Vol. IV No. 39 - Saturday September 24 - September 30, 2005
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NEWS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Merchants flee Night Bazaar as Mae Ping water level rises

400 kg of heroin discovered by Third Army Region

Mae Ai residents who regained Thai nationality will hold merit making ceremony

Residents demand more say in forest management

Chiang Mai mass transport conference

Longan growers fear they have been duped by bogus cooperative

81 Yuparaj Wittayalai students to enter monkhood

CMU veterinarians will work with Night Safari

Illegal Burmese meat delivery seized at border

Minister of Transport checks on development of Chiang Mai mass transport system

Judgment drags on in Chiang Dao case

Health and beauty expo will promote province as wellness hub

50 mio baht budget for Wat Chedi Luang renovation

Khum Chao Bureerat Maha-in receives best preserved building award

Foreign volunteers trained in security measures for tourists

Training for police in drug-tracking technology

Army conscript acting as drug courier for Phuket dealer

Drug dealer gets away with three shots but drops drugs

Burmese drug mule arrested at border

Counterfeit notes on the up as high season approaches

800 speed pills discovered at Mae Sai checkpoint

13 Burmese prostitutes discovered in karaoke lounge

200 policemen search for two men sprung from Nonthaburi jail

Police station superintendent removed in wake of prostitution case

Merchants flee Night Bazaar as Mae Ping water level rises

Nopniwat Krailerg and Preeyanoot Jittawong

The trail left by tropical storm Vicente on September 19 as it gradually weakened over northern Thailand before passing over into Burma, greatly affected Chiang Mai province, especially at Baan Wiang Haeng in Chiang Dao, Mae Taeng and Mae Rim.

Water level in Mae Ping River attracts residents at Waroros Market.

The water level in the Ping River rose and flooded the city on September 20. At the Nawarat Bridge measuring point at 9 a.m. the level was 3.70 meters and increased by 10 cm every hour. The river was flowing fast too, at 384 cubic meters per second. Many sightseers went to the river, causing traffic jams on several routes.

Visitors wade through the floods.

At midnight the water level was at 4.70 meters. At the last major flooding it had reached 4.90 meters, but 4.50 meters would have been enough to flood the Night Bazaar so merchants began moving their goods away from the area.

Merchants in Night Bazaar move goods to safe areas.

Later, water started to flood Baan Pa Phrao Nok on Chang Klan Road from the Park Hotel to the distillery store, and reaching as far as the Chiang Mai-Lamphun Road. Water flooded Baan Den Electrical Works, Nong Hoi, Ragang Junction and Chareun Prated Road, along with schools including Montfort, Regina and Sacred Heart College and the Prince Royals College. The schools had to ask parents to remove their children from the schools.

Many people watched the water level of the Mae Ping River at P.1 point Nawarat Bridge.

A rumor spread that more water would be let out from the Mae Ngad Dam, causing great worry to some residents, but officers denied that would happen.

Chiang Mai’s governor surveyed the flooded areas by air and consulted urgently with the relevant authorities to see how they could prevent more flooding and also rescue those stranded. Help points were set up at the Chiang Mai municipality stadium and Meng Rai and Kawila areas, with officers handing out food and sandbags.

Territorial Defense Volunteer officers rescue residents at Tambon Padad.

Households in Mae Taeng and Mae Rim were flooded. Baan Thoong Siew and Baan Pong in San Pa Tong had water levels of 1.50 meters. The Chiang Mai-Hang Dong Road from Km 9 was flooded for four kilometers and only one lane could be used, causing a traffic tailback.

Chang Klan Rd., the Park Hotel
and alcohol distillery store are flooded.

Although residents have been very worried because of the severity of the previous flooding, this time they were able to move belongings quickly following continuous media reports.


400 kg of heroin discovered by Third Army Region

Thai-Burmese cooperation

Saksit Meesubkwang

Red Wah drug dealers transferring 400 kg of heroin, pressed into ingots, were arrested at Pang Sang and Sad cities near Tachilek in Burma, by Burmese soldiers.

Maj. Gen. Manus Paorik (front center), deputy commander of Third Army Region, checks a route that the Red Wah use to transfer drugs.

Maj. Gen. Manus Paorik, deputy commander of the Third Army Region, said that 902 ingots were being transferred by 45 dealers who were protected by bombs and almost 30 guns placed along the ridges of mountains near Pang Sang city.

This consignment of heroin was to be transferred to the Red Wah 2518th battalion under 171st division in Yon city, opposite Mae Ai district in Chiang Mai, and would be distributed to other drug dealers along the Thai-Burmese border before being smuggled into Thailand.

The northern part of Pang Sang city and Nalikunjing city are closed and only senior officers of Red Wah or drug warlords such as Wei Hseuh-kang are able to get in that area by using secret codes. The Red Wah army has moved drug production equipment into Nalikunjing, so ordinary people are not allowed to enter.


Mae Ai residents who regained Thai nationality will hold merit making ceremony

Nopniwat Krailerg

Residents of Mae Ai who had their Thai national status withdrawn and their names removed from the citizens’ register, only to be fully reinstated when they sued the district chief officer, are to hold a merit making ceremony on October 1.

Mae Ai residents wait for the court ruling.

They intend to make merit for The Majesties the King and Queen by holding a ceremony in which 500 will enter the monkhood. The villagers are collecting names of those who wish to become priests, and there will additionally be an intake of novices and nuns.


Residents demand more say in forest management

By Saksit Meesubkwang and Preeyanoot Jittawong

An organization made up of concerned residents, academics, farmers and artists is demanding that the national government pay more attention to conservation of the northern forests, and that the local community has more influence in forest management.

Pinkaew Luangaramsri, CMU lecturer and Khamron Kunadilok, independent artist at the press conference.

A rally led by Dr. Pinkaew Luangaramsri, a lecturer at Chiang Mai University faculty of social science, and Khamron Kunadilok, a local artist, was staged at Baan Tarn Kaew on September 13.

Dr. Pinkaew said the government had neglected to publicize the Community Forest Act so citizens were unaware of their rights in forest management.

“Natural resources and environmental management is a public and social problem that the government should pay more attention to, besides the economy and violence in the Deep South,” he said.

Prapan Ruafoo, president of the Federation of Northern River Source Conservation presents a petition to Rapin Thawornpan, head of Chiang Mai Provincial Prevention Office.

Several government programs were causing disruption to certain communities, he said, such as building roads across river sources, proclaiming forest conservation areas where there was already a community, and going ahead with major projects such as power and irrigation schemes.

Residents were up against influential businessmen who set up factories that caused pollution, and capitalists invaded forest areas to build resorts.

Khamron said that the forest areas were not the property of the Forestry Department, but belonged to the entire community.

During the morning, Prapan Ruafoo, president of the Federation of Northern River Source Conservation, led 60 Chom Thong citizens to Chiang Mai city hall to present a petition against changes being made to areas where there were water sources. The petition was accepted by Rapin Thawornpan, head of Chiang Mai Provincial Prevention Office.


Chiang Mai mass transport conference

Routes for municipality buses 15 baht approved for red minibus fee

Nopniwat Krailerg

Autsathai Rattanadilok Na Phuket, head of Chiang Mai Provincial Transport Office, informed that committees controlling Chiang Mai transit considered two routes for Chiang Mai municipality busses to Nong Hoi-Artillery Battalion 7th and two route concessions for red mini buses to Chiang Mai Airport-government center and Chiang Mai Airport-Carrefour.

Red mini buses in Chiang Mai approved to increase fares to 15 baht because of increased cost of fuel oil.

The committees considered the request of red mini buses to increase fares including for mini buses running outside the city.

He said that the red minibus requests, both in the city and suburbs, were approved and would be applied immediately in Chiang Mai province, but routes between provinces where concessions belonged to the private sector had to wait for approval of the Department of Land Transport if they wished to increase bus fares.

Boonlert Buranupakorn, Chiang Mai mayor, said that 25 municipality busses could be put on the road at the beginning of October. The municipality had asked for participation of big stores at corners of the city to offer parking lots for private vehicles to residents who could then take the municipality buses to the city.

He added that municipality bus fare was determined at 10 baht and 12 baht for red mini buses running on permanent routes.


Longan growers fear they have been duped by bogus cooperative

Saksit Meesubkwang

Growers from Mae Taeng longan orchards have complained to the commissioner of Provincial Police Bureau Region 5 that an illicit cooperative has cheated them out of more than two million baht.

Jira Khongtaweebun (1st right), longan orchard farmers’ representatives present a petition to Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya, commissioner of the Provincial Police Bureau Region 5.

Jira Khongtaweebun and 20 other growers presented a petition to Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya on September 15. Jira said she and 56 other longan orchard farmers normally sold the fruit from stalls on the Chiang Mai-Fang Road. The cooperative however had offered to purchase the longan at higher than market prices, so she and the other signatories had sold 190,759 kg of the fruit to the representatives at 2,148,418 baht.

The cooperative told the growers to open bank accounts and money would be transferred, but a half a month has passed and no money has appeared. The growers have contacted the cooperative, which claims its head office has not yet transferred any money. The growers are now worried that the cooperative may be bogus.

The commissioner has promised that if a scam has been perpetrated, police will prosecute those responsible.


81 Yuparaj Wittayalai students to enter monkhood

Nopniwat Krailerg

October 9 has been set as the date for novices entering the monkhood, according to Pradit Jansantaw, president of Yuparaj Wittayalai School, and Thana Anonthawilad, chairman of the organizers of the 100-Year Phra Paramee Poklao Yuparaj Wittayalai anniversary celebrations.

Pradit Jansantaw, president of Yuparaj Wittayalai School.

There are 81 students studying at Yuparaj Wittayalai, and they will enter the monkhood at Wat Phra Singh Woramaha Wiharn on 1 p.m. on that date. The Buddhist ceremony will be held on the same day at 3 p.m. The monks will remain in Wat Phra Singh from October 9 to 15.

The centenary of Yuparaj Wittayalai School also takes place this year, and celebrations are being organized on December 23 and 24.


CMU veterinarians will work with Night Safari

Chiangmai Mail Reporters

Chiang Mai University’s faculty of veterinary science will be working with the Chiang Mai Night Safari to provide animal treatment and other services when the safari opens in November.

Dean of the faculty Assoc. Prof. Suwichai Rojanasathian said this agreement will be beneficial both for the safari and the faculty, allowing students and researchers access for study and also involving them in community service.

As well as this association, the faculty cooperates with Chiang Mai Zoo and Maesa Elephant Camp.


Illegal Burmese meat delivery seized at border

Saksit Meesubkwang

A pickup truck driven at high speed through the Baan Huay Pha checkpoint was flagged down by customs officers and discovered to be carrying an illegal consignment of canned meats from Burma.

Food products imported from Burma being distributed in Chiang Mai.

The tray of the truck, which had been completely covered, contained 70 boxes each holding 48 cans of meat including deer and beef. In total there were 3,360 cans, together with about 1,400 packs of dried tea leaves and four sacks of instant fermented tea.

The driver Supoj Luechai, 33, a resident of Tambon Pang Moo in Mae Hong Son was arrested and all the products were seized.

Supoj said he had been importing products such as these for a long time. He distributed them in Mae Hong Song and different provinces. There were many persons running this kind of business and he wondered why only he was apprehended. He conjectured that probably because he did not pay money to the officers.

The customs department has said that canned meats from Burma are distributed not only in Mae Hong Son but also in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Every kind of product should be checked and registered at the border, but many got through apparently undetected. Most of the consumers of the canned meats are Burmese workers, Thai residents not daring to eat the food because of possible hygiene problems.


Minister of Transport checks on development of Chiang Mai mass transport system

Nopniwat Krailerg

Pongsak Raktapongpaisal, Minister of Transport came north to check on transport projects, especially Chiang Mai’s mass transport system progress, for which the government has earmarked 145 million baht. This money was used in part for the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP) to hire Rangsan Udomsri, a transport engineering lecturer of Chiang Mai University, to study the mass transport system.

Rangsan concluded that there should be three main routes for a Monorail, completely linking all transport routes in the long term and should standardize public vehicle services to reach international standards.

The less ambitious Chiang Mai municipality and the Nakorn Lanna Transport Cooperatives have planned to serve residents with municipality busses and the old red mini buses.

Pongsak said a resolution accepted the study and would approve 700 million baht to improve the first stage of permanent transport routes in the short term and to enlarge Chiang Mai terminal transport station.

The director-general of Land Transport Department said Chiang Mai University is to study and conclude on how to improve both cases within a month.

The Highway Department recommended that a route linking the city ring road with a route from Chiang Mai Airport to Suthep junction for which 450 million baht was authorized, should be expanded to six lanes and a tender for this project would be organized this month.

A route along the irrigation canal would be enlarged to support the International Horticultural Exposition and Chiang Mai Night Safari including widening bridges or to use prefabricated bridges for some unfinished structures. All ring roads, by-pass routes to Mae Rim district and the outer city ring road and central ring road should be quickly finished by February, 2006.


Judgment drags on in Chiang Dao case

Hill tribes arrested, but businessmen ignored

Saksit Meesubkwang

On September 12, Winit Lamlua, president of sub committees of human rights in aspect of race and attorney of the Lawyers’ Council of Thailand together with another five lawyers led 47 hill tribe people from Tambon Pang Dang, Chiang Dao, Chiang Mai to learn the judgment in the case of trespassing on conserved forest.

Attorneys and residents gather at Chiang Mai Provincial Court to learn the progress.

The case was heard at Chiang Mai Provincial Court and judged by Kanjana Boonjan and Nittaya Watthanachiwakul. There was a conflict in this case as the complainants wanted individual hearings while Winit, the lawyer of the 47 residents claimed that it would waste too much time to consider individually as all 47 people were charged with the same crime. Therefore, it was postponed.

Winit informed that he had been helping these people for a year after they were pounced upon and arrested by countless members of 11 organizations, forest offices, police, soldiers, border patrol volunteers and others on July 23, 2004 on the charge that they had trespassed on a conserved forest. Not speaking Thai well they needed an interpreter therefore the case was taking a long time.

Sutha Laoyer, 23, Lahu tribesman and a cripple, one of the 47 residents charged with invading conserved forest.

Sutha Laoyer, 23, Lahu tribesman, one of defendants said that the court hearing had been scheduled almost 20 times since he was arrested and imprisoned for 48 days. It was difficult each time to travel from his village to the court and he had to pay not less than 300 baht each time for expenses. He really wished this case would be finished as soon as possible because he had insufficient money to travel frequently and his crippled condition made it difficult to find a job to earn money.

Krisman Ruanglogaphiwat, 25, Lahu language interpreter, disclosed that he would like the government to authorize land right documents for hill tribes as other Thais as they were nervous about being arrested whenever they went to till their fields. They would like government officials to treat them as equals to Thais because they had been loyal residents of the kingdom for more than 40 years. He did not understand why these 47 people were selected as there were many other residents in Pang Dang area and several businessmen had purchased more than 500 rai of land without any land right documents — but these businessmen were not arrested.

47 tribesmen sued for trespassing on conserved forest.

This case is doubly interesting for human rights organizations as these people were arrested while sleeping in their houses with fully armed officers pointing weapons on them as if they were criminals. Furthermore, the officers did not present any warrants for the arrests or subsequent searches. This act of the government officials was criticized as human rights violations.


Health and beauty expo will promote province as wellness hub

Preeyanoot Jittawong

An exhibition that will promote Chiang Mai as a center for the health and wellness sector and help stimulate tourism to the region is to be staged in February next year.

(From left) Watcharapon Watcharachai, president of Chiang Mai Health Service Promotion Association, Prof Kanikar Pongpatanakul, president of Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association; Songwit Itthipatanakul, president of Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association and Nitaka Chopthamada, managing director of C-MICE Company sign the contract to set up the organizing committee for Chiang Mai Health Hub and Beauty Expo’06.

Chiang Mai Health Hub and Beauty Expo’ 06 will be held from February 9-13 at Chiang Mai University Convention Hall, with the number of visitors from Thailand and overseas projected at 40,000. Health care products and services will be on display, and an international conference is also planned.

Chiang Mai is one of four pilot provinces to be promoted as a health center and consequently the industry and related sectors are being encouraged to develop to international standards. The expo will be organized by the Chiang Mai Health Service Promotion Association in cooperation with Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association and Tourism Authority of Thailand Northern Office Region 1.

For more information on Chiang Mai Health Hub and Beauty Expo 06 telephone 0 5322 4140, 0 5322 4141, or fax 0 5389 5255.


50 mio baht budget for Wat Chedi Luang renovation

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Mai Buddhists will renovate Wat Chedi Luang as part of the celebrations surrounding His Majesty the King’s 80th birthday, which will occur in 2007.

A budget of 50 million baht has been set aside for the two year project, scheduled to be completed in time for the celebrations.

Wat Chedi Luang’s abbot, Phra Putta Pojana Waraporn, said the temple buildings have been deteriorating over the years despite ongoing repairs and building work. A major renovation is now needed if the structure is to be secured for the future.

The Fine Arts Department has registered the temple as a place of historic interest, and the renovation plans have to be approved by the department before work can begin.

Maintaining the temple as a classic example of Lanna art is the prime objective of the renovation concept.

Funds are still being raised for the project and those interested in donating can contact 0 5381 4309 or visit the temple on Phra Poklao Road, Tambon Phra Singh.


Khum Chao Bureerat Maha-in receives best preserved building award

Chiangmai Mail Reporters

Khum Chao Bureerat Maha-in, a building restored by the Chiang Mai University faculty of architecture, has received the Best Preserved Building Award 2005 from the Architectural Conservation Commission and the Siam Architecture Association.

The faculty began planning the conservation of the building in 2001 and work, supported by the faculty and Bangkok Bank, began in 2003.

Taken into account during the appraisal of Khum Chao Bureerat Maha-in was the structural stability of the building and the relevance of its immediate environment. It will now be developed as a center of information for Lanna architecture and art and cultural research for the northern region.


Foreign volunteers trained in security measures for tourists

Southern violence being reflected in tourist apprehension

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Mai tourist police have trained foreign volunteers in security procedures for overseas visitors traveling to the province.

Pol. Lt. Col. Nattawut Chotikanjanawat conducted the session on September 17, with 35 volunteers from Britain, Germany, Philippines, Singapore, USA, France, Lithuania and India taking part.

The training was part of a program for volunteer foreigners to be skilled in rescuing tourists from any predicament while staying in Chiang Mai.

Pol. Lt. Col. Nattawut said that violence in three southern provinces of Thailand has caused foreign tourists visiting Chiang Mai to be unsure of their own safety.


Training for police in drug-tracking technology

Nopniwat Krailerg

New technology that can help analyze drug networks, and consequently aid police in suppression, was the subject of a training session for narcotics control officers on September 12.

The course, conducted at the Park Chiang Mai Hotel, was presided over by Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya, commissioner of the Provincial Police Bureau Region 5.

Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong said that drug dealers were using increasingly complex networks. New technology that can analyze and prove network relationships was going to be an effective tool in drug suppression, but the police bureau at present lacked the expertise to utilize it.

Thirty-three officers of the Security Department, Investigation Department and Drug Combat Center of Provincial Police Bureau Region 5 attended the two-day session.


Army conscript acting as drug courier for Phuket dealer

Chiangmai Mail Reporters

Police seized an army conscript smuggling a consignment of ya ba pills from Chiang Rai to Phuket as he was boarding a bus bound for Bangkok.

The incident happened on September 12, when superintendent of Chiang Rai police station Pol Col Jaran Worapatthana-nan, acting on intelligence that there would be a transfer of drugs for distribution in the south, sent a patrol to Chiang Rai domestic bus station looking for the courier.

The officers found a man answering to the description issued, wearing the uniform of an army conscript. He was identified as Pvt. Weerayut Sansaklit, 21, a conscript of the 5th Infantry Division at Thep Sri Sudachan Military Camp in Phuket. A thousand ya ba pills were found in his army bag.

Weerayut confessed that a Phuket businessman was paying him 10,000 baht to purchase the ya ba and courier the drugs to him.

Officers searching the bus also discovered a box that contained a quantity of non-ripe tamarind and three bags of ya ba, totaling 660 pills. Not surprisingly, none of the passengers or bus company staff admitted to ownership of the box.


Drug dealer gets away with three shots but drops drugs

No police injured despite point-blank range

Nopniwat Krailerg

A drug dealer fired at soldiers who asked to search him, and escaped into the night but left 20,000 ya ba pills behind him.

The incident happened on September 13, when Maj. Gen. Pairat Thongjaktu, commissioner of Pha Muang Task Force, sent a patrol of men from the force and 31st Ranger Regiment to check an area at Baan Santisuk, in Chiang Rai.

A man acting suspiciously, carrying a black bag, was apprehended by the patrol. When the officers demanded to see the contents of the bag the man produced a gun and shot at them three times before fleeing. No one was injured. Officers searching the scene later found the bag, which contained 10 packets of ya ba totaling 20,000 pills.


Burmese drug mule arrested at border

3 kg of Ice lands lady in hot water

Chiangmai Mail Reporters

A woman working at a casino in Burma was arrested when she tried to smuggle 3kg of the narcotic Ice across the border into Thailand.

The woman, identified only as Amee, age 21, was stopped by Mae Sai police on September 13. She was found to be carrying three lumps of pure methamphetamine hydrochloride hidden in golden tealeaf bags.

Police said that Amee was involved with a gang of drug dealers connected to the Red Wah army that produced the drugs in Burma.

Amee stated that she worked in a casino in Burma. The gang had hired her at 30,000 baht to transfer Ice to Taiwanese clients in Mae Sai. She was told the buyers would collect the packages from her in the late evening on that day but she was arrested before she could meet them.

Mae Sai police believe that this gang might be an international network. The value of Ice along the border is 300,000 baht per kilogram but it could have a street value overseas of as much as 28 million baht per kilogram.


Counterfeit notes on the up as high season approaches

Saksit Meesubkwang

With the tourism high season soon to begin and much more cash about to enter the province, the public is being advised to keep a careful watch for counterfeit bank notes.

Aphinan Weeraphan, manager of Bangkok Bank’s Chiang Mai Gate branch, said that customers had unwittingly been attempting to deposit counterfeit notes, including one who had brought 100 fake notes into the bank.

Bank officers can immediately tell which are the forgeries, as they handle large amounts of cash every day. Visually a fake note can often be detected by its coloring and by design faults, and by a blurring in the pattern, but even if in appearance the note is identical it is very different to the touch, feeling softer.

Another way of telling is by the silver stripe, which is easy to scratch off on a fake note.

If humans are not sure, said Aphinan, you cannot fool a machine. Bank branches have equipment that will shine a light on the suspect note and if it is a fake, the light will show a green color. Under the same light a real note will display a feathered watermark.

Deposit machines in banks and department stores can also detect false notes, and will not accept them.

Most counterfeit notes are 1,000 baht denomination, it being more worthwhile for the forgers to work on large denominations. When a fake note is found the bank stamps it as “counterfeit” and reports the serial number to the national banking authorities.


800 speed pills discovered at Mae Sai checkpoint

Border police get to bottom of drug dealer’s ruse

Chiangmai Mail Reporters

Police at the Mae Sai checkpoint discovered that a man traveling from Burma across the border into Thailand had hidden 800 ya ba pills in his rectum.

Saeng Khongkharat, 35, was stopped on September 12 while on his way from Tachilek. Officers were suspicious of him but could at first find nothing illegal in his possession. It was only his uneasy attitude while sitting down that caused them to investigate further. When Saeng confessed where he had secreted the drugs, he was asked to remove them.

Saeng told police he had hired a motorcycle in Burma to take him to a village some 8 km from the crossing, where he bought the ya ba at 40 baht per pill. He admitted he was going to distribute the drugs in his home province of Nonthaburi.


13 Burmese prostitutes discovered in karaoke lounge

Obviously not a lucky number

Saksit Meesubkwang

Immigration police raided a karaoke lounge on September 14 and arrested 13 ethnic Burmese Tai women on prostitution charges.

More than 20 diligent officers searched the premises, located in Chang Puek, and discovered 100 condoms, used and unused, in the restrooms.

Owners of the karaoke lounge Phichit Chatmai, a 50-year-old Chiang Mai resident, and Somboon Janluang, 49, of Bangkok, were charged with harboring aliens for the purpose of prostitution. The 13 women were sent to Wiang Ping House in Mae Rim before being deported.

Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya, commissioner of the Provincial Police Bureau Region 5, was reportedly angry upon hearing of the arrests, saying that Chang Puek Police Station is in dereliction of its duty, the karaoke lounge being located in the station’s area of responsibility. Disciplinary measures will be taken, after certain parties begin singing.


200 policemen search for two men sprung from Nonthaburi jail

But they still elude the force

Nopniwat Krailerg

Having acted as relatives visiting prisoners in Nonthaburi prison, three men used weapons to force prison officers to release two male prisoners and the five then escaped in a black Honda Civic that was waiting, complete with getaway driver at the wheel.

The men were named as Wichian Sawasdee, 30, and Prayut Thinna, 40. Both were being held on drug charges.

The daring escape took place on September 8. On September 16 police arrested Wichet Sawasdee, 26, the younger brother of Wichian. Wichet confessed that the plan to free the men had been planned more than four months.

Police believed the men to be in Chiang Mai prior to fleeing to Burma, and at midnight on September 17, 200 police officers surrounded Tambon Suthep in Muang Chiang Mai.

Some were placed in sois while others set up checkpoints at Chiang Mai University gates and at a route along the irrigation canal. They were looking for Wichian, who they believed was holed up near Wat Umong, behind CMU, after tracing cellphone calls.

There was however no sighting of the fugitive, and police later called off their search.


Police station superintendent removed in wake of prostitution case

Nopniwat Krailerg

The superintendent of Chang Puek police station has been removed, after 13 Burmese prostitutes were discovered working in a karaoke lounge located in his area of responsibility.

Subsequent to the arrest it was discovered that three of the 13 women, found in the Baan Santitham, were under the age of 18. The karaoke lounge owner has been charged with two more offenses, that of trading in young people and detaining them against their will.

Commissioner of the Provincial Police Bureau Region 5 Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara na Ayuthaya has confirmed that Pol. Col. Thaweechai Pratheep-Usanon has been withdrawn from his position as superintendent of Chang Puek Police Station.



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