HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Chiang Mai celebrates King Chulalongkorn Day

We’re two years old!

One ton of “milk” jujubes exported to Hong Kong

Fears that Yangon leadership change may affect Thai drug control

More than a million landmines still along Thailand borders

Mini-marathon held to raise funds for children

Villagers slam off-road tours for tourists as eco-unfriendly

Fare paying public confused over legality of black plate vans

Thais to share highland farming tips with rest of the world

Two pubs fall foul of the law by hiring teens

Deforestation in Mae Hong Son

Phayao province to turn Java weeds into compost for farmers

Students prefer playing truant to sitting in class

Traditional tricycle taxis tourist trap

Chiang Mai Food and Entertainment Festival to be held from November 1-7

Entertainment outlet closed for 90 days and police superintendent transferred

Tourist season has come to Mae Hong Son

Border tension increases after Burmese military ousts PM

Legal Guidance for Foreigners seminar scheduled for November 5 and 6

Shop ‘Til they drop

English resident accused of pedophilia

Bank employee uses ATM cards to fleece customers

Yala man arrested in Chiang Mai after fleeing Bangkok murder charge

X-ray machines help catch drug traffickers, weapons

Night Bazaar raid leads to arrest of 11 Burmese alien workers

Wanted man walks into the arms of the police

Chiang Mai celebrates King Chulalongkorn Day

Somkid Chaiwong

Chiang Mai provincial authorities and residents celebrated “Chulalongkorn Day” in the front of the King Rama V statue, set up for this auspicious day, in the front of the old Chiang Mai City Hall on October 23.

Local ceremonies were held as hundreds of government officials, community representatives, traders, merchants, business owners, students and media paid their respects to a great king.

We’re two years old!

The toddler takes off

Editorial Staff

There are always milestones in life, and for a newspaper, which is very much a ‘living’ entity, it is no different. Just as a toddler ‘takes off’ on the second anniversary, we have seen the Chiangmai Mail do the same.

From the first tentative steps at one year of age, your weekly English language newspaper has become more confident and more aware of its position in the ‘family’ of its readers in the North.

It has become confident enough to set its own editorial policies and to present news as it happens, and how it happens. It has become confident enough to resist outside influences when these have not been in accordance with our policies.

The Chiangmai Mail has also become confident enough to appreciate its own value to the local communities, and to help the many ‘good causes’ in the north of Thailand - even when this support has been at a direct cost to ourselves.

We have also been very heartened to see the way that the Thai policymakers have come to respect our position in the community, and now ask for our assistance in presenting official policies, be that Immigration, business or even community living.

Finally, we wish to thank the advertisers who have seen that the Chiangmai Mail is here for the ‘long haul’ and as a community newspaper has become an integral part of the resident population. Our readership has expanded beyond expectation, and for that, we thank you.

The toddler has taken off. This time next year the Chiangmai Mail will be running!

One ton of “milk” jujubes exported to Hong Kong

New cash crop to replace languishing longans

Nopniwat Krailerg

“Milk” jujubes will be another important cash crop in Fang this year. The milk jujube crop was planted by the Green Fresh International Co. which had previously planted longans for export for over 18 years, but has recently seen longans becoming a losing investment in the face of glut and Chinese competition.

Milk jujube produce on display.

The company researched new ways to improve income by cross-breeding honey jujube from Taiwan with special jujubes from Thailand. The breeding between these two strains brought about a new strain of milk jujube which has a large size and weighs between 100-130 grams.

Somsak Keeratisermsin, from the Green Fresh International Co. said that the milk jujubes were now planted in a 300 rai area of Jun Jan garden, on the way up to Doi Ang Khang. Technology from Japan has been applied in this jujube garden to increase productivity. Areas under milk jujube plantation will be expanded to 4,000 rai in 2005.

It takes only six months for planters to harvest the crop after planting. Significantly, there is no rival fruit to compete with this new fruit in the marketplace. Even though Taiwan exports honey jujube, it has small areas of plantation and Thailand has higher planting potential, especially in Fang district.

After Hong Kong, the company plans to expand into Dubai, Singapore and the Canadian markets and export at least 4,000 tons of milk jujubes a year, said Somsak. AAA graded milk jujubes are sold at 45 baht a kilogram in domestic markets and two US dollars a kilogram overseas.

“Our milk jujubes are organic and received GMP guarantee from the Agricultural Department,” said Somsak. Each milk jujube will be wrapped in plastic at 30 days and no chemicals will be used on the jujubes for the 40 days before being harvested.

The company has patented the milk jujube as it foresees that the fruit will bring it much in the way of financial rewards.

Fears that Yangon leadership change may affect Thai drug control

ONCB waiting for clear signals from Burma

Saksit Meesubkwang

The local director of the Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) is apprehensive that the new Burmese leader will not fully support Thailand’s drug suppression in the region, following the ouster of Gen. Khin Nyunt as prime minister, replaced by Lt.-Gen. Soe Win.

Pittaya Jinawat, director of the ONCB in the North, said that it had noted the political change in the Burmese political leadership. It predicted a renewed spread of drugs by some minority groups that the Office had placed under observation, according to Pittaya.

“Thai officials need to keep a close watch on these minority groups - the Red Wa, Ko Kang minority group members, Maung Tai Army (MTA), Karen National Union (KNU) and Kayini National Progressive Party (KNPP),” said Pittaya.

The ONCB was trying to negotiate with them, but had to wait for signs of a policy from the new Burmese leaders.

Pittaya said that he was unsure about the impact on Thai-Burmese relations, which involved the Ban Yong Kha development project and mutual work to develop border villages, drug suppression and investments by government and private sectors. Pittaya said that the changes in Myanmar might have hidden benefits to that country’s leaders and that foreign countries could not exert influence as it was an internal affair.

More than a million landmines still along Thailand borders

Thailand unable to honor its responsibilities

Phitsanu Thepthong

Dr Suvit Yodmanee, director of the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), Bangkok, said that 100 people have been killed by landmines planted in 27 border provinces around Thailand.

Thailand is a signatory to the Ottawa Treaty regarding the elimination of landmines. The agreement is that Thailand must destroy or retrieve all landmines by 2009. However, in the past five years only an estimated 1-2 percent have been removed, so Dr. Suvit feels that Thailand will have to ask for an extension of time at the meeting this November.

As a preventive measure, seminars and training courses on landmines organized in Chiang Mai would be very helpful, he said. “Landmines are a problem, and we are coping with a million landmines planted along the neighboring borders, especially in the country’s regions adjacent to Burma, Laos and Cambodia. The Thailand and Burma borderline stretches for a distance of 227 km.

Towards educating the public on the dangers, the Supreme Command Headquarters of the Royal Thai Army, provincial governors, district chiefs officer, kamnan and village headmen, met at the two-day training courses organized in Chiang Mai.

Another two-day training course for 200 teachers from the border areas in Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son were also held so that they could teach their students and their families and community leaders in the high risk areas.

With help from 150 countries and international organizations like USA, UNICEF, and others they would help clear and get rid of the landmines.

ADCP has implemented the training courses since 2000, with a pilot project launched in Aranyaprathet district, Ta Phaya, and Khlong Hat districts of Sa Kaeo province, in the east, and the second phase was held in December last year in Surin province, and in Si Saket province of the Northeast province, and then coming up in Wiang Kaen district, of Chiang Rai in the North.

Mini-marathon held to raise funds for children

Autsadaporn Kamthai

To mark Chulalongkorn Day on October 23, Tambon Tha Sala Administration Organization, in cooperation with village headmen in tambon Tha Sala, Wat Don Chan Temple and Don Chan Temple School arranged the 5th Don Chan Mini-marathon at the Don Chan Buddhist temple grounds.

Preparing to start the mini marathon.

About 400 local people, including children, joined in the sporting event held on October 24.

Apart from honoring the 72nd birthday of HM the Queen, the mini-marathon was held to raise funds for disadvantaged students of Don Chan Temple School and promote the value of physical exercise. It consisted of a 6 km running course and a 3 km walking course. At the end of the event, all the participants were given medals bearing the image of HM the Queen.

Payap Shinawatra (2nd left), the new Thai Rak Thai candidate presided over the ceremony to honor Her Majesty the Queen’s birthday.

Wat Don Chan and Don Chan Temple School accommodate about 270 children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Most of them are from the Akha, Hmong and Yao ethnic communities and the Thai Yai minority group.

New Thai Rak Thai party candidate Payap Shinawatra presided over the opening ceremony.

Villagers slam off-road tours for tourists as eco-unfriendly

Staff reporters

Karen residents in Pha Mon village, Chorm Thong district have petitioned the Doi Inthanon National Park, demanding that off-road tours along the Khun Pauy-Pha Mon route be banned.

The villagers said the events cause noise pollution which disturbs wildlife, damage the surface of the road and negatively affect the ecology in the area.

The request has been granted, with Thitapat Phoraksa, assistant to the head the park saying, “Inthanon National Park will prohibit all off-road trips to prevent more damage to the environment.”

Doi Inthanon National Park is a reserved area and no business is allowed to use it for commercial purpose, “But lately, some foreign tourists have used the route for off-road trips,” he said.

The Thai Research Fund has approved a budget of 200,000 baht for the villagers to develop eco-tourism and sustainable culture to promote Pha Mon village as a new eco-tourism site to attract tourists.

The project is expected to be completed by April next year, but it sounds as if the four wheel drive enthusiasts should not hold their breath.

Fare paying public confused over legality of black plate vans

Police confused too claims business association

Nopniwat Krailerg

Vans with black registration plates that carry fare-paying passengers between Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai are apparently illegal, as more than 20 drivers have found out.

Boonlert Pelera, president of the Chiangmai Tourism and Business Association.

Police arrested and fined them on the spot at a roadblock at Ban Pa Kor Dum in Mae Lao district, Chiang Rai. They claimed that the black plate van is an illegal type of public transportation service.

“This has had a detrimental effect on entrepreneurs,” said Boonlert Pelera, Chiangmai Tourism and Business Association (CTBA) president. He asked that the matter be resolved before it causes greater economic losses to entrepreneurs during the tourism peak season.

“The relevant Act states that the black-plate van with not over 12 seats can operate as public transport throughout the country, so the drivers should not be arrested,” said Boonlert. He also claimed that the policemen treated them unfairly and asked for a clear-cut policy to indicate the role and limitation of the black-plate van service to resolve the matter.

“This problem needs to be solved urgently or else it will affect tourism because most tourists hire the vans to travel to Chiang Rai,” said Boonlert.

Thais to share highland farming tips with rest of the world

Phitsanu Thepthong

An international symposium on sustainable highland development highlighting lessons learned from the Royal Project will be held in Chiang Mai.

Several hundred participants are expected to attend the event at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel and the Royal Angkhang Agricultural Research Station in Fang district from December 8-10. So far 250 delegates from 18 other countries and about 150 from Thailand have registered.

HRH Princess Chulabhorn will give a keynote speech on sustainable highland agricultural highland development, while Deputy Prime Minister Jaturon Chaisaeng will also address the audience.

According to Jintana Phuntufak, chairperson of the working group for the symposium, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has assigned the Office of Highland Agriculture Development to be responsible for organizing the event.

It aims at compiling, collecting and presenting information about research and development in highland economic and social development, and will propose development strategies to help solve the problem of opium cultivation and problems of natural resources in highland development.

The symposium will offer a chance for attendees to exchange views on highland development both in Thailand and abroad. The symposium will also propose academic cooperation on development projects at regional and international levels.

Two pubs fall foul of the law by hiring teens

Nopniwat Krailerg

Two pub/restaurants have felt the wrath of the law. Legacy and BKK, situated at the Chiang Mai Land Housing Estate entertainment complex, were ordered closed for 30 days and their operating licenses were revoked by the authority of Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat, after it was found they were employing youths under 20 years of age.

Governor Suwat Tantipat explains to the media that a number of entertainment outlets have been closed, and their operation licenses revoked.

Neighbouring residents had lodged several complaints with the governor, describing the karaoke bars as places for ill-behaved teenagers to congregate and because of persistent noise pollution.

Chumporn Saengmanee, Muang district chief officer, in a prepared press statement said that Legacy and BKK have been closed since October 18 after assistant district chief officer Songsak Ma-ou and Dech Soonsiri, head of the administration division, found the underage employees.

Deforestation in Mae Hong Son

Staff reporters

Suphote Laowansiri, the Mae Hong Son governor has asked all district chief officers to examine forest lands and strictly enforce the laws on invaders after high deforestation has been reported.

The Mae Hong Son governor said his province would use strict measures to confiscate all encroached forest land from invaders to maintain the forest areas of the provinces. So far, the province has seized almost 1,000 rai of encroached forestland to return the land to state ownership.

The problem areas are mainly in Mae Sariang, Pai and Mae La Noi districts where great tracts of forest areas have been destroyed and more attention from officers is needed to reduce the severity of the problem.

Phayao province to turn Java weeds into compost for farmers

Staff reporters

Phayao Lake has a total surface of 12,000 rai in which 3,000 rai always bears Java weeds and cause trouble for people, especially during the raining season, said Baworn Rattanaprasit, Phayao governor.

The Java weeds need to be got rid of, because the Phayao Lake is an important tourist attraction of the province, added Baworn.

Local administration organizations, Phayao Provincial Agricultural Office and Fishery Office have been assigned to coordinate in turning the Java weeds into compost.

“This project will also help increase incomes for unemployed people, because the province will employ them to collect the weeds in the reservoir,” said the governor.

The compost will be distributed to farmers in 5 tambons and 14 villages located nearby the reservoir as a pilot project. The rest of compost will be sold to other farmers to decrease of use of chemical fertilizer.

More farmers in the provinces would be urged to turn to using compost through this project, said Baworn, adding that, “If this project is done seriously and produces satisfactory amounts of compost, Phayao would become the largest source of compost in the country,” predicted Baworn.

Students prefer playing truant to sitting in class

Earth-shattering breakthrough?

Staff reporters

Over 800 Chiang Mai students find hanging out at public places, entertainment venues and playing games more fun than sitting in class.

A total of 813 students - 619 males and 194 females - were caught playing truant when school inspectors and police recently carried out spot checks.

The Chiang Mai Education Office Area 1 reported that most of the truancy students were found playing games or using drugs and drinking alcohol and playing snooker.

Of those caught, more than half were 1st to 3rd year vocational college students, while another 11 percent were 4th and 5th year higher vocational college students.

Frequent teaching staff meetings and subsequent cancellation of classes are blamed for giving students too much free time, while other supposed causes relating to the students are addiction to games and watching sport as well as peer pressures and family problems.

The family was ranked as the most significant institution to help change student behavior, while educational institutions were ranked second.

“More importantly, some game shop owners lack the proper morality and ignore the prohibition on students playing games during class hours,” said Somsak Tarchai, director of the Chiang Mai Education Office, Region 1. The owners realize that students are their main customers so they consider income as more important than observing the law.

“Environment significantly shapes this improper behavior, so the institutions and colleges have to strengthen their systems and regulations to protect students and watch over them,” said Somsak.

While these are very noble sentiments, truancy is nothing new, and one has to question just who is responsible for the students while in college. The internet game shops or the school authorities? School discipline has been a time-honored deterrent, perhaps it is time that the institutions worked out how to carry out roll calls, rather than having the Fun Police patrolling shops during school hours.

Traditional tricycle taxis tourist trap

Crash courses for riders

Nopniwat Krailerg

The traditional tricycle revival project has gained support worth 500,000 baht from Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat, to improve their image and to give an extra ‘lift’ to Chiang Mai tourism.

This revival project has been executed jointly since September 2004 by Chiang Mai Lands Transport Office, Labor Skill Development Center, Chiang Mai Provincial Traffic Police Station, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand. 50 tricycles were singled out from the total of 123 tricycles in town to be part of the pilot project.

The refurbishing of the first lot of 50 tricycles, part of the tricycle revival to uphold tourism, is now complete.

These 50 tricycles have been refurbished by the Labor Skill Development Center. The riders are made to dress well in Lanna clothes - mor hom shirt and sa dor pant, belted with a pha kaomah and wearing a bailan hat.

On October 18 at the Empress Hotel, Chiang Mai, a pilot training course for all 123 tricycle pilots was held. They were taught traffic laws, basic conversational English and good manners.

The first 50 remodeled tricycles were shown to the public pedaling along Chang Klan Road, round the city moats and ending at the Night Bazaar market.

This revival project should increase the income of all tri cycle riders. This mode of transportation will be another alternative available for visitors, especially during the tourism season and international fairs and events, which will be held in the city.

The tricycle service is divided into three types: short distance service (commuting between hotels and tourist sites), intermediate distance service (1 hour duration) and long distance service (such as traveling around the city moats). Maximum charge is only 300 baht.

Ae-rin said that some of the tricycles had 80-95 percent of their bodies repaired which cost around 4,000-5,000 baht each. All tricycles turned out looking very smart, especially with an elephant symbol embossed on their seats. A manual of basic English conversation has been published to let the riders chat to the tourists.

Pallop A-nuntapradith, head of tricycle for tourism club, said that this revival project is very beneficial for them and supports their occupations. Regular cost for service was only 20-30 baht while charges for tourist services were around 120-300 baht depending on the distance, said Pallop.

Chiang Mai Food and Entertainment Festival to be held from November 1-7

Phitsanu Thepthong

Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat and Keatisak (Dang) Saythai, Chiang Mai Restaurant and Entertainment Association president announced the upcoming Chiang Mai Food and Entertainment Festival, which will be from November 1-7.

The organizing committee led by Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat (center), Keatisak (Dang) Saythai (on the governor’s left), and Chiang Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn (on the governor’s right). (Photo by Saksit Meesubkwang)

It will be held at the Kad Cherngdoi Fairgrounds near Chiang Mai University. This will be the fifth time the festival has been held, but this year promises to be bigger and better than previous years, said Keatisak.

He expects that more than 350,000 people will visit the 7 day and night festival. More than 100 food shops and stalls from Chiang Mai will be set up to sell correctly prepared hygienic food.

Other displays include furniture from Amporn Garden, Bangkok, and a Motor and Hi-Fi Show.

He added that the giant cake, for Her Majesty the Queen’s 72nd birthday will be dazzling, and there will be other shows and performances to honor Her Majesty the Queen. These include the Carabao band, artists from RS promotion, Ford, as well as Look Tung upcountry bands, like the popular Sunaree Ratchasima, and artists from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and comedy acts.

Other attractions are the kwanjai or sweet-heart beauty contest, cabaret shows, arts and cultural shows representing the country’s four regions, with special performances from the leading entertainment restaurants from Chiang Mai, and dancers in variety shows from the New Chang Puak Chiang Mai.

The festival is jointly supported by the Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization (PAO), Chiang Mai Municipality, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Northern Office, Region 1, Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office, TT and T Co. and Porm Klang Co.

For more information, please contact New Chang Puak Restaurant 053 891 118-9, 04-0418780.

Entertainment outlet closed for 90 days and police superintendent transferred

Underage revelers close Legacy Pub

Saksit Meesubkwang

Ten days later after being promoted to a higher rank, Pol Col Prayach Boonsri, the new superintendent of Muang District Police Station, has been transferred to an inactive posting for 30 days, following a raid by the Crime Suppression police and the Ministry of the Interior.

On October 18, Pol Lt Gen Panupong Singhara Na Ayutthaya, commissioner of Provincial Police Bureau Region 5, transferred the new superintendent as a consequence of his failure to keep all entertainment outlets in line with the law.

Pol Lt Col Rangsit Lotaisong, deputy superintendent of Muang District Police Station will be acting superintendent during that period.

The penalty follows inspection of Chiang Mai’s entertainment outlets in Chiang Mai Land Housing Estate, Chang Klan Road, by Pol Maj Gen Winai Tongsong, commander of Crime Suppression Division, and Sakol Muangsiri, advisor to Pracha Maleenont, Minister of Interior.

During the inspection, 102 teenagers aged under 20, 15 teenagers aged under 18 and another 8 people not carrying ID cards were found in the Legacy Pub. This outlet now faces a mandatory 90 -day closure.

Pol Lt Gen Panupong said that the investigation committee had to be fair to all sides. He said that the newly assigned superintendent, Pol Col Prayach, had been in charge for only 10 days and would have been unsure of the environment and areas.

Tourist season has come to Mae Hong Son

Saksit Meesubkwang

Mae Hong Son is well prepared for tourists in this upcoming high season, says provincial Governor Suphote Laowansiri.

He gave the assurance that local organizations had made both security and accommodation ready for Thai and foreign tourists.

The Poy Loen 11, which commenced on October 24, saw the kick off of Mae Hong Son’s tourism season. The opening of the tourist season in Pai and Mae Sariang districts will be staged on November 5 and 13 respectively.

“After this, the Bua Tong (Mexican Sunflower) Blossom Festival will begin,” said Suphote. “This year’s Loy Krathong festival will include the launching of hot air balloons and the New Year celebration of all tribes will follow at the end of the year.

“All these activities in Mae Hong Son will appeal to tourists,” said Suphote.

“The Walking Street in this northern town will be held throughout the tourism season. To attract tourists to visit the province, organizers plan to give a certificate to anyone who drives to the city and drives through the 1,864 corners between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son,” the governor announced.

Police, soldiers and Territory Security Volunteers will be at hand to serve road users in case of any road accidents and a commando unit has been set up.

“New regulations have been passed allowing visitors at Bua Tong Flower field in Khun Yuam district to enter the field between sunrise and sunset,” said Suphote. “Visitors will not be allowed to pitch tents or set up camp within the field, but the province has provided a rest area about 400 meters from the field. Restrooms, shops and performances staged by hill tribe are provided at the rest area.”

The new regulations would help reduce the amount of garbage disposed at the field, said Suphote, adding that one of the charms of Mae Hong Son City is the abundance of fertile forest, as 90 percent of the area is covered by forest.

“All visitors who want to experience its charm will be welcomed to the city,” he said.

Border tension increases after Burmese military ousts PM

Saksit Meesubkwang

Since last week’s political change inside Myanmar, Thai military and government officials in Mae Hong Son have been keeping a close watch on the situation and are on the alert for the security of Burmese refugees in the holding centers along this side of the border.

The authorities have been ordered to be ready for unexpected unrest. Stricter measures have also been imposed at the checkpoints for all vehicles crossing the border.

On October 24, about 100 military officers and troops patrolled the area of the camp in Mae La Maluang, which accommodates about 30,000 refugees.

There are more than 100 Burmese students in the holding center, and the 36th military ranger battalion, in Mae Sariang district, Mae Hong Son, along with the infantry regiment, were instructed to patrol around the refugee camps and along the border and Yom River so as to prevent movement of the refugees, including Burmese students.

Col Karun Khunsungnoen, commander of the 7th infantry regiment, and Col Nopporn Ruachan, commander of the 36th Military Rangers regiment, consulted with Maj Gen Aung Aung, commander of the 130 Pasong battalion, on behalf of the Thai Burmese Border Committee, at a meeting held at Ban Saohin, in Tambon Saohin, in Mae Sariang district, Mae Hong Son.

They agreed on close cooperation for the protection of the locals and the suppression of drug smuggling and cross-border crime, as the border pass of Ban Saohin is still open for bilateral trade between the two countries.

Muang Mae Hong Son district police set up border and Highway 108 checkpoints which led to the arrest of Chumpol Pan-utama, a pick-up truck driver. They confiscated about 20 million kyat (Burmese currency, the equivalent of about 800,000 baht) packed in 50 black sacks.

Chumpol claimed that he had brought the cash to pay for cattle from Burmese traders, but the police did not believe him. After confiscating the money, he is being held for further investigation.

The police said that this amount of kyat could have been used to buy illegal goods at the border instead.

Legal Guidance for Foreigners seminar scheduled for November 5 and 6

Dhurakijpundit University’s Faculty of Law will sponsor its popular seminar, Legal Guidance for Foreigners, Investing, Working and Living in Thailand. The seminar - all in English - will be held at the Conrad Hotel, Wireless Road, Bangkok on November 5 and 6.

The seminar features top speakers drawn from the Thai government, judiciary, and legal practice, talking on a variety of important issues. For example, the Hon. Judge Vichai Ariyanuntaka of the Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court will talk on the Settlement of Commercial Disputes in Thailand; while the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Hon. Judge Prasobsook Boondech will talk on Law Involving Land Ownership and Families.

Other talks are on taxation for foreign companies; laws relating to foreign investment; latest development in financial laws; labor law and employment issues; issues related to visas, work permit, immigration and business start-ups; and, roles and responsibilities of directors of Company Limited and Public Company Limited. Last year’s seminar attracted 80 participants from 25 countries worldwide.

This year’s seminar, Professor Dr. Sippanondha Ketudat, the chairman of Dhurakijpundit University, will deliver a keynote address on “Globalization in a Multicultural World: Implications for Professional Learning”. Dr. Sippanondha is also a former minister of education, a former minister of industry of Thailand and a former senator.

The fee for the 2 day event (including 2 buffet lunches at the hotel and 4 coffee breaks, full set of conference documents, and certificate of participation from Dhurakijpundit University) is 9,900 baht per person.

For more information please contact Ms. Manisara Chulasamya and Ms. Oracha Pikartporapak, Faculty of Law at Mobile:09-813-6698,01-839-4321, respectively e-mail: [email protected] or [email protected] or visit the web-site or telephone 02-954-7300 ext. 662, 308.

Shop ‘Til they drop

Staff Reporters

Members of the U.S. consulate community and guests traveled to the factory and showrooms of CDC Design Resources just outside Chiang Mai on the highway to Lamphun to see the manufacturing of designer items exported to overseas markets.

Hosted by partners Richard Dixon, Annabel Coulet and Manat Chowmuang, participants observed the finishing touches being applied to several items before adjourning to the showrooms for refreshments and serious shopping, selecting both newly manufactured and unique antique items, some imported from India and Afghanistan.

Christmas is just around the corner and the serious shoppers have already started.

English resident accused of pedophilia

Suspected of keeping hill tribe boy as sex slave for two years

Nopniwat Krailerg

An Englishman, Clive Mark Feinson, 41, has been arrested on charges of immoral behavior and pedophilia. The arrest was carried out by the investigation police division of Provincial Police Bureau, Region 5 led by Pol Col Sarawut Jantraprasert.

After searching his room, police seized 31 obscene VCDs showing homosexual acts between men and youths. Equipment used for taking drugs was also found.

The investigation police division allegedly discovered that Feinson had kept a 14 year old Akha boy with him and had homosexual intercourse with the boy for over 2 years. Feinson also kept the boy locked in his room. The boy was homeless as his parents had been imprisoned for drug offenses.

Feinson was sent to Pol Lt Gen Panupong Singhara na Ayutthaya, commissioner of Provincial Police Bureau, Region 5, for further investigation. Pol Lt Gen Panupong said that Feinson owned a beer bar at the Night Bazaar, which is popular among Thai and foreign homosexuals.

He had previously been charged following discovery of ya ba tablets, drug equipment, 20 X-rated VCDs recording sexual intercourse between men and a 13 year old boy. The police charged him but a prosecutor dismissed the case, said Pol Lt Gen Panupong. However, this time he was sure the evidence and police case would stand up in court and a jail sentence would result.

However, further information that has come to light, and it is alleged that the boy escaped from the Home for Boys to voluntarily live with Feinson. During the questioning, the boy has now insisted that Feinson did not sexually abuse him or lock him in the room.

Feinson has also denied that had 31 X-rated VCD recording sexual intercourse between himself and young boys, and has accused the Thai police of fabricating evidence.

Police also claim that Feinson is wanted on drug charges in the UK, and the Provincial Police Bureau, Region 5 have contacted Interpol and the British consul to check his criminal record.

Bank employee uses ATM cards to fleece customers

2.2 million out of the ‘hole in the wall’

Nopniwat Krailerg

A warrant for the arrest of Kachakorn na Chiangmai, 36, an employee at Siam Commercial Bank’s the Airport Intersection branch was issued by the court, claiming that he had used ATM cards of four of the bank’s clients and withdrew almost 2.2 million baht.

This missing money was discovered after one of the victims, Chuanchuen Kiewwilai, 50, notified police about the loss of 2 million baht from her bank deposit account. Chuanchuen opened her account deposit with almost 2 million baht at the bank on May 25 but she did not request an ATM card.

In early August, she received money transfers from her business partner. She updated her bank deposit book at the bank and found out that almost 2 million baht of her money had disappeared.

According to the bank’s records, the 2 million baht in cash was withdrawn using an ATM card during October 20-31 this year. Bank officers investigated and discovered the culprit was Kachakorn, the bank employee.

Police also found out that Kachakornhad also misappropriated 200,000 baht of three other clients’ money by using the same technique, as these three victims did not possess ATM cards either.

Kachakorn, who is now on the run with a bag containing 2.2 million baht, withdrew the cash from the bank accounts a bit at a time, taking more than 100 times to amass that amount. His main duties at the bank were ATM card service and money withdrawals. He began to steal the money in early October. Perhaps police will be waiting for him to use his own ATM card.

Yala man arrested in Chiang Mai after fleeing Bangkok murder charge

Saksit Meesubkwang

Sumet Paochaemnoi, 21, from Yala province was arrested in Chiang Mai on charges of murdering a staff member in a convenience store in Bangkok. The arrest warrant was issued by the Bangkok Metropolitan Police 4 Station.

Pol Lt Col Narit Sondit, investigation inspector of Muang District Police Station, looked for Sumet in Chiang Mai, after receiving information from Bangkok that the accused had fled to the north.

After finding his hideout on October 19, Pol Lt Col Narit, along with 20 policemen surrounded the house in tambon Pa Daed, Chiang Mai’s Muang district. Sumet surrendered, and after being apprehended, he confessed to the crime.

Sumet told police that he killed the staff member because he was upset as he had been fired from the Minimart and the victim was the person who had caused him to be dismissed.

He was taken under police custody to Bangkok where he will undergo the due process of the law.

X-ray machines help catch drug traffickers, weapons

Staff Reporters

A number of drug traffickers have been arrested and illegal items seized after X-ray machines were set up in eight designated villages along the Thai-Burmese border.

Col Anantasak Trilao, commander of the 241st cavalry battalion, special task force, 2nd Calvary Regiment, Pha Muang Task Force, said that they had prepared about 50 officers with sniffer dogs to patrol villages and target people suspected to be involved with drugs.

X-ray machines were set up Wiang Haeng, Chiang Dao, Chai Prakan, Fang, and Mae Ai districts of Chiang Mai, as well as Mae Chan, Mae Fah Luang, Muang and Mae Suay districts of Chiang Rai, from October 20-26.

Using X-Rays, police found illegally processed kaya loei wood, processed teakwood in the areas of Doi Phawog and Ban Lisu Nambormai, 84 ya ba pills, two drug suspects, an M-16 machine gun, grenades, one pistol, two rifles, 16 rounds of ammunition, two motorcycles, four illegal alien workers and four human traffickers.

Arrests were made and suspects held in custody for further investigation.

Night Bazaar raid leads to arrest of 11 Burmese alien workers

Saksit Meesubkwang

Eleven alien workers have been caught at Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, and a businessman is suspected of having facilitated their illegal employment.

On October 21, Pol Col Phirojana Paresakul, superintendent of the Chiang Mai Immigration Office, instructed Pol Maj Puwapas Suwannarong and 17 forestry officials to investigate illegal alien labor at the Night Bazaar on Chang Klan Road.

As a result, 11 Burmese laborers were captured. They will be penalized under the terms of the Immigration Act 1979 and Alien Workers Act 1978.

Pol Lt Col Pitchaya Boonkhajorn, deputy superintendent of the Chiang Mai Immigration Office, said that the suppression of alien labor is being carried out on a regular basis following the instructions of Pol Lt Gen Ammarin Niamsakul, commissioner of the Immigration Police Division. For national security reasons, he has also ordered an increase in the suppression of organized crime.

“The Night Bazaar was chosen because it has many non-Thai tourists and we knew a number of illegal aliens were hired to work there,” said Pol Lt Col Pitchaya.

Wanted man walks into the arms of the police

Thought they had forgotten about the arrest warrant

Nopniwat Krailerg

An accused drug trafficker, somewhat less than a bright spark, walked into the Muang Police station to visit a relative who was held there. This noble exercise would have been appreciated by the relative, but even more so by the police who were holding an arrest warrant for him!

Preecha Rattanaworachote, aka Rattanapol, for whom an arrest warrant was issued in June, thought that the police at the station would not recognize him.

The history of the case began with police arresting Somsak Saengjan in June this year, who spilled the beans that Rattanapol was allegedly involved in the financial arm of a drug ring. With this information, the Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) approved an arrest warrant for him. This duly happened, but Pol. Lt Col. Narit Sorndit said that Rattanapol was charged but had skipped while on bail.

Police also suspect that he is in possession of a counterfeit ID card, uses the name of a deceased person and changed his address to Phrao district, Chiang Mai.

With all this additional information, police are arranging further charges for the intellectually challenged Rattanapol, the dutiful jail visitor.