were abruptly transferred out of the station to the operations centre of Metropolitan Police Bureau after a raid of a public in the area under their jurisdiction on Saturday night in which several underaged youths and drug abuses were found among the patrons.

Their transfer was ordered by Pol Lt-Gen Charnthep Sesavech, commissioner of Metropolitan Police Bureau following the raid of ID4 pub on Saturday night by police from 191 unit and metropolitan narcotic police.

The five officers abruptly transferred include Pol Col Anurak Yosprasit, the superintendent of the station; Pol Lt-Col Wutthichai Sukonthavit, the deputy superintendent for investigative affairs; Pol Lt-Col Natthachak Boonyarat, deputy superintendent for suppression; Pol Lt-Col Sa-nguan Ruangfang, the suppression inspector; and Pol Lt-Col Narongchai Aekkachan, the investigative inspector.

The five are to serve at the operations centre of Metropolitan Police Bureau until further notifications.

 

4 Mar 2018
8:51 pm

A young woman was crushed to death and two children were seriously were injured by a speeding car at a road intersection in front of a temple in Bang Lamung district of Chon Buri on Sunday.

According to eyewitness accounts, the dead victim, 27-year Ms Paveenee Kaewkham, was waiting for traffic light on her motorcycle with two children riding on the pillion at a road intersection in front of Wat Boonkanchanaram.

Then out of a sudden a speeding black Mercedes Benz rammed into the three, flinging the two children sending the two children out of the bike onto the road while dragging Ms Paveenee under the car about one kilometer from the collision spot before it came to a stop.

The car drive, a foreigner, was taken to Bang Lamung police station for interrogation.

 

4 Mar 2018
8:38 pm

Huay Kwang police yesterday (Mar 3) have caught a man who allegedly robbed a blind man of 79,000 baht in cash and a cellphone near the entrance of the Rama IX station of the underground train on February 22.

The suspect was identified by police as 49-year old Seni.

Pol Col Kamphol Rattanaprateep, superintendent of Huay Kwang police, said Saturday that, after having received a complaint from the robbery victim, 27-year old Mr Korakot Papakki, police checked all the CCTV system at the crime scene and surrounding areas.

They found in one of the footages a man who often seen strolling at and around the Rama IX underground train station in a suspicious manner and made the arrest at the same spot and, subsequently, escorted him to his apartment room in Soi Prachasongkroh 24, where they found the stolen items, including the cash and the cellphone.

Mr Korakot was later notified to get back his lost items at Huay Kwang police station. He told the media that the 79,000 baht in cash were his savings for the past two years from donations he received from his singing on sidewalks.

He said that, on February 22, he withdrew the money from his bank account in order to buy a new guitar which he planned to use for his street performance.

 

4 Mar 2018
4:10 pm

A 69-year old Dutchman and a 19-year old Thai man were arrested at a hotel in Pattaya on charges of procuring underaged boys for prostitution on Sunday.

Three underaged boys were also found in a hotel room on Jom Thien beach which was rented by two potential customers to lure the Dutchman, identified as Reinards Marie Joseph, to bring them for sex trade.

Police also found in the possession of the suspect still pictures and videos of the boys in the act of sexual activities in the Dutchman’s rented room.

The Dutchman’s arrest on Sunday was the result of a sting operation launched by Pattaya police with the cooperation of two foreigners posing as potential customers looking for sex with young Thai boys after investigation by the police and officials of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.

Police said that the two potential customers had offered 7,000 baht the Dutchman to bring them four young Thai youths, including the 19-year old man who was believed to be the suspect’s accomplice as well as a sex worker himself, to their rented room.

When all of them were in the rented room and money were given to the suspect, police and social workers who had been waiting near the hotel raided the room and made the arrest.
The Dutchman claimed he had a wife and children of his own and was not involved in sex trade as accused.

Police said that the suspect was already blacklisted for alleged involvement in sex with young boys but managed to slip into the country from Cambodia.

But the suspect claimed he bribed an immigration officer at an immigration checkpoint in Karb Choeng district of Surin 3,000 baht to get into Thailand and then stay in Pattaya.

 

4 Mar 2018
4:01 pm

An 81-year old man was shot dead in his house in Tha Yang district of Petchaburi allegedly by his own son on Saturday evening.

Police arrived at the crime scene in Ban Nong Jaengon Saturday night and found the victim, identified as Mr Prasert Tang-on, lying dead in the house in a poll of blood.

Police said that the victim was shot with a 9mm pistol four times. Four spent shells were found at the house.

Police were told by witnesses in the house that, prior to the shooting, Mr Prasert, was seen beating up his wife, Mrs Aree.

Their son, Mr Ratchata, who saw the beating, grabbed a handgun and opened fire at his own father before escaping.
Earlier during the day, Mr Prasert and Mrs Aree presided over a wedding ceremony of their daughter at the house.

Mr Ratchata later turned himself into police. He also was  interrogated by police for the actual motive of the fatal shooting.

 

3 Mar 2018
8:55 pm

Groceries and convenience stores in three southernmost provinces have been warned by security officials to look out for suspicious-behaving customers to prevent perpetrators from planting small fire bombs in their premises.

The alert followed bomb and arson attacks in Narathiwat on Feb 23 when three local stores were burnt down. Authorities found remains of a wallet believed to contain a small fire bomb placed among spray cans at a shop which was hit by a fire bomb.

Security officials said suspected militants wanted to undermine economy in the Deep South by targeting groceries, convenience stores and department stores using small fire bombs hidden in wallets and placed among inflammable goods such as spray cans.

Yaring district police informed owners and staffers of stores to carefully observe their customers to watch out for suspicious behavior as a precautionary measure to prevent fire bomb attacks.

Meanwhile, Maj-Gen Chatuporn Klampasut, commander of Pattani task force, said that security forces had detained nine suspects allegedly involved in bomb attacks in the province on Feb 11.

He claimed that eight of the detained suspects had confessed and authorities are still looking for 11 other suspects who are still at large.

3 Mar 2018
7:36 pm

The forward command of Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) Region 4 has accused a civil network of making distorted statement to discredit the government and tarnish Thailand’s reputation in the eyes of the international community.

Col Pramote Prom-in, spokesman of the forward command of Isoc Region 4,  said Saturday (March 3) that the statement issued on Friday by the so-called Ad Hoc Network to Civilian Protection and Freedom of Expression was a deliberate distortion of facts with a motive to discredit the government and to shame the country in the world’s arena.

In summation, the civic group’s statement said that the situation in the Deep South has not improved as claimed by the Thai security authorities but, on the contrary, has worsened, with freedom of expression in public blocked.

The network cited the filing of civil and criminal lawsuits against the media and human rights defenders in February, demanding 10 million baht in compensation from Manager Online for its report on alleged torture of criminal suspects.

The statement also cited the filing of defamation complaint against Ismael Tae, founder of the Patani Human Right Organization, who told Thai PBS “Policy by the People” TV programme of his experience under military custody back in 2008.

Ismael Tae, founder of the Patani Human Right Organization.

In the statement, the group called on Isoc and related security units to stop its intimidation through the use of special law and to stop all forms of harassment, especially the filing of complaints to the authorities against the media, human rights defenders and the public.

The group also urged separatist groups to stop its attacks on civilians of all religious faiths.

Col Pramote maintained that Isoc had attached importance to legal principles, fair and unbiased enforcement of the law to maintain peace and order in the restive Deep South and the principles of human rights.

But instead, he said the authorities were met with accusations of torture and distortion of information from people who claimed to be human right defenders.

Col Pramote insisted that the authorities were merely exercising their lawful right in filing complaints against Manager Online and Ismael Tae for their alleged deliberate dissemination of distorted information to discredit state agencies.

“Seeking redress from the justice process is the lawful right of state authorities which has nothing to do with intimidation or gagging the people as claimed and distorted,” said the colonel.

3 Mar 2018
6:51 pm

Wirat Chinvinitkul has been removed as a member of the Privy Council by a Royal Command of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

The Royal Command which was counter-signed by Gen Prem Tinsulanonda, president of the Privy Council, was published in the Royal Gazette on March 3.

No details were given for Mr Wirat’s removal from the Privy Council.

Mr Wirat, a former vice president of the Supreme Court, was appointed a Privy Councillor in December 2016.

3 Mar 2018
6:12 pm

Thai exports rose steadily with export value in January fetching  over US$ 20 billion, or 17.6%, the highest in five years, according to the Thai National Shippers’ Council (TNSC).

The value of Thai exports in January stood at US$20.1 billion, an increase of 17.6% year on year, TNSC reported.

The TNSC said motor vehicles and parts, computer components, and food contributed to the record growth.

It said it would maintain the 2018 export growth target at 5.5% year on year on average, due to the global economic recovery, higher fuel prices, and the increasing prices of crops.

However, fluctuations in the US currency, trade barriers, and the nationwide minimum wage hike have been noted as risk factors.

TNSC president Ghayapad Tantipipatpong said US restrictions on trade under the America First policy, and countermeasures of its trade partners, which are currently intensifying, must be monitored closely.

Four types of Thai products have so far been affected by the US measures, including a hike in import duties on washing machines, solar panels, steel and aluminum and rubber bands.

3 Mar 2018
1:26 pm

Consumer price index (CPI) or inflation rate increased for the eighth consecutive month to 0.42% in February, according to the Commerce Ministry’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO).

The increase was attributed to the back of a recovery in the people’s purchasing power and increased demand for products and services in the country.

Pimchanok Vonkorpon, the TPSO director, said the improved demand has caused prices for products and services, particularly those in Bangkok and other areas in the central region, to rise.

She said this year’s CPI is likely to range 0.71-1.7 percent in line with the economic recovery.

The CPI is expected to average 0.6% in the first quarter and to continue edging up in the second quarter, citing long holidays during the Songkran Festival in mid-April and the recent minimum wage hike which is to become effective next month.

3 Mar 2018
12:22 pm

The police in Phatthalung province are hunting for a gang of youths suspected of hurling rocks at six vehicles on Asian Highway on Friday night (March 2).

Drivers of six vehicles, which included cars and large cargo trucks, lodged complaints to the police that their vehicles were hurled at with rocks and stones while they were running on the Asian Highway in Phatthalung’s Khao Chaison district.

The affected vehicles had their windshields of bonnets damaged by the hard objects, but no one was injured.

Boonsong Noonui, a truck driver fallen victim to the rock throwing gang, told police that he was driving from Hat Yai to Surat Thani.

As he slowed down the vehicle near Khao Chaison intersection which is on the curve stretch of the highway and was dark, a rock was hurled at his truck from the side of the highway.

The rock smashed open the front windshield but fortunately did not hit him, he said.

Police said they immediately patrolled the highway and spotted a group of three youths near the scene. One of them was a girl but all have managed to escape.

Police said that five other vehicles were also damaged on the same night.

The police added they were hunting for the gang which might carry out the crimes out of impetuousness.

3 Mar 2018
11:34 am

Thailand is now watching closely possible impact on its exports after President Donald Trump announced he would impose steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminium that has sparked outraged threats of reprisals from countries around the world.

Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO) director-general Pimchanok Vonkorpon said she still could not anticipate how much impact Thai exporters would suffer or whether it would affect the country’s competitiveness.

She said Thailand needed to monitor closely the development of the US trade barriers under what was called the president’s “safeguard” policy.

The president’s announced steep increase in import tariffs on steel and aluminium was meant for all exporting countries at same rates that would affect all countries equally, the TPSO chief explained.

But she said affected countries could seek negotiations if it was found that the US safeguard measures do not follow the regulations of the World Trade Organisation, are too high, unfair, and not transparent.

Ms Pimchanok added that the announed tariffs on steel and aluminium came after the US has recently slapped quota system on solar panels and residential large washing machines on all exporting countries, including Thailand.

She said the TPSO would closely monitor the US safeguard policy to look into which of Thai exports would risk facing the high tariff so that it could notify Thai manufacturers  in time to cope with it.

Mr Trump said he plans to impose next week the toughest of the three remedies proposed by the Commerce Department, a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum.

2 Mar 2018
5:49 pm

Italian-Thai Development Plc president and CEO Premchai Karnasuta and three other members of his hunting party turned themselves in to police in Thong Pha Phum district of Kanchanaburi on Friday (March 2) to acknowledge the charges against them.

Mr Premchai’s emergence at Thong Pha Phum district police station was the first public appearance since his arrest by forest rangers at Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary on Feb 4. He was questioned by police inquiry officers for about two hours before his release.

After the interrogation, Mr Premchai briefly told a group of waiting reporters that he was very tired because the police inquiry officers asked so many questions.

In the meantime, the deputy national police chief, Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul, went to Thong Pha Phum district police station reportedly to examine the police investigative report about the illegal hunting case.

He told the media that the ITD boss had acknowledged the nine charges against him and the latter was set free after the interrogation session.

The deputy national police chief insisted that the police had not dragged their feet in the investigation of the case as suspected by the public, claiming that the hunting case was progressing.

Noting that this is not a small case, Pol Gen Srivara said he had instructed police handling the case to proceed carefully and to strictly follow the letters of the law.

Deputy police chief Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul

“Police have to interrogate and charge in accordance with the law – not in accordance with sentiment.  The facts and evidence obtained by the police so far are enough to press the charges.  The case must not be lost due to technicality such as illegal questioning; re-enactment at the crime scene without the participation of officials from the scientific crime detection unit; or accepting a complaint on animal cruelty charge despite the fact it is not specified in the law.  All these will ruin the case and cause damage to the police force,” said the deputy police chief.

Regarding the issue that a police captain of Thong Pha Phum police was placed under probation for accepting the cruelty against animals complaint from a livestock official which was subsequently withdrawn, Pol Gen Srivara defended that the probation was not a punitive action to help anybody.

He clarified that since wildlife was not covered by the cruelty against animals law, complaint of cruelty against animals could not be filed with the police.

Pol Gen Srivara added that police superintendent of Thong Pha Phum police had to discipline the police caption who accepted the complaint otherwise the superintendent himself would be faulted for negligence of duty.

“An inquiry officer must carefully study the relevant laws before accepting a complaint. This is not about helping a suspect. It’s about upholding police’s working standard,” he noted.

2 Mar 2018
2:14 pm

The State Railways of Thailand (SRT) announced today (March 2) that all southbound trains from Bangkok to the Deep South and vise versa have returned normal after two train derailments in the South have been fixed and lines open.

It said all trains from Bangkok to Narathiwat resume as usual today on schedules after railway mechanics could fix the derailment of a freight train No 1552 near Bang klam railway station in Songkhla province and open the line back to service since late last night.

The derailment of the freight train on the main southern rail route stranded thousands of passengers from Bangkok to the Deep South and vise versa yesterday.

By late last night, several hundreds of passengers stranded at Hat Yai railway station left on Bangkok bound trains after having to wait for several hours for the line clearance.

The last train left Hat Yai railway station at 11 pm instead of in the evening.

2 Mar 2018
10:03 am

Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul was taken to task by political activist Srisuwan Janya for the punishment meted out against a Thong Pha Phum police inquiry officer for the handling of a charge against poaching suspect Premchai Karnasuta.

Pol Gen Srivara instructed police inquiry officers in Kanchanaburi to find out whether the Kanchanaburi livestock official who lodged a complaint of cruelty against animal against Mr Premchai had ill-gotten intention against the Italian-Thai Development Plc boss or not.

Narongchai Sangworawongsa, chief of Kanchanaburi animal quarantine station, filed the complaint against Mr Premchai with Pol Capt Sumit Bunyanij, an investigation inspector at Thong Pha Phum police station on Feb 7–two days after the ITD boss was arrested in Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary with wild animal carcasses.

However, Mr Narongchai returned to the police station on Feb 21 to withdraw the animal cruelty complaint against Mr Premchai after he found out that wild animals are not defined as “animals” in the context of the  Cruelty Against Animals Act.

Pol Cpt Sumit, the duty officer accepting the complaint, was also placed under probation for dereliction of duty.

Mr Srisuwan, secretary-general of the Thai Constitution Protection Association, pointed out yesterday (March 1) that accepting a complaint by the police or withdrawing a complaint was a normal incident which takes place every day at police stations throughout the country.

He said if Gen Srivara really means business on this issue, police inquiry officers throughout the country would have been placed under probation.

“Why only Mr Premchai’s case?” he asked.

He went on saying that Pol Gen Srivara’s action would serve to ruin the morale of hard-working policemen.

The unfair punishment meted out against Pol Cpt Sumit reflected the complete failure of police reform, said Mr Srisuwan.

Meanwhile, Pol Gen Srivara will today travel to Thong Pha Phum police station to follow up the progress of the investigation of the Thung Yai Naresuan poaching case against Mr Premchai and three other suspects.