HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Chiang Mai Municipality wants roads repaired by mid-October

Strong earthquake rocks Myanmar, parts of Thailand

Chiang Saen port ready for business

2,000 public health officials fill 700 Year Anniversary Stadium

Nan pushing Doi Phu Sang and Ban Bor Suak Furnace for World Heritage listing

More dam protests

Orange orchard chemicals affecting locals

New Royal Project in Mae Rim

Ticker tape welcome for Chinese pandas

Lamphun garbage is revolting the province

Car-Free Days called for in Chiang Mai

Mobile phones a problem in schools

Chiang Mai traffic seminar gets agreement on one major issue

Mae Sai border tax collection the highest in past 10 years

Mae Hong Son’s governor welcoming CEO role

Pha Muang Task Force applying pressure at the border

Assassins hired to kill Chiang Mai senator’s brother apprehended

Burmese hurting following US boycott

More drug arrests as the house of cards comes down

Man suspected of arranging murder attempt of Chiang Mai senator’s younger brother on the run

AMLO seizes 2.5 billion baht in assets

Drug ringleader fingered by ex-employee

Chiang Mai Municipality wants roads repaired by mid-October

Chiang Mai Waterworks to pressure contractors

Pressure from the municipality being put on the Regional Waterworks in Chiang Mai to speed up road repairs has reached bursting point. The five construction companies who excavated the city’s roads to lay high pressure pipes are now the ones under pressure.

Waterworks repair underway along roadsides in Chiang Mai is causing many problems for drivers and pedestrians, and Chiang Mai Municipality is calling upon Regional Waterworks Officials in Chiang Mai to finish work by mid-October or face hefty fines.

Poolsawas Worawal, a municipal councilor called for a meeting with the representatives of Regional Waterworks in Chiang Mai, and the five contractors, especially those who worked along the city roads, including Nimmanhaemin Road, Chang Klan Road, and several streets in the Chiang Mai CBD.

Attendants at the meeting were advised that many people are finding difficulties in using the roads, which have been dug up for a long distance. Many people have petitioned the authorities to do something. Before this meeting, the Regional Waterworks was threatened with a 50 million baht law suit if they do not quickly finish repairing the roads and laying water pipes.

After the recent round of negotiations, it was found that Chang Klan Road and Nimmanhaemin Road have no signs of progress. Despite a ‘no-show’ from most of the contractors, the representatives from regional waterworks guaranteed to speed up the five companies to finish by the middle of October, or face daily fines till the job is completed.

Strong earthquake rocks Myanmar, parts of Thailand

By Aye Aye Win
Associated Press Writer

A strong earthquake rocked central Myanmar early Monday, damaging temples, old buildings and a bridge, but there were no immediate reports of injuries, officials said.

The magnitude 6.7 quake struck about 350 kilometers (220 miles) north of the capital Yangon about 12:46 a.m., said Tun Lwin, deputy director of the Yangon Kaba Aye Meteorological Center.

He said no injuries had been reported.

“It is still too early to give the human casualties,” another government official said on condition of anonymity, without elaborating.

Three ancient temples and a bridge in the town of Taungdwindyi, about 450 kilometers (280 miles) north of Yangon, were damaged, the official said. No further details were given.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the quake had a magnitude of 6.5. It said Meiktila, a town of more than 150,000 between Yangon and the northern city of Mandalay, was closest to the epicenter. There are few tall buildings in the area.

“I was woken up by the sound of the rattling window pane and glass bottles on the window shelf,” a Meiktila resident contacted by telephone said on condition of anonymity.

Residents in the towns of Thaton, 135 kilometers (85 miles) east of Yangon, and Pyiamana, 320 kilometers (200 miles) north of the capital, said they also felt tremors when the quake struck.

“The strong jolt caused cracks in some old buildings,” a Pyiamana resident said. “Some roof tiles fell down, but there is no report of any building collapsing or human casualties.”

The temblor was felt as far away as Bangkok, some 850 kilometers (530 miles) away from the quake’s center. Tremors shook some tall buildings in the Thai capital, and were felt in the northern Thai provinces of Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son.

A receptionist at the Chiang Mai Plaza Hotel said dozens of guests rushed out of their rooms when the quake started.

Some office workers at the All Seasons Place building in downtown Bangkok refused to enter the building after seeing cracks in the walls, fearing the structure had become unstable from the quake.

“The engineers have made a thorough check and have confirmed that the impact of the earthquake did not affect the building,” said Jeeraphat Kamin, assistant manager of the 27-story office building.

Thai police said they began receiving reports about the trembler just before 1:30 a.m. (1830 GMT Sunday).

Earthquakes of magnitude 6 and higher can cause severe damage if centered in populated areas.

This maps shows the epicenter of last Monday’s earthquake.

Chiang Saen port ready for business

Waiting for Chinese boats to drop them a line

Chiang Sean town is waiting, ready to grow and expand its economy. The 190 million baht port is finished and local traders are ready to trade with the four surrounding nations that use the Mekong River waterways.

Somwang Rungtrakulchai, Chiang Saen district chief officer, Chiang Rai said the port will support river transportation among Thailand, Laos, Burma and South China. Construction of the port is completely finished and the first berthing test trial was held on September 16. With that successful, the grand opening ceremony will be on October 1, with the Port Authority of Thailand being the managing office of this port.

Chiang Saen Port construction at the site in Chiang Saen district, Chiang Rai has been completely finished and is expected to be officially opened on October 1 this year.

The berthing pier is very large and will accommodate eight Chinese ships of 100-200 tons each at one time. Somwang added that the Thai government has signed a contract with the Chinese government regarding fruit and vegetable taxes for export and import. The commerce at the border should be much better than in the past, he remarked.

2,000 public health officials fill 700 Year Anniversary Stadium

Developing public health to an international standard

Pichitpon Tongtuek

Public health initiatives in Thailand call for public involvement in healthy exercise, and this was demonstrated at the 700 Year Anniversary Stadium, with the dancing group “Sai Thip Star Dance” demonstrating their “body dancing” show. This mass aerobics display provoked the crowd to join in this very healthy pursuit.

Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat presided over the opening ceremony saying that currently, public health is very important because it is close to the people, and should involve the people. However, there must be development within the system for the public health policies to reach an international quality and standard.

If nothing else, the standard of dancing was up to mass standards, as 2,000 people followed Sai Thip Star Dance!

Nan pushing Doi Phu Sang and Ban Bor Suak Furnace for World Heritage listing

Hope to promote this as tourist attraction

Nan Province is promoting Doi Phu Sang and Ban Bor Suak Furnace to become registered with the World Heritage Foundation. They also want to publicize the province as being the only one in the world that has evidence of the prehistoric Tong Luang tribe or the yellow leaf people.

The Nan Provincial Cultural Office in cooperation with the 7th Fine Arts Department, and the Office of Natural Resources Policy and Planning have arranged a seminar to indicate the boundary, protection and conservation criteria for the ancient historical sites, Doi Phu Sang and Ban Bor Suak Furnace.

Doi Phu Sang is the discovery site of stone axes dated from between 4,000-8,000 B.C., while Ban Bor Suak Furnace is an ancient earthenware furnace.

The yellow leaf tribe live in Nan and on the boundary between Nan and Phrae provinces, and is the only group of Tong Luang tribes in the world. Dr. Adul Wichiencharoen, president of the World Heritage Protection Convention, and his staff have explored both ancient historic sites to find more information on both places.

Officials hope that if both Doi Phu Sang and Ban Bor Suak Furnace are accepted by the World Heritage, Nan Province will have a new tourist attraction and its tourism industry will be rejuvenated.

More dam protests

Phrae people praying

Amornphan Nimmanun, Phrae provincial governor has asked his people to give full support to the Yom River basin development plan to solve the province’s water problems, without waiting only for the construction of the Kaeng Sua Ten Dam.

The Phrae governor said that the Yom River is 837 kilometers long and flows through Phrae provincial areas for a distance of about 280 kilometers. There are 16 main branches of the Yom River plus another 26 small river branches. This is the reason why there is so much water flowing from the Yom River into Sukhothai provinces in the lower north, and south of Phrae province.

The Yom River basin development plan has been on the books for more than 2 years, which includes the construction of Kaeng Sua Ten Dam, which is expected to solve flash flooding problems in the lower northern region, especially in Sukhothai, one of the hardest hit provinces.

However, on September 22, there was a protest from villagers from Tambon Sa-ieab in Song District, Phrae along with conservationist groups from Phayao and Mae Hong Son’s Salween River group against the government’s proposed construction of the dam.

A protest leader said that the Phrae people just wanted to express their concerns and that they voiced their full support to the Yom River basin development plan, except the construction of the dam.

“At the present time, there are still some protests against the dam, but after talking about the benefits in the future, the people may understand more about this dam,” said the governor.

Orange orchard chemicals affecting locals

Villagers want compensation

1,000 villagers from Fang, Mae Ai, and Chai Prakan districts of Chiang Mai submitted a petition to the Prapat Panyachartraks, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, are asking the authorities to solve the negative environmental impacts and plights created by the large orange orchards using chemical sprays.

The protesters were led by a research team and people from the local Conservation Group of Fang Watershed.

Minister Prapat visited the Ban Nongbua Ngarm village in Tambon Mae Nawang, Me Ai district to get to know their problems first hand. Many residents located close to the orange orchards claimed that the toxic sprays and chemical substances have spread out from the orchards to contaminate them.

The villagers asked him to take action urgently, with prevention measures to be carried out immediately to cope with the situation in the three districts that were affected from the chemical sprays. They also urged him to announce this area to be a “Chemical Free Zone,” this year.

Following the Environmental Bill in the 9th national Economic and Social Development Plan, they claimed that a rehabilitation project and compensation scheme must be worked out, and the announcement to prohibit chemical substances or toxic chemicals to be used for agricultural purposes should be made as soon as possible. They also asked for the study of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and operational plan to be worked out for a long-term solution.

Minister Prapat told the people that their problems would be submitted to Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to seek resolution of their problems.

The large orange orchard owners in those districts have also been asked to select other alternatives or chemical substances that would not negatively affect the environment in the village areas, to avoid producing the health hazard.

New Royal Project in Mae Rim

Crown Prince donates 1,350 rai

Sawasdee Boonchee, Chiang Mai’s director of Land Development Office, Zone 6, has advised that there will be a plantation development at Ban Gong Hae village, Mae Rim district which is an initiative of Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn.

This royally-initiated plantation development project is divided into five main areas including government office, royal work development, agricultural, forestry or the community’s food bank and forest areas. It has been estimated that a 100 million baht budget must be set aside for this plantation development.

Director Sawasdee said that the Crown Prince had given 1,350 rai of land located in Gong Hae village to the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry and the officers were assigned to explore and make use of the land and to also develop the water resources in that area to sustain the agriculture in the area.

The feasibility studies done by the Department of Land Development and Irrigation Department will last until January next year.

The development work includes basic infrastructure development, water resources development and the land and technology propagation. This will all be done whilst keeping in mind the conservation and natural management in the Highlands.

Ticker tape welcome for Chinese pandas

Will accompany deputy PM to the zoo

Chuang-Chuang and Lin Hui, the male and female pandas which are being sent to Thailand as Chinese goodwill ambassadors will arrive at Chiang Mai airport accompanied by Gen. Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, the deputy prime minister around 5.25 p.m. on October 12, according to Chiang Mai Member of Parliament Boonsong Teriyaphiro.

Thai Airways International will be carrying the pandas to Chiang Mai International Airport, where after immigration formalities and visas they will travel by truck to the zoo. The welcoming route will be through the Boon Ruangrit and Huay Kaew roads to allow well-wishers to welcome the new arrivals and the deputy prime ministerial party.

A grand welcoming ceremony for the two pandas will be held at the zoo, but this will be kept short as the pandas are likely to be tired and stressed. They will be given the keys to their new and very expensive panda house, and Channel 11 will be broadcasting a live telecast of Chuang-Chuang carrying Lin Hui over the threshold.

Lamphun garbage is revolting the province

Recycling project generating electric power.

Energy Minister Dr Prommin Lertsuridet announced his department is ready to support local administration organizations in helping recycle garbage.

He met with the heads of the government offices last week explaining energy policies. He focused on the fact that Lamphun, which is a center with industrial factories, uses an enormous amount of power each year. This is used to produce products for export and the increasing power costs help push up the price of our exports.

The minister of energy proposed in Lamphun last week to use garbage like this to generate electric power.

This recycling plan, he said, will be the way to prevent and to solve the power problems. The government will use every kind of energy source, especially biomass energy such as rice straw, which the farmers can provide.

He also added that the Ministry of Energy is ready to support and provide a budget to the local administration organizations in recycling garbage to produce electricity.

Car-Free Days called for in Chiang Mai

‘On yer bike’ and reduce pollution

Boonlert Buranupakorn, mayor of Chiang Mai Municipality, was behind the city in promoting the Car-Free Day project last weekend. The primary objective is to persuade motorists to leave their cars at home and take the bus, or pedal their bikes. This would reduce congestion on the roads and significantly reduce pollution.

To advise the public on the advisability of this pursuit, there was an exhibition at Thapae Gate grounds, complete with guides with information for groups or the family of the cyclists.

The emphasis towards using bicycles, rather than cars, was also discussed, with this being a healthy pursuit, as well as non-polluting traveling.

Further Car-Free Days and activities are planned for the municipality.

Mobile phones a problem in schools

ET, phone home(work)

Veerayuth Chongsathaporn, the director of Yuparaj School, has asked for cooperation from students’ parents, saying that teachers are very worried about the use of mobile phones in the classrooms.

Apart from distracting other students with ringing telephones, teachers have overheard students making ‘dates’ and arranging for drug drops, he said.

In an attempt to solve this problem, rules were brought in to prohibit using mobile phones in school and mobile phones are not allowed to be brought into the classrooms. To allow communication with the outside world, 10 public phone booths were delivered to the campus to give services inside school. However, the rules are being broken by students, with over half the students bringing their phones to school, but concealing them.

“Urgent aid and cooperation from parents are needed to solve this problem before the situation becomes unmanageable,” said Veerayuth.

Chiang Mai traffic seminar gets agreement on one major issue

We have a problem! Better public transportation needed

Phitsanu Thepthong

Participants at the Chiang Mai seminar on the city’s road traffic voiced their concern over the need for a better public transportation system to alleviate traffic congestion.

The seminar was jointly organized by the Nation Group and Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce, at Chiang Mai Orchid Hotel, with 200 people attending. The number of recommendations almost equaled the number of registrants, with people in favor of bicycles, mass transit systems, overhead railways, underground trains, electric trams and air-con busses, every mode of transport other than personal gyrocopters.

Better public transportation is needed to help alleviate traffic congestion in Chiang Mai.

The development of public transportation systems were immediately subject of protest by the local conservationist groups, as well as other interest groups so that bringing in anything new would be bringing in difficulties for the government to solve.

It was agreed that Chiang Mai, being pushed by the government as being the ‘hub’ for the northern region, would not see the traffic problems abate, but rather we can expect them to get worse. Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat said that Chiang Mai is being pushed forward as the hub of the Indo-China region, for trade, investment and just about everything else. “The city traffic chaos, driving rules and regulations, road accidents and pollution need to be tackled urgently, with a master plan for the Chiang Mai traffic and transport control center,” he added.

Suwat said that in the near future, Chiang Mai must some have electric transportation, linking with neighboring provinces, like Lamphun and countries along the Mekong River basin, such as Laos, Burma and South China.

Dr Prommintra Lertsuriyadej, Minister of Energy, said the public transportation system must cope with traffic congestion in the city as an urgent situation. The electric trams could help relieve the traffic jams, he suggested.

Kamrobluk Surassawadee, the director of the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning also suggested that a “master plan” for the Chiang Mai City traffic flow should be brought into operation.

Chiang Mai mayor, Boonlert Buranupakorn, said about 200,000 vehicles, both motor car and motorcycles, flow daily into the Chiang Mai municipal area. “The traffic rules and regulations really need to be strict to cope with reckless drivers,” he offered. He also said that enforcement of traffic regulations was haphazard, but added that he was in favor of mass transportation systems to fix the problem. He suggested that the electric tram, which was looked at in terms of low investment cost, could be the alternative for the public going around the Chiang Mai City moats, Chiangmai Airport, Chiang Mai University and other important places. “The perfect public mass transit system could really help reduce the number of vehicles traveling into the municipal area, and the city heart and center. However, cooperation from both public and private sectors would also help relieve the traffic plight, especially on the busy Charoen Prathet Road,” he said.

At present, Chiang Mai Municipality’s bus service carries 300 passengers daily as a public service during the morning and evening rush hours and will help relieve the traffic congestion along that road, said the mayor. Interestingly, nobody suggested we need more red busses!

Mae Sai border tax collection the highest in past 10 years

The border trading at the Mae Sai district town in Chiang Rai, the northernmost province, has become vivacious and lively with Mae Sai Customs collecting more fees from taxation and regulations than they have in the past 10 years. Up till August, more than 3.3 million baht was collected, and it is predicted to continue to improve.

Patchara Sinsawas, the chief of the Mae Sai Customs Office said one reason the taxation fees collected this year at Mae Sai Customs check-point were the highest ever is through good cooperation from the officials, Thai and Burmese traders, as well as the Mae Sai people in the local areas. Another reason is that the anti-money laundering law has been applied to people who avoid taxes.

He added that the increased revenue is a good sign for the border businesses dealing with Burma. The Mae Sai Customs Chief said that the bilateral trade between the two countries is expected to continuously pick up at Mae Sai which is the trade gateway linking with neighboring countries like Burma and South China with good road transportation infrastructure.

Mae Hong Son’s governor welcoming CEO role

Wants to see trade relations normalized with Burma

Supoj Laowansiri, Mae Hong Son provincial governor is busy preparing for the newly-introduced roles of a CEO governor in this border province of the north. One project for him is the re-opening of border trade with Burma. If the Burmese traders do the right thing, rather than illegal trafficking and business as before, they will be welcomed, he said.

The Mae Hong Son governor said that many minority groups both inside Burma and on the Thai-Burmese borderlines have changed their trading and behavior from drug trafficking to legal trade with Thais in the local areas. “It is a good sign that the Burmese traders have changed their attitudes to do business correctly. Mae Hong Son will welcome the border interactions,” he added.

He spoke after assigning the policy and planning of this provincial development, following the government’s bureaucracy reform on the CEO (Chief of Executive Officers) governance system and to be introduced to his provincial officials. Effective from October 1, the role of the governor will focus on more as a CEO to work with high efficiency and speed.

One of the most important aspects that Governor Supoj would like to stress is to open bilateral trade across the border the between Thailand and Burma through the border pass at Ban Huay Pueng, Tambon Huay Pha, Muang District, which is opposite Burma’s Shan state - but without any drug trafficking concerns at the border.

Pha Muang Task Force applying pressure at the border

Planning to root out the remaining drug networks in the country

The Royal Thai Army’s Pha Muang task force, which has been responsible for curbing drug trafficking along the border villages in the North, is planning to root out the remaining drug networks in the country, according to Maj Gen Manas Paorik, commander of the Pha Muang task force.

Both Thai and Burmese high-ranking officials recently met in Chiang Mai to discuss drug control measures and suppression operations along Thai-Burmese borders.

The Pha Muang task force special units were recently assigned to search over 50 targeted villages along Thai-Burmese border from Mae Ai district of Chiang Mai to Mae Fah Luang district of Chiang Rai.

Drugs are still being smuggled into the country as “the ant-like troop” is attempting to bring in hundreds of thousands of methamphetamine pills from the south of Muang Yawn inside Burma, plus new outlets, under the strict control of Burma’s ethnic United Wa State Army, the commander pointed out.

Pha Muang task force sees a worsening border situation, due to the internal and external factors requiring the troops to uphold strict measures to suppress the drug trade in this region, particularly in the Chinese Haw villages or villages of former Kuomintang soldiers.

“At present, the Burma’s United Wa State Army is reportedly in trouble with a shortage of military strength while its citizens have become addicted to methamphetamines. The state has been seeking aids assistance from Thailand for the rehabilitation programs as well as plans to strengthen its community,” the commander said.

Assassins hired to kill Chiang Mai senator’s brother apprehended

Victim’s partner indicated as handing out contract

A police team from Chiang Mai, led by Pol. Maj. Gen. Kasem Rattanasoontorn, reported the arrest of Ong-ard and Damrong Duangdee at their home, both residents of Tambon Tabchang, Soidao District, Chantaburi Province. They were charged with shooting Payoongsak Yodbangtoey last month and were brought for further questioning and re-enactment of the crime, which took place in front of Pingkarat Kindergarten.

The victim, who was shot but survived, is Payoongsak Yodbangtoey, the younger brother of Maj Gen Intarat Yodbangtoey, the senator for Chiang Mai.

The men both confessed that they were hired by Sia Naen, aka Chatchawan Srinoi, a partner in Payoongsak’s oil trading business. A fee of 50,000 baht to kill Payoongsak was offered. Following investigation, police assume that the crime was the result of a business conflict caused by a 1 million baht shortfall in trading figures. There was other business deals involved that covered around 3 million baht.

The two gunmen were also brought to ask for forgiveness from Payoongsak by humbly apologizing for their deeds. However, Payoongsak stated he wanted the police to carry out their duty and make further investigation. It is believed that there are more people than just the Chantaburi pair involved in the situation.

Burmese hurting following US boycott

Food shortage problems in Tachilek

Pichitpon Tongtuek

A report from the internal security command in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai, said that following America’s boycott of Myanmar, many people in Tachilek, the Burmese border province, opposite Mae Sai town, Chiang Rai, did not have enough to eat.

As seen from the Kyat currency, which exchange rate is now 100 kyat to 3 Thai baht, this has pushed up the price of all goods, including food staples. The report also said that the economic problem seems to be on the increase and the Wa minority groups are in an even more dire situation.

Thai internal security command was worried about the problems that were coming from this, including vehicle theft, illegal immigrants and drugs. The feeling was that the government should find a way to protect the border and solve these problems because there are only 20 officers working at the border area between Mae Sai and Chiang Sean districts.

More drug arrests as the house of cards comes down

The game is now ‘Point the Finger’

A police investigation team has arrested several drug dealers networking in Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son provincial areas. Pol Col Dinai Boonruang, the superintendent for police investigation led his team to put pressure on seven targeted areas in Tambon Yang Mern, in Samoeng District, Chiang Mai.

One dealer caught in the police net, with a haul of 2000 methamphetamine pills, was Somboon Itti-ajaree, a major drug dealer and the father of Arnon (AKA Yekater), another prominent drug figure. Police also found a .38 mm pistol and 12 rounds of ammunition.

The same police investigation team raided and arrested another major drug dealer in Pai District, Mae Hong Son where Arnon (Yekater) and his wife Mateeya Itti-ajaree were caught with an amount of raw opium.

With more finger pointing by the dealers, the police captured two more drug suspects Vihok and Sirichai Thainiyomjinda with a haul of 4,000 ya ba pills at Pai District, Mae Hong Son Province.

Man suspected of arranging murder attempt of Chiang Mai senator’s younger brother on the run

Police say they’re not far behind

Search warrants have been issued to look for criminal evidence linking Chatchawan Srinoi, implicated of hiring assassins to kill Payoonsak Yodbangtoey, the brother of Maj Gen Intarat Yodbangtoey, senator for Chiang Mai.

The two gunmen were arrested earlier in Chantaburi and confessed that they were hired by Chatchawan to shoot Payoongsak for 50,000 baht.

Police raided four locations, with the first being the Pipat Petroleum Limited Partnership located on Toong Lor Road, Muang District; Chiang Mai, which is Chatchawan’s gas station. Police confiscated a Volvo car that Chatchawan had used to point out the victim to the gunmen.

Location 2 was a house at SR Land Village, Tombon San Na Meng, San Sai District, which also belonged to Chatchawan; however, no evidence was found.

Busy police then descended on a room at Ing Doi Place, Tambon Pa Daed, owned by Chatchawan’s girlfriend, Pattarinnakarn Jariya. The motorcycle used by the two assassins was found there.

Finally, the police searched a house at Sritawee Mansion in Tambon Watkate, Muang District, owned by Achirakarn Chaiyawut, a friend of Chatchawan who was also brought to be interrogated as a witness, because before the crime took place he went out to practice pistol shooting with Chatchawan and his girlfriend.

At the time of going to press, Chatchawan and his girlfriend both appear to have already disappeared but police are sure they will find Chatchawan.

AMLO seizes 2.5 billion baht in assets

95% from drug revenues

The secretary-general of Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) said that confiscation of assets from convicted drug dealers would be carried on. So far, AMLO has seized properties and assets worth more than 2.5 billion baht.

Pol Maj Gen Peeraphan Premputi, the secretary general of AMLO, spoke in Lampang, after handing over a seized Thai style house to Lampang provincial authorities, which had been owned by a Lampang Provincial Council member who had become involved with drugs.

Seized properties of 15 drug-related cases, worth about 600 million baht have been judged by the courts, while the remaining 120 cases worth about 2 billion baht were sub judice, he said.

Despite the seizure of property, high-ranking police at the Provincial Police Bureau, Region 5 said that Mae Hong Son Province is still where the largest hideouts of drugs were found after being smuggled through the border.

Drug ringleader fingered by ex-employee

20 million baht confiscated

A number of properties have been seized in Chiang Mai worth more than 20 million baht, according to the Provincial Police Bureau, Region 5. The confiscated properties belonged to a member of the Wei Hsueh-Kang drug network in Chiang Mai City.

Anusorn Santivimoldee, aka Somnuek Tayae, a resident in Tambon Mae Hia, Muang, Chiang Mai was charged with drug trafficking in Chiang Mai, while his properties including two houses, personal assets, a car, and a 100 rai orange orchard in Fang District with a total estimated value of more than 20 million baht are now under control of the police.

Thai police recently arrested another drug suspect and confiscated a haul of methamphetamine pills in a northern region raid.

Anusorn is a native Karen, a former employee of a crop-transportation company in Muang Mai market and a truck driver, who later became a drug broker to distribute drugs from Laota Saenlee’s Chinese Haw drug network and Wei Hsueh-Kang’s network, delivering to the central region including Bangkok.

Anusorn was arrested after Athit Wanta was found in Mae Rim district, Chiang Mai with a huge quantity of amphetamines in his possession. He immediately indicated that Anusorn was the real drug figure.