Vol. II No.24 Saturday 14 June - 20 June 2003
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NEWS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

PTT oil tanker inferno claims life of driver

New governor arrives promising to clean up the province

CCC looks at the SARS problems

Best products from One Tambon - One Product to be shown during APEC

Jewelry Art Exhibition now on at Central Airport Plaza

Chiang Mai to be represented at Thailand Travel Mart

Safety in the workplace being addressed in month-long project

Agriculture awards presented

Five countries look at rehabilitation for the disabled

8th Women Leaders Network APEC meeting next month

ACD and APEC get the full PR coverage

More rubber trees for Lamphun

Warnings given on serious pollution problems

Now SARS hits the elephants

Cable cars for Doi Luang?

Chiang Mai PAO president denies ‘dark influence’ tag

Employment agency has license revoked

Excise Office planning to boot out bootleggers

Blacklist of dark influences being prepared in Phrae

ONCB targets eradication of opium poppy within 5 years

Two UN boats to patrol the Mekong for drug smugglers

Arms supplies intercepted at Chiang Dao

PTT oil tanker inferno claims life of driver

Police believe driver fell asleep

Nantanee Jedsadachaiyut and Surachai T. Bunditkul

A PTT oil tanker with 32,000 liters of diesel on board ran off the road at the Don Chan crossroad in front of Big C Superstore and burst into flames. The driver succumbed to very serious burns.

A PTT oil tanker ran off the road at the Don Chan crossroad in front of Big C Superstore and burst into flames. The driver succumbed to very serious burns. Traffic was backed up for more than 3 hours. (Below right) burning oil leaked into the sewers, causing flames and smoke to billow out of the vents down the road. (Photos by Michael Vogt)

Pol Col Prasert Chantrapitak, deputy commander of the Chiang Mai Provincial Police Division, said that following initial investigations, it was presumed that the driver had fallen asleep.

Firefighters sprayed foam into the underground sewers to extinguish the burning oil. (Photo by Michael Vogt)

Sutatt Buayen, the gas station’s owner in Lamphun, said that the driver, Thongsuk Funnimit, from Chiang Rai, was a regular tanker driver and had left the oil tank depot near the Chiang Mai Railway Station to return to his gas station when the accident occurred.

Responsibility for the costs borne by the fire brigade in applying foam to the area and the recovery of diesel oil from the underground sewers will be directed to the gas station owner.

The ignited fuel caused massive clouds of smoke, in addition to causing severe damage to the surrounding environment.

Fortunately, the highway police station is located less than 100 meters from the scene of the accident, so that emergency teams, 10 fire engines, and SWAT teams could respond very quickly. However, it took more than three hours before the traffic flow returned to normal.


New governor arrives promising to clean up the province

Hope he has a large broom

Surachai T. Bunditkul

The new Chiang Mai governor has arrived, succeeding Pisit Khetphasook who has been transferred to Chonburi. After arrival, Governor Suwat Tantipat, accompanied by his wife Ornadda Tantipat, went to pay respects to several of Chiang Mai’s most sacred and revered places.

Chiang Mai’s new governor, Suwat Tantipat.

In Chiang Mai, the governor and his wife got a warm welcome from the Chiang Mai people and government officers during his trips to Wat Chiang Man, Chang Puak Gate and the Three Kings monument representing the three kings who were the founders of the old Chiang Mai city.

He said he is ready to continue and back up the government policies to help develop Chiang Mai Province to full capacity and so promote this northern capital for growth and good prospects.

The new governor also said that he is completely ready to clean up the “influential people” problems, corruption and graft and try to improve the conditions of those living in poverty. He also promised that he would help develop Chiang Mai into the “hub” for government development and improvement projects.


CCC looks at the SARS problems

Chiang Mai tourism operators severely affected

Surachai T. Bunditkul

Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce together with Chiang Mai tourism operators held a meeting at the Empress Hotel on the impact SARS is having on Chiang Mai tourism industries. Following the SARS crisis, several companies, especially hotels and tourist-related businesses, have been forced to survive by laying-off their employees, or having them take vacation without pay, and other cost cutting measures.

Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son Members of Parliament Pakorn Buranupakorn, Somboon Thaiwan, Noppakun Laktapathai, Pornchai Arttapayakul, and Wittaya Songtham will submit the meeting’s conclusions to Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on June 20.

Chiang Mai Tourist Business Association President Boonlert Perera said, “Many tourism-related companies and businesses in Chiang Mai have seriously suffered from the events that have occurred in the tourist low season, such as the Gulf War in Iraq and the SARS outbreak.”

Chiang Mai tourism operators expressed concerns over the SARS impact that they say has resulted in tourist numbers being down more than 30% compared to the same period last year. They also want the government to help with budgets to support their marketing and promotion, and the deadline for tax payment extended until the tourism situation is back to normal.


Best products from One Tambon - One Product to be shown during APEC

Finalists must be whittle down from 15 thousand products

Surachai T. Bunditkul

Provincial governors, deputy governors, district officers, government officials, and other working committees from 17 northern provinces met in Chiang Mai last week to pick out the best One Tambon - One Product items to display at the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. The One Tambon - One Product scheme is one governmental effort to expand Thai markets worldwide.

Deputy Minister of Interior Pracha Maleenont assigned Sermsak Pongpanitch, Ministry of Interior permanent secretary, to be chairman of the organizing and working committee for the workshop, which was held at Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel on June 3.

Permanent Secretary Sermsak said that since the project has been going two years, it was time to choose the best products, which would be displayed and sold during the APEC meeting.

The One Tambon - One Product items are in 6 categories: food, beverage, textiles, decorative items, souvenirs and non-medicinal herbs. Each selected product must pass five standards of criteria: production, marketing, product development, product history and accepted specific standard.

Currently, more than 15 thousand products have been chosen from each region, so the adjudicators have their work cut out for them.


Jewelry Art Exhibition now on at Central Airport Plaza

Each piece individually created with one person in mind

Nantanee Jedsadachaiyut

Jewelry designer Anchalee In-Udom has put together a beautiful jewelry art exhibition which is now on display at Central Airport Plaza. The exhibition began June 4 and runs through June 20.

Blue Sapphire on display as a part of the jewelry collections. (Photo by Nuttanee Thaveephol)

Assistant Minister of Culture Pheera Manatat presided over the opening ceremony.

Anchalee In-Udom, a female jewelry designer from Lampang, created her jewelry collection under the concept of combining local beliefs about the past and the present.

Anchalee selected silver as the main material of the collection, designed in classical style and decorated with various kinds of gems, such as blue sapphire, amethyst, ruby, and topaz.

Every piece of jewelry combines traditional Lanna-Thai belief according to the meaning of each gem, which would bring happiness, richness, and powerfulness to the owner, said Anchalee.

“Each piece was created with one idea for only one person,” noted Anchalee. She started her first creation because she wanted to have a unique ornament when she was in Lampang. The inspiration has now brought Thailand a very skillful artist who always creates masterpieces for our modern Lanna society.


Chiang Mai to be represented at Thailand Travel Mart

TAT Northern region leads the way

Nantanee Jedsadachaiyut

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Northern Office Region 1 (Chiang Mai) is planning to take part in the upcoming Thailand Travel Mart 2003 from September 10-18 at BITEC Convention Center in Bangkok.

TAT, in cooperation with Thai Airways International, Thai Tourism Business Associations, and Thai Hotels Association have worked out a promotional campaign plus the Amazing Gateway to Mekong, aiming to promote various tourism products in Thailand and the countries located in the greater Mekong sub-region basin as well.

During the promotion, more than 300 tourism sellers will have a chance to present tourism products to around 250 worldwide buyers. This operational strategy will be held in the form of face-to-face sales with the travel agents by pre-matching appointment and on-site appointments.

Tourism entrepreneurs covering airlines, eco and agro tourism, education, entertainment, health and spas, hotels and resorts, sport and adventure, tour operations, and other services in Thailand who are interested in participating in the fair as a seller can contact TAT Northern Office Region 1 or send an application directly to the Marketing Development Department, TAT Head Office Tel. 02 250-5500 extensions 1335-1559. The administration fee will be 25,000 baht per booth.


Safety in the workplace being addressed in month-long project

Health and efficiency checks for everyone

Surachai T. Bunditkul

Chiang Mai Social Welfare and Protection Office (SWPO) and business enterprises collaborated to organize a month-long promotion of safety in the workplace to motivate employers and employees to embrace the advantages of safe working practices.

Ms. Tipakorn Udommaneesuwan, an official with the SWPO said that response between public and private organizations had been promising. The idea is to respond to a government policy to reduce accidents in the workplace, as well as stimulate employers who had been lax in this regard.

As part of the project, several safety measures and activities in workplaces are being organized from June to July, and on August 8-9, there will be a seminar on the topic dealing with working with safety. At that time, outstanding enterprises with good records for safety, healthy environments will be announced.

Workplaces that have gone more than 150 days without an industrial accident will be recognized as well. There will also be an exhibition of working safely plus health and efficiency checks for everyone.


Agriculture awards presented

Even the agricultural housewives group got a gong

Surachai T. Bunditkul

Chiang Mai Provincial Agriculture Extension Office nominated their awards, categorized into three sections. These were the best-integrated farmer, the best agricultural group, and the best agricultural housewives group. The head of the Agriculture Extension Office, Supot Nimanon, said that they were proud to be able to give out such accolades to the farming community.

The winner of the best-integrated farmer was Prapun Boontawong from San Sai District. The best agricultural group award went to the paddy-field agricultural group of Ban Kad, San Pa Tong District, Chiang Mai, with the first runner-up award being the Don Pao Group from Mae Wang District, and the Mae Faeg Group from San Sai District received the second runner-up award.

The best agricultural housewives group award went to the San Kor Keg agricultural housewives group, San Pa Tong. The first runner-up was the agricultural housewives group of Mae Gag Noi from San Sai, and the second runner-up was the Huay Sai agricultural housewives group from Mae Rim.


Five countries look at rehabilitation for the disabled

Experts pass on their experiences to local disabled

Surachai T. Bunditkul

A workshop on Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) was held to stimulate rehabilitation movements for disabled people. Organizations from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand attended the workshop held at Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel Chiang Mai.

Textiles made by disabled students were on display.

Promoted by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD), the Office of Child, Youth, Disadvantaged, Disabled and Elders Social Welfare Promotion and Protection, and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) the workshop ran from June 3-12. Speakers from Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Japan and Thailand passed on their experiences to the participants.

Ms. Surapee Wasrinon, the director of the Office of Child, Youth, Disadvantaged, Disabled and Elders Social Welfare Promotion and Protection said that disability rehabilitation is an important strategy under the action plan of UNESCAP.


8th Women Leaders Network APEC meeting next month

“Women Make a World of Difference”

Phitsanu Thepthong

“Women Make a World of Difference: Partnerships of Gender and Development” will be the highlight of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting of the 8th Women Leaders’ Network (WLN) to be held in Chiang Mai from July 30 - August 3.

The WLN 2003, being organized by the Office of Women’s Affairs and Family Institute, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, will also focus on women’s roles, energy, commitment and real contributions to development projects.

WLN leaders feel that when women, especially the poor and the marginalized, can become partners to participate fully in all spheres of the development process, “we will find that women will make a difference to the quality of life and to the enrichment of the economy,” said the organizer.

About 400 women, mostly housewives, organization executives and management, are expected to take part in the upcoming APEC forum.

One of the agendas will be concerned with businesses, like SMEs, including One Tambon - One Products and suitable marketing strategies

Charnyuth Kosirinont, deputy director of the Women Affairs and Family Institute, said there will be nine working groups set up to facilitate the meeting, particularly on the agendas that include the creation of knowledge, sharing and management through partnerships, promotion of human security for women, and women’s entrepreneurship through creative partnerships.

Last year, the 7th WLN meeting was held at Acapulco, Mexico and focused on sustainable economic development with gender perspective.


ACD and APEC get the full PR coverage

Dedicated Public Relations Center being set up

Surachai T. Bunditkul

Organizers of the 2nd Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conferences have set up a dedicated Public Relations Center to disseminate all information from these meetings to the media.

The director of Chiang Mai Public Relations Department Office, Region 3, Ms. Jintana Phuntufack said that the second ACD meeting and APEC conferences should be well publicized, so the center will be the hub for the mass media.

The ACD meeting, to be held June 21-22, is to follow up progress from the 18 member countries that met last year. This year, 21 member countries will participate in the APEC meeting July 30 - August 3.

Both the APEC meeting and ACD meeting will receive blanket coverage from the media.

Events will also reported on the internet at the website www.prdnorth.in.th and on the hotline 053-284 178-9.


More rubber trees for Lamphun

An alternative to slash and burn agriculture

Supatatt Dangkrueng

Lamphun Governor Thawat Satiennam announced his support of the government project on planting more rubber trees in northern and northeastern regions, which already has over 12 million rai under cultivation. The rubber tree plantations have been deemed to be successful in Phayao, Nan, Chiang Rai and Lamphun provinces in the north.

Lamphun Governor Thawat disclosed that he has had talks with some high-ranking officials on the possibilities of planting the rubber trees, especially in slash and burn cultivation areas. The concept will be for each family to get government support to plant the rubber trees in their farms, and will be provided with 12 rai and 4,500 baht per rai.

Research results show that market demand for rubber is doubling every ten years, and Thailand should be prepared to satisfy market demand for rubber.


Warnings given on serious pollution problems

Private, public and government officials being called upon to immediately reverse the situation

Nantanee Jedsadachaiyut

Chiang Mai is facing serious pollution problems, according to Dr. Wasan Chomphakdi of the coordinating committee for the Ping River and Environment Preservation group. He says that Chiang Mai is encountering deterioration of soil quality, an inefficient water treatment system, deforestation, and air pollution caused by forest fires, the incineration of rubbish and emissions from car engines, smoke and dust from industrial factories.

In terms of its topography, Chiang Mai is shaped like a basin, which also has an effect on the quality of air because of poor macro ventilation, added Dr. Wasan.

Air quality tests in Chiang Mai and Lamphun provinces found that air pollution increases in summer when dust and nitrogen oxides exceed acceptable limits.

Dr. Wasan was also critical of the water pollution problems, calling upon private, public and government officials to immediately reverse water pollution and soil deterioration, which adversely affects the river and its water quality.


Now SARS hits the elephants

Unemployed pachyderms say they will work for peanuts

Supatatt Dangkrueng

The impact of SARS on the world has hit more than the few thousand people who contracted the disease. The latest group to feel the impact is our own elephants.

SARS caused my mom to lose her income.

Maesa Elephant Camp’s director of operations, Anchalee Kulmapijit said the SARS scare has caused about an 80% drop in tourists to the elephant facility, and with the opening of the new school terms, domestic tourists have also decreased. This reduction is then obviously felt as a reduction in the incomes generated by the elephants for their mahouts.

The government is conversant with the problem and has stepped in to help. The government is spending approximately 20 million baht to assist the 200 pairs of elephants and their mahouts in the national park with six months short-term employment.

Another group of 40 elephants in the north of Thailand are also unemployed, so their mahouts have applied to be government officials working as staff of the Livestock Development Department. The salary for both the elephant and mahout is 10,100 baht per month.

Ms Anchalee said that this amount of income is enough for the elephants and mahouts. At present the Maesa Elephant Camp is the northern center to coordinate the northern elephants and mahouts in applying to be the government staff.


Cable cars for Doi Luang?

No agreement yet

Surachai T. Bunditkul

Doi Luang is another tourist destination, being the third highest mountain in Thailand, 2,225 meters above sea level. It is also part of the “Unseen Thailand” tourism promotional campaign being promoted by the government.

A meeting was recently held at Chiang Mai University to discuss Doi Luang’s suitability for cable-cars, promoted by the Wildlife and Plants Fund Foundation of Thailand under Her Royal Majesty The Queen’s Patronage, and the Ping River management project.

Many opinions were put forward, including that of the director-general of Botanical Garden Organization, Dr Veerachai na Nakorn, who said, “Doi Luang is of high value, as is its importance on the ecology, as it is a limestone mountain supporting many alpine plants. There are rare species there that should be conserved and studied, including some from Nepal that are growing naturally here in Doi Luang.”

Nikom Bhuata, representative of the foundation said that the main objective of the meeting was to discuss the pros and cons of cable cars, but they believed there could be hidden agendas. The site for the proposed cable cars, called Piang Dao, is rich with limestone and has prosperous watershed areas as well.

The area is also in the Chiang Dao wildlife sanctuary, so the foundation spokesman said that the cable car plan must be agreed upon and approved by the Cabinet.


Chiang Mai PAO president denies ‘dark influence’ tag

“Show me the evidence,” he says

Supatatt Dangkrueng

Since the Thai government launched a war on ‘dark influence’, rumors have been spreading that Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization (PAO) President Udornphan Chantaraviroj was one amongst them. However, these have all been unconfirmed reports.

Chiang Mai PAO President Udornphan Chantaraviroj denies he is a “dark influence”.

Udornphan appeared last week to face the rumors and innuendo, saying that he was not involved with and was not one of the dark influential figures as claimed by the public. “Please show me if there is any evidence indicating that I am one in the list of influential people in Chiang Mai province,” he said.

He told reporters that a groundless report saying that he was involved was an attempt to damage to his image and reputation. He felt this rumor may have begun from ill-considered assumption because he is always protected by his bodyguards around him wherever he goes out.

He said that Chiang Mai PAO supports all government policies, especially the “war on drugs” campaign, and he personally backs up government policies and officers all the time. “If there is any evidence or proof that some officials are involved with dark influences, I am willing to give cooperation to bring them to surrender to the authorities and let justice be done.


Employment agency has license revoked

8 million baht extracted under false pretenses

Nuttanee Thaveephol

P.A.A. Agency Company Limited had its license revoked after being charged with deceiving 237 job seekers and receiving 8,530,000 baht, promising to find positions for working abroad. The company did not give any receipts and did not send any workers to any destination.

Orachon Rattanamanee, head of Chiang Mai Employment Service Office said the P.A.A. Company, located in Thanyaburi District, Prathum Thani Province was sued on the charge of cheating job seekers by Thanabhat Sarathee and other job applicants.

All the job seekers had to pay an application fee of between 10,000-170,000 baht for positions supposedly in Israel, Malaysia, Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Seychelles and Libya, as farmers, general laborers and hotel staff. However, the company, headed by Anong Phongsai, did not send the applicants abroad.

This company’s performance violated the Employment Service and Protection Bills (1985) in that it did not make employment registrations with the registrar, did not give receipts, called for the service fee from the job seekers more than 30 days before departure, and did not send the workers abroad without an appropriate reason not to do so.


Excise Office planning to boot out bootleggers

Bootleg prohibition began June 1

Nuttanee Thaveephol

The Chiang Mai Provincial Excise Office has regulations showing proscribed punishments for illegal liquor producers. Those in violation will be imprisoned for 6 months or fined a maximum of 5,000 baht, and all production equipment must be confiscated, said Nopporn Yodpayung, Chiang Mai Provincial Excise Office head.

Nopporn disclosed that according to the government’s community economic promotion policy, liquor producers could apply for and receive production permits after January 21 this year. Up until May 28, 130 producers asked for permits and 10 have already paid the tax, whilst others are constructing their factories or waiting for the result of the Excise Office’s analysis.

While waiting, those who have already asked for permission can apply for the “Liquor Production in the Level of Community Industry” training course by sending an application form and the registration fee to their local Excise Office or Faculty of Agro-Industry, Chiang Mai University.

The head of the Chiang Mai Excise Office stated that any production of illegal liquor will be suppressed, starting from June 1.

The Excise Office also noted that the public should not buy non-stamped liquor because it is not only supporting an illicit industry, but consumers can go blind if the moonshine liquor was produced by incorrect processes that have not passed the government standard test.

Anyone finding illegal production or the people behind it are asked to send notification to Post Box 222, Phra Singha, Chiang Mai 50205 or call 053 221 077 or telephone 053 224 793 during office hours.


Blacklist of dark influences being prepared in Phrae

List to be sent to government on June 21

Nantanee Jedsadachaiyut

The Phrae provincial governor, Amornphan Nimanant has resolved to uncover corrupt government officials and prepare blacklists by June 21. The Phrae governor said this was an anti-mafia campaign, with the governor of each province acting as a chief executive officer to control and follow the government’s policy, and the commanders of the provincial police divisions would also be like a CEO to support any actions of the policy.

The first target of the anti-mafia campaign is corrupt government. This includes government officials, police officers and forestry officials, said Amornphan. Investigation of the first group would come under the assistant governor, Thongchai Wongrienthong, the commander of the provincial police would control police, and the forestry officials would have to talk with the governor himself.

The district chiefs and the superintendents of police stations in each district were ordered to make lists of people of bad influence and send the lists to the governor by June 10, to later be sent to the government on June 21.

In Phrae, there are 7 groups of influential people, one each running taxi businesses, gambling, human trafficking, cheats, hired gunmen, illegal work agencies, and groups involved in illegal auctions. “At the moment, I can’t say how many ‘dark influence’ people are in Phrae, and who they are. We have to investigate seriously to find the major players in the mafia business,” said the Phrae governor.


ONCB targets eradication of opium poppy within 5 years

Cultivation in Thailand will have ceased by 2008

Nuttanee Thaveephol

“Thailand will be a drug-free zone within next 5 years,” said Pittaya Jinawat, Office Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) Northern Region director at a press conference last week after accusations by foreign organizations that Thailand has not seriously tackled the problem.

“Thailand will be a drug-free zone in 5 years,” says Pittaya Jinawat, ONCB Northern Region director.

He insisted that the ONCB has been reducing the area of opium cultivation from 112,000 rai in 1963 to only 7,000 rai last year. It is expected that another 2,000 rai will be eradicated in 2006, and cultivation in Thailand will have ceased by 2008. Much of this is being done with cooperation from the Third Army.

However, satellite photographs show that the hill tribe people who grow the opium poppy have moved their cultivation to deeper areas which makes the operation more difficult for the officials to control.

Director Pittaya said that the ONCB has cooperated with neighboring countries such as Myanmar and Laos. The ONCB will also organize a media tour to display improvements in the ex-opium cultivation areas where people are now growing other cash crops instead.


Two UN boats to patrol the Mekong for drug smugglers

Good idea, but only twice a week?

Supatatt Dangkrueng

Thailand and Laos are working in close cooperation to block drug flow along common borders, particularly along the river boundary. Following the Thai government’s “war on drugs” making land transfer difficult, the smugglers are using new ways, including shifting drugs by boat. With the common waterway between the two countries, drug runners can drop off drugs in the northern areas of Chiang Rai, Phayao, Nan and some northeastern provinces as well.

The length and breadth of the Mekong River flowing along Thailand and Laos boundaries is proving to be difficult for officers to police illegal drug movements.

Thailand and Lao authorities have agreed to a joint reconnoiter twice a week along 85 kilometers of the Mekong River. The United Nations will provide two boats to patrol the waterway. Any criminal drug charges will be based on the river territory and cases will proceed under the enforcement of international laws.

The official launch of the river patrol took place on June 10 at the Huay Sai river port in Laos and was jointly presided over by Chiang Rai Governor Dr Narin Panichkit and his Laotian counterpart.


Arms supplies intercepted at Chiang Dao

Suspects include police officers

Nuttanee Thaveephol

Three weapons dealers were arrested in Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai while delivering arms to a Lisu hill tribe village in Ban Khun Kong, Tambon Tung Khao Puang.

Pol. Lt. Gen Prung Boonpadung, Provincial Police Region 5 commissioner said that three suspects were arrested, including Pol. Senior Sergeant Major Somboon Jeetaboon, Somjit Jitsakulchai, and Pol. Sergeant Prapas Tawong.

The Provincial Police Region 5, led by Pol. Col. Dinai Boonrueng, stopped a suspicious looking pick-up truck and a car at a checkpoint near Ban Ping Kong police box, Chiang Dao. The officers searched the carriages and found a 9 mm handgun, an M 16 assault rifle, and an AK47 sub-machine gun hidden in the vehicles, with more than 1,600 rounds of ammunition, 3 mobile phones, and a walkie-talkie. The arms and the two vehicles were confiscated.

Commissioner Pol. Lt. Gen. Prung said that syndicates delivering weapons to minorities at the border are being supported by influential groups in the northern region.



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