HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Chiang Mai’s transport project unable to obtain promised funding

Tsunami sounds wake-up call

Six pilots get their L-39 jet wings

Two million baht asked for to finalize demands on luxury resort

Night Safari to open in Songkran this year

Provincial development strategies for Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Strategy to promote OTOP and SMEs in 2005

Chiang Mai Zoo goes underwater

San Kamphaeng Road to be promoted as cultural cul-de-sac

Local residents protest the protestors over coal mine assessment studies

Researcher warns Chiang Mai people of air pollution crisis

Political bias by police no longer accepted

Condom consuming Kazaks arrested

Wife of slain headman petitions police

Burmese and rebel forces clash on Thai border

Police arrest ya ba dealers and a fellow policeman

Drug trafficking couple arrested for overloaded underwear

Chiang Mai’s transport project unable to obtain promised funding

Building castles in the air, says CMU

Nopniwat Krailerg

Last year the government’s mobile cabinet meeting in Lamphun gave the nod to a 145 million baht “mass transportation” study project and funds should have been available in December, but are still not forthcoming.

Chaithawat Saowaphon, director of the CMU Information Service Center told Chiangmai Mail on January 24 that the project was delayed because the Traffic and Transport Policy and Planning Office had passed the project to the Social and Economy Development division to handle and the study team is still waiting for funds.

The study is supposed to cover regulation of red mini buses, an extra 24 Chiang Mai municipal buses and a study of an electric tram system. Fond hopes were voiced that it might be possible to proceed with the project after the current election.

The study team may begin its task in March and the results might be available within 12 months. For the first three to four months, the team will focus on the management of public transportation such as routes for red mini buses and Chiang Mai municipal buses. Conclusions will be presented to the government to request a budget for improvements. Subsequently, the first route for an electric tram system will be examined to determine the nature of the beast, for which no form has yet been decided. “Some organizations simply publicize their projected ideas although there is no real advancement. It is like building castles in the air,” said Chaithawat.

Tsunami sounds wake-up call

Earthquake monitoring for Mae Hong Son

Nopniwat Krailerg

A little publicized Richter scale 6.4 earthquake that struck Burma on the same date as the Richter 9.0 quake off the coast of Sumatra on December 26, 2004, and devastated six southern states and other countries, has galvanized Thai authorities into putting some warning mechanisms into place. Since the epicenter of the Burmese quake was only 100 kilometers from Mae Hong Son, any larger quake in the area could have major repercussions on Thai citizens in the north, said Pisit Puangsuwan, head of Mae Hong Son meteorology station.

The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology has budgeted 100 million baht to set up two earthquake monitors in Mae Hong Son. One will be installed at the Mae Hong Son meteorology station in Mae Sa Riang District, the other in the Mae Hong Son immigration division office. It is anticipated that the equipment will be on place by March 2005.

It is hoped that the monitors will provide sufficient warning of an impending quake to allow residents of Mae Hong Son and nearby provinces to prepare themselves. No advisory bulletins on action to take have yet been issued.

Six pilots get their L-39 jet wings

Saksit Meesubkwang and Nopniwat Krailerg

An award ceremony was held by RTAF Wing 41 to present six pilots with their certificates for completing the 563 hour training course for L-39 jets.

Group Capt. Wisurin Moonla (middle, front row), commander of Wing 41, with the six pilots (standing back row).

The six pilots were trained in the L-39 jet which replaces the obsolete OV-10 Broncos at Wing 41. Use of the OV-10 Broncos terminated in April 2004 and Chiang Mai’s skies have been largely unprotected until now.

Protection against aerial attack (and other duties) is now provided by Fl/Lt. Sorapat Petchmongkol, Fl/Lt. Prinya Chantana, Fly Off. Sorakan Muenprasert, Fly. Off. Somdoon Soonthornwat, Fly Off. Kittipong Sririnya and Fly Off. Theppitak Taenkaew. The call signs of the six pilots, in case they may be needed, are Hardcore, Venus, Luffy, Balance, Spurs and Marino.

Two million baht asked for to finalize demands on luxury resort

Saksit Meesubkwang

The amazing collection of different architectural styles at the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai Resort has unfortunately brought some controversy with it. One section, using a similar style to that of Wat Lai Hin Luang, tambon Lai Hin, Kho Ka district, Lampang has angered some northern Buddhists who have been critical of the resort’s decision.

In an attempt to compromise, hotel representatives led by Saveesit Patcharin, the coordinator of the hotel’s construction project, met Permsak Jinakarn, a village leader, Songsak Kaewmoon, Wat Lai Hin Luang committee, and Vinpada Buakiaw, the accountant from Wat Lai Hin Luang monastery on January 18 to find a solution to the controversy.

The temple committee demanded seven changes: 1. the Khong Door arch must be removed; 2. the Chedi at the hotel must be demolished; 3. the pattern of the Wihara gable must be changed; 4. the coconut and elephant arches to be removed; 5. a cement floor must be used instead of a sand floor in the Wihara area; 6. the roof pattern must be modified; and 7. the sitting Himaphan animal in front of the Wihara must be removed.

Saveesit pledged that he would submit their demands to the resort board and the architects responsible for the project; he apologized for any distress that might have been caused and promised to inform the temple committee as soon as the board made their decisions.

However, in another twist to the story, two men who claimed to be temple representatives asked for two million baht from the resort in order to finalize the problem. A decidedly ‘non-Buddhist’ approach.

Subsequently, representatives from the temple and the hotel discussed the visit of the two men, with the temple board saying that it had authorized no such demand. Songsak promised to look into the accusation as such claims could damage the reputation of the temple committees.

Night Safari to open in Songkran this year

But only 30 percent

Nopniwat Krailerg

The board of the Chiang Mai Night Safari establishment project revealed its progress after Deputy PM Suwat Liptapanlop had inspected the project at the beginning of January. The Night Safari board stated that the night zoo will certainly welcome tourists at the grand opening scheduled on April 13, 2005, during the Songkran festival. However, only 30 percent of the night zoo will be ready while 70 percent of the terrain is still being developed.

As soon as one part is open to public, the other will be successively developed and more than 2,000 animals will eventually be supplied to the zoo through the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry. During the inspection the Deputy PM revealed that Kenya is helping to supply the zoo after the Kenyan president visited Thailand last year.

In the meantime, the board will rent some species of wildlife from private organizations. Two companies are being approached, one of them being Safari World in Bangkok.

Ticket price for the zoo is estimated at 800 baht per person for both Thais and foreigners. The committee accepted that this is quite a high price for Thai people; nevertheless, the price of 800 baht was set to facilitate tour companies making deals on that price in the foreign market. This rate will be decreased for Thais when the zoo is in operation with the board finding some way to encourage Thais to visit the zoo through a more reasonable ticket price.

A cabinet meeting on January 18 gave the nod to the announcement of the Special Terrain Development of the Enduring Tourism Committee which presented Chiang Mai Night Safari as a permanent tourist attraction. Somchai Benjachaiya, secretary of Chiang Mai Night Safari business and tourism board explained that after receiving the approval of the cabinet, they must present it to the royal decree board for approval.

The special terrain of the Chiang Mai Night Safari Zoo covers about 819 rai of the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park in tambon Mae Hia, Muang district and tambon Nong Kwai, Hang Dong district, Chiang Mai.

Provincial development strategies for Chiang Mai

Kamthai and Saksit Meesubkwang

To reach the Chiang Mai Provincial Development Strategies target of “City of Life and Prosperity” (years 2004-2007), the city will focus on three main approaches; Invest, Strengthen and Sustain, stated Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat.

Under the first strategy, to invest, Chiang Mai will be promoted as a centre of the Great Mekong Sub-region (GMS) and Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) for development of a knowledge-based economy.

The software industry, ceramics, and medical and health care businesses are included in the scheme of the knowledge based economy. Recently, a Software Industry Promotion Agency (SIPA) centre was opened in Chiang Mai to train personnel and produce software to boost Chiang Mai’s role as the ICT City.

Chiang Mai’s Spa business is booming and is becoming a new destination for tourists from Asian countries such as Bhutan, India and Bangladesh. These tourists turned to the Spa services in Chiang Mai for their lower service charges than other alternative destinations and for the enchanting Lanna culture, said Suwat.

Towards the second strategy, tourism business, handicrafts and agricultural products will be promoted. The province gave support to both SMEs and OTOPs (Small and medium businesses and “One tambon one product”) because they increase provincial income, fit the government aims of poverty eradication and help to conserve local wisdom, said the governor.

Information about Chiang Mai’s SMEs and OTOPs would be disseminated to international markets via the government scheme of “Thailand Plaza” to help introducing Lanna culture to foreigners.

However, as China was an important competitor to northern agricultural crops, the government has suggested that Chiang Mai focus on production of crops that China did not produce. “We have to admit that our agricultural research and development is still lagging and needs to be improved”, said Governor Suwat.

Under the third strategy, a cultural centre was established in each district of Chiang Mai and activities are being conducted at the centres to conserve Lanna culture and promote tourism. Suwat added, “Drug suppression along the borderline will be continued to assure security of the northern region.”

In addition to the three main strategies, the SMEs promotion centre has proposed to work on an eco camping park, handicraft promotion and modern rice farming.

“The eco camping park project is promoted as another tourist activity and the selling point of the park is nature,” said Suwat. At present, a professional team from the SME centres is searching for an appropriate area for the park and is prepared to install infrastructure in the areas.

The governor said that although Chiang Mai had high potential for tourism growth, various tourist activities needed to be promoted to sustain the growth.

Chiang Mai Strategy to promote OTOP and SMEs in 2005

Saksit Meesubkwang

OTOP and SME promotion consists of production, development, distribution, stimulation of new ideas and improvement of tourist sites. This was the strategy given by Thongchai Wongrianthong, deputy Chiang Mai governor, to promote Chiang Mai OTOP goods in 2005.

He began by saying that it consists of four main steps. In terms of production, the OTOP board will register the goods and distribute them to Tambon Administration Organizations (TAO) for promotion and there will be development committees to control the design and the packaging. The marketing plan will also distribute goods throughout Thailand.

A division will be founded to support with capital injection or to stimulate new ideas responding to the demand of the market. The systematic procedure will certainly create the credit and motivate OTOP and SME goods in Chiang Mai, said Thongchai.

Tourism promotion is the life-blood of Chiang Mai and the northern region. Basically, every province will be asked to inspect new tourist sites and to improve the old ones. Activities will be held to attract tourists with the key point being good service. The sites should provide clean lavatories, restaurants, souvenir shops and public relations services to promote the attractions and the marketing plan.

For the uninitiated, OTOPs are “One Tambon One Product” and SMEs are “Small and Medium Enterprises”.

Chiang Mai Zoo goes underwater

Also wants antipodean animals. How much can a koala bear?

Saksit Meesubkwang

A joint venture of private companies to construct a super aquarium in Chiang Mai Zoo, intended to be the best in the Southeast Asia region, was discussed at a meeting between Thanapat Pongpamon, Chiang Mai Zoo director, Rathian Srimongkol, president of the Thailand Zoo Division and other private investors.

The initial project in 2005 has 61 million baht funding, and is the first step in the process.

In addition, following the popularity of the Chinese panda bears, Chiang Mai Zoo is arranging with the Australian government to provide koala bears for exhibition in Chiang Mai.

An ambitious 98 million baht plan to further improve the zoo is in place for 2005. This includes projects for animal nurture and treatment, a penguin exhibition, Nakornping bird farm development, water supply and water source improvement and the aquarium construction project. Hopefully the zoo officials know that koalas cannot swim.

San Kamphaeng Road to be promoted as cultural cul-de-sac

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Mai Vice Governor Prinya Parnthong said that the province is prepared to promote San Kamphaeng Road as a cultural thoroughfare after PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s proposal to push the road as the first cultural highway in the country.

San Kamphaeng Road is unique in its distinctive charm and the project to promote it as a cultural road would help to strengthen its image to attract tourists, said Prinya.

The National Cultural Committee is led by Ajarn Wattana Wattanapan and Ajarn Insom Wongsarm and the latter artist has been assigned to select the art and sculptures to decorate the road, thus removing any originality the road might have had.

“The sculptures used to decorate this road have to represent Lanna unique culture and tradition and be related to the location. It can be contemporary art and reflect the life of local people, such as wooden elephants,” said Prinya, demonstrating his own striking originality.

The province is also conscious of the safety of road users if sculptures are placed alongside the roads, said Prinya. Presumably these will be soft and biodegradable. Various sculptures produced by Lanna artisans will be placed at start of the road to indicate that the visitors have arrived at the San Kamphaeng District.

After Vice Governor Prinya has studied the details of the cultural cul-de-sacs, it will be sent to PM Thaksin for consideration.

Local residents protest the protestors over coal mine assessment studies

Autsadaporn Kamthai

A group of Wiang Haeng residents vented their frustration towards the non government organizations (NGOs) that have protested and are obstructing the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) being carried out by Chiang Mai University to measure the effect of the proposed Wiang Haeng coal mine project.

Cheewin Panunt, a village headman of tambon Muang Haeng, Wiang Haeng district, who is the leader of the Peace Power Group said, “The way NGOs hire local residents to protest against and obstruct the progress of the EIA is uncalled for.”

Cheewin condemned the NGOs methods as destroying the harmony of local residents and their peaceful way of life. “Most of the protestors were outsiders and know nothing of local people and they just tried to create disturbance in the community,” he added.

“The NGO groups do not listen to local opinions but just keep protesting so most of Wiang Haeng residents feel frustrated with their unreasonable conduct. They (NGOs) threatened CMU researchers and tried to run them out of the district without considering that the researchers had done their jobs according to a cabinet resolution,” said Cheewin.

On January 19, when CMU’s air monitoring vehicle was taking measurements of Wiang Haeng air quality at Ban Huay Krai in tambon Piang Luang, a group of protesters encircled the car and threatened the researchers. The CMU researchers, fearing for their safety, fled the area.

“We can’t stand their unreasonable approach so we, as local residents, have to show our frustration towards them,” said Cheewin.

“None of us has decided whether the coal mine project is appropriate because we still await the results of the EIA and SIA to measure the impact,” he said. “Until the research is finished, the NGOs should let the research team from Chiang Mai University do their work freely,” he concluded.

A group of the residents have submitted a letter to Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat to inform him of the frustration the NGOs have caused to the community and the disruption to the research of Chiang Mai University.

Researcher warns Chiang Mai people of air pollution crisis

Dr Duongchan Apavajirut Charoenmuang, (SRI)

As the weather is getting dry and leaves start to fall, the working group of the Social Research Institute (SRI) recorded that the air pollution has increased to worrying level.

Measurements taken in November 2004 recorded 517 sources of outdoor burning in Chiang Mai inner city areas. This figure of 517 is greater than the previous year figures by 65 sources.

On January 10, 2005, the air pollution meter at the Chiang Mai City Hall recorded 131.3 micrograms/cubic meter of 10 micron dust (the maximum acceptable level is 120 microgram/cubic meter). This figure indicates that the air quality of Chiang Mai is deteriorating.

According to research done in Bangkok and foreign countries, if the 10 micron dust level increases, the number of patients with respiratory diseases or Coronary Artery Disease will also increase. In February 2004, the rate of garbage burning and forest fires was high coinciding with an increase in the number of aged people receiving treatment at hospitals.

Air pollution also blocks the view of Doi Suthep and causes problems for aircraft landing and taking off and leads to flight delays. This can have a long-term affect on Chiang Mai tourism and community welfare, particularly if an accident in flight operations occurs.

American and other tourists have already noticed and commented on Chiang Mai’s air pollution crisis as smoke covers wide areas of the city.

Traffic is another main cause of the city’s air pollution. Mass transportation systems in Chiang Mai should be improved in order to reduce the use of personal vehicles within inner city areas. Car users have to regularly check their vehicles to prevent black smoke released into the environment. Enforcement of the laws on vehicular pollution by the police would also help, but there is little chance of that occurring.

The easiest way for people to help purify Chiang Mai’s air is to avoid outdoor burning of garbage and leaves. Leaves should be used as fertilizer and garbage should be recycled to reduce burning garbage and the burden on Chiang Mai municipality garbage management.

The critical problem of air pollution should be resolved early before it becomes impossible to solve. The SRI hopes the warning about air pollution crisis will not be ignored by the government and general public, as was the lack of an early warning system until the tsunami brought another great disaster to the country.

Political bias by police no longer accepted

Inactive Post department gets 11 new members

Nopniwat Krailerg

Eleven police officers from Lampang, Phrae, Nan and Chiang Mai provinces have been relocated to inactive posts in the Provincial Police Bureau Region 5 due to their bias towards particular electoral candidates.

Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya, commissioner of the Provincial Police Bureau Region 5.

The relocations were the result of petitions by locals who noticed their biased behavior in assisting some candidates. The politically inclined band of 11 will have inactive posts at the Provincial Police Bureau Region 5 until February 6, when the general election is over.

These officers disobeyed the regulations requiring them to be unbiased, said Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya, commissioner of the Provincial Police Bureau. No comment was made on the possibility that officers wanting a rest until February 6 could simply show bias towards a particular candidate.

The four high ranking officers are Pol. Lt. Col. Suthichai Chaona, deputy superintendent of Nong Muang Khai District Police Station in Phrae; Pol. Lt. Col. Narong Tianhom, inspector of Muang District Police Station in Lampang; Pol. Lt. Col. Samrit Saengsuwan, inspector at Phrao District Police Station; Pol. Lt. Col. Nitinart Wittayawutkul, deputy superintendent at Tawangpha District Police Station in Nan.

The seven lower ranked officers are Pol. Sgt. Maj. Somporn Yodyok from Wiang Chai District Police Station in Chiang Rai; Pol. Sen. Sgt. Maj. Wattana Inphol and Pol. Sen. Sgt. Maj. Supachai Nanglae from Mae Lao District Police Station in Chiang Rai; Pol. Sen. Sgt. Maj. Sanit Khamnoi and Pol. Sgt. Suchart Chailert from Maung District Police Station in Chiang Rai; Pol. Sgt. Udom Panprayoon from Tambon Huay Or Police Station in Chiang Rai and another un-named officer from Chiang Roong Sub-district Police Station Chiang Rai.

It looks as if the felons will be running riot in Chiang Rai till February 6.

Condom consuming Kazaks arrested

Local police lay on laxatives and the evidence pops out

Nopniwat Krailerg

Pha Muang Task Force and Mae Sai District Police in Chiang Rai arrested four young Kazaks on January 18 who had, between them, swallowed 2.8 kilograms of heroin contained in condoms to smuggle into Kazakhstan. They were identified as Tsoy Alexander, 23; Tarabrin Dmitiy, 21; Bout Sergey, 22; and Tikhonov Danil, 21.

The Pha Muang Task Force and Mae Sai District Police Station were tipped off that drugs would be coming through the Mae Sai border on that day and searched an incoming van carrying the stoned looking Kazaks. On being x-rayed at Mae Sai Hospital it was seen that they had something other than tom yam in their tummies and, suspecting that they may have swallowed drugs, made them take a laxative, and heroin weighing a total of 2.8 kilograms was excreted.

The value in Thailand of 2.8 kilogram of heroin is about 800,000 baht but the value in foreign countries could be 100 times higher.

The four traffickers confessed that they were approached to buy the heroin by a dealer in Burma who had delivered the heroin in condoms at their hotel in Mae Sai district, complete with instructions on how to swallow them.

Pol. Maj. Gen. Chamnong Kaewsiri, Chiang Rai Provincial Police Chief, said that the local police had never arrested any Kazak drug traffickers in Chiang Rai before. He surmised that the four Kazaks may have engaged in drug trafficking hoping to make quick easy money. In the end, all they got was free laxatives and a long stay in the monkey house hotel.

Wife of slain headman petitions police

Police rule out political motive

Nopniwat Krailerg

Penpan Ruenplee, the wife of Saming Ruenplee, a 46-year-old village headman from Ban Noi who was gunned down and seriously injured in the municipality parking area, as reported in Chiangmai Mail, is now petitioning police to step up their investigations.

She has approached Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya, commissioner of Provincial Police Bureau Region 5, to hasten the investigation for the gunman who shot her husband who now lies semi-paralyzed in McCormick Hospital. Medical reports from Dr. Manoch Laowong who led the team that removed the bullet from the skull, says brain death may result.

On the day of the murder attempt the commissioner confidently stated that he expected little difficulty in tracking the perpetrator and master minds behind the crime. However, on January 15, with the crime still unsolved, he called the police of Provincial Police Bureau Region5, investigation team of Chiang Mai Provincial Police and Tambon Chang Puek Police Station to confer on the investigation.

The police suspect that a business conflict over a garbage tip in Doi Tao outweighed other conflicts and so are concentrating on that. The garbage tip receives many millions of baht a year from Chiang Mai Municipality. A conflict between business partners and Saming occurred so the victim branched out to run his own garbage tip leading to an escalation of the discord. Saming then received many death threats related to this business conflict.

The police pronouncement has changed from the previous confident “little difficulty” to now “we hope we can find the assassin as soon as possible.” The victim’s wife shares those hopes.

Burmese and rebel forces clash on Thai border

Thai forces tightly control border crossings

Saksit Meesubkwang

Burmese soldiers, along with their Red Star terrorist accomplices, have engaged in fierce battles with the Karen Kaya minority for more than a week. Both sides claim to be inflicting deaths and injuries with the reported figures being 17 Burmese soldiers and Red Star terrorists killed with 21 casualties and the Karen Kaya tribesmen have suffered five deaths and five casualties.

The situation between Burmese soldiers and the minority groups along the Mae Hong Son borderline is still grave, with the noise of warfare being heard along the border. Thai intelligence is that Burmese forces have strengthened its army and are now moving closer to the Kaya military base, but are now facing a food shortage.

Thai authorities have ordered the army to strictly control the export of goods across the border. The entry of persons and the goods transported from Thailand to Burma is controlled to prevent the transport of material support for either the Burmese forces or the minorities, as a feud could affect Thai security.

The 7th Infantry Regiment put all the checkpoints and border crossing points, including Mae Hong Son, on high alert and Lieutenant Gen. Picharnmeth Muangmanee, commander of the 3rd Army Region, has given orders for Maj. Gen. Tawatchai Wattana, Naresuan Task Force commander, to take control of the situation regarding the Burmese-Kaya minorities to prevent the tribesmen escaping into Thailand, and to strengthen the Thai border forces.

Maj. Gen. Tawatchai said that he has reinforced the border area in Ban Mae Suay Ou and has distributed weapons to guard the village. After receiving news that a businessman in Ban Huay Deua supportive of the Burmese and Red Star terrorists had smuggled 200 bags of rice and 800 liters of diesel into Burma via the Nam Piang Din border pass instead of the usual long-tailed boat, he ordered soldiers guarding the pass to strictly control goods transport across the border, but this may be closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

One suspected Red Star terrorist is being treated in Sri Sangwal Hospital in Mae Hong Son. He claims to be a Thai who was taking an innocent stroll in the woods when he was wounded by a bomb. With no picked flowers to show in evidence, Thai intelligence officers do not believe him.

Police arrest ya ba dealers and a fellow policeman

Policeman’s Samui holiday cut short

Nopniwat Krailerg

Two drug dealers, Chatchai Jongkij, 19, and Preecha Watnakorn, 22, were arrested in Mae Prik district, Lampang, and 30,000 ya ba tablets confiscated. Police from the Provincial Police Bureau Region 5 arrested the pair in a joint exercise with police from Mae Prik District, Lampang.

The two traffickers were caught driving past the police box at Mae Prik district. They confessed to buying the ya ba from hill tribes in Chiang Rai and were to be delivering it to Narong Klangnarong who lives in Rangsit, Prathum Thani. Police contacted the Prathum Thani police to check Narong’s record and found out that he had arrest warrants for him issued by Suratthani and Chumporn courts.

The two arrested dealers are residents of Chumporn province in the South of Thailand. On being questioned, they quickly fingered Pol. Capt. Decho Kaew-am, deputy inspector at the Provincial Police Bureau Region 8, claiming he hired and financed them to become drug runners.

Officers from the Samui District Police Station arrested Pol. Capt. Decho on Samui Island in Suratthani where he was hiding in a rented a bungalow. He was brought to Lampang and is being questioned as police believed that others might be involved.

Drug trafficking couple arrested for overloaded underwear

Police probably think the man was nuts

Nopniwat Krailerg

Mae Sai police in Chiang Rai arrested Lan Rajtan, 41, and Noi Singhchai, 40, a couple from Kasetvisai district in Roi Et province, for dealing and drug possession while traveling on a bus from the Mae Sai border to Chiang Rai.

On January 21, Mae Sai District Police station in cooperation with Pha Muang task force set up checkpoints on Mae Sai-Chiang Rai Road as it was learned that ‘speed’ would be transported from Burma to Mae Sai for distribution to small dealers in the northeast.

The police flagged down a bus loaded with passengers. Checking the passengers they noticed a couple acting suspiciously. They were patted down but nothing was found so they were asked to leave the bus and go to the security box for a thorough inspection. A plastic bag, containing 1,130 tablets of speed were found attached to the Lan’s testicles and another 740 tablets were found in the bra of the apparently overly well endowed Noi.

The couple confessed that they have been trafficking drugs from Mae Sai to small drug agents in northeast. They have tried many tricks to deceive the checkpoint police, but failed to do so this time.