Governor places wreath in memory of King Rama V on Piyamaharaj Day
On October 23, Piyamaharaj Day, Chiang Mai Governor Suwat
Tantipat headed foreign consulates, MPs, senators, government officials,
police, soldiers, students and residents to place a wreath in respect of the
memory of King Rama V at the monument in front of Chiang Mai City Hall.
The occasion began with a religious ceremony followed by
the wreath laying and then an address by the governor.
Piyamaharaj Day is the day that King Rama V passed away.
One of Thailand’s most beloved monarchs, he was a great reforming King,
improving education, the military and communications, and abolishing
slavery. His passing on October 23, 1910, was followed by a period of great
national mourning and Piyamaharaj Day is a time all Thais reflect upon the
immense changes he brought to society.
Activities always organized on this day include seminars and exhibitions,
and public buildings and private households display the Thai national flag.
Met Center again warns of thunder showers and plunging temperatures
The Northern Meteorological Center is warning
residents that clouds, thunder showers and heavy winds will cover the
region before the temperature plummets in the middle of November. There
will be fog in many areas and the cold spell will last until early
The weather will be at its coldest during the latter
part of December through to the beginning of January, hovering around
13-15 degrees Celsius. Winter will end in the middle of February when the
cold winds from China will lessen.
Thunder showers in November and December may be
accompanied by heavy winds and hail that could cause damage to homes and
agriculture, and endanger life, warns the Met Center.
Public Health Minister visits Chiang Mai
to implement bird flu prevention measures
Suchai Charoenratanakul, Minister of Public Health, has
visited the Regional Medical Science Center in Chiang Mai to discuss bird
flu prevention measures and to implement the government’s new policy of
monitoring and control.
Director of the center, Sutheewan Sri-upayok said that to
date 42 people from Chiang Mai, Phayao, Lampang, Mae Hong Son, Lamphun and
Phrae had been tested for possible bird flu, but that in none of the cases
had the virus been found.
The minister said the government has set up 1,300 mobile
teams that can be dispatched to areas of a suspected outbreak within 24
hours. Doctors are on continual alert in every hospital and in the 12
regional medical science centers throughout the country so they can
immediately spot any suspected symptoms of the disease.
Suchai said that 300,000 doses of vaccine were being
provided for those who work closely with winged livestock.
The day after his visit to the center, the minister
checked bird flu prevention measures in Lamphun Hospital.
Dr. Choochat Pornnimit, head of Lamphun Provincial Public
Health Office, reported that two patients had been suspected of suffering
from bird flu. One man was 49 years old and living in Baan Hong district,
coming into daily contact with chickens, but tests had revealed he was
suffering from pneumonia, and not bird flu. The other man was 35 years old
and living in Muang, Lamphun. He was earning income by selling grilled
chicken. The man had died but tests proved it was pneumonia that killed him
and not bird flu.
More tourists visit Doi Inthanon to experience cool weather
Temperature on peak drops to 8 deg C
The cool weather is bringing an extra number of visitors
to Doi Inthanon National Park, most of them staying overnight so they can
see the early morning fogs shrouding the peak and visit the Phra Maha Thad
Napa Methaneedol and Phra Maha Thad Napapon Phumsiri pagodas shortly after
visit Doi Inthanon to experience cold weather.
Temperatures on the summit of Doi Inthanon have sunk as
low as 8.7 degrees Celsius over the past couple of weeks, so the 30 baht
blanket and 50 baht stove rental business is booming amongst those camping
out. Hill tribes are also making a good income from selling fresh fruit and
vegetables to the visitors.
your headlights in the thick fog.
To reserve a residence in Doi Inthanon by phone, call 0 5326 8550. A
small house for three persons is 1,000 baht, and for seven persons the
charge is 3,000 baht. A tent for six persons costs 300 baht and for three
persons the charge is 225 baht per night. Anyone staying in a tent is
reminded not to place a stove inside in case of fire or carbon dioxide
Villagers block access to garbage pit at Huay Tung Thao Lake
Villagers of Don Kaew in Mae Rim led by TAO
president Nopadol na Chiang Mai blocked the route to a garbage pit near
Huay Tung Thao Lake on October 17 in protest at the pollution the
garbage is causing.
About 30 persons gathered to demonstrate against the
transfer of waste from both within and outside the city to this area,
which has seen almost 10 trucks per day unloading rubbish here for the
past several months.
The villagers say they have tried presenting
petitions before but nothing was done, and so the only option was to
close the route themselves.
Kamon Ruanthong, Tambon Don Kaew chief officer, said
that in talks the villagers had made it clear they could not stand the
disgusting smell emanating from the dump any longer. In addition,
during the flooding in the beginning of October a mountain torrent from
Doi Suthep washed some of the garbage into villages, causing a health
hazard and threatening their well water. They are now demanding that
the garbage pit business owner dumps garbage in other places instead.
Garbage pits are a continuing problem for Chiang
Mai, both in the city and outside. Dumping is regularly and strongly
resisted by residents but administrators of organizations such as the
Chiang Mai municipality and Chiang Mai PAO, and even district
administrations, still do not give the issue the attention it so
Marine Office crackdown
on over 100 Mae Ping trespassers
River trespassers are being targeted by the Chiang Mai
Marine Office in an attempt to keep the Mae Ping River clear of any
obstructions and consequently reduce the likelihood of flooding when water
Choochoke Thongtaluang, head of Chiang Mai Provincial
Public Relations Office, has announced that the Marine Office has prosecuted
31 persons for trespassing, and that evidence is being prepared against
Of the 31, the PR Office says that eight cases have been
successfully completed, in seven cases the charges were dropped, 12 cases
are currently being considered, and four cases will be decided during
The Marine Office has set up 2,000 piles at areas of the
river in Chiang Mai and Lamphun to prevent unauthorized entry by
trespassers, but it seems they are not 100 percent successful.
Zoo open for business but with heavy precautions against avian flu
Chiang Mai Zoo director Thanapat Pongpamorn said he has
placed all officers on alert for bird flu symptoms amongst the zoo animals
and ordered the spraying of antiseptic and disinfectant at bird display
Pongpamorn, Chiang Mai Zoo director.
There are 2,000 birds of 300 species on display and they
will continue to be on show during the school vacations, when many parents
take their children to visit the zoo. However, strict precautions are being
taken to prevent the bird flu virus from entering the zoo, including the
installation of an antiseptic barrier through which vehicles and pedestrians
must pass before they can enter the bird display areas.
Bird and fowl donations are no longer accepted, and
Thanapat said that officials have been briefed to keep a lookout for birds
flying into the zoo grounds. If any wild bird is found it has to be reported
and will probably be destroyed.
All of these preventive methods are being pursued rigorously, said
Thanapat, to ensure the safety of everyone visiting the zoo.
Hill tribe fair offers low-price products and cultural shows
Hill tribe products will be displayed during the high
season in Chiang Rai at a fair that will offer low prices along with hill
tribe cultural performances.
Anuwat Weerachat, director of Chiang Rai Hill Tribe
Development and Welfare Center said that many tourists, Thai and foreign,
would visit Chiang Rai during the winter, with Doi Mae Salong being
especially popular. This is therefore an ideal time to be presenting hill
The fair, named Kad Chao Khao Chon Phao Chiang Rai, will
offer products at lower prices than found in the marketplace, with the added
attraction of cultural performances that will be staged by the youngsters of
Baan Saen Sook.
The shows, to be called Akha Khon Phoo Khao, will be held
for the first time on October 29 at the Chiang Rai Hill Tribe Development
and Welfare Center, which is located at Baan Pa Meang Tambon Pasang in Mae
Kajornsak Phromboot, head of the social development
department at the center, said that the cultural performances will continue
through to April. Both Thai and foreign visitors would be charged 150 baht
for a ticket and 150 baht for a meal, and there is a special flat fee of
12,000 baht for large groups contacting the center in advance.
Accommodation can be provided in Hmong households, for
individuals and groups of up to 70 persons. More information is available at
0 5391 4471 or from Kajornsak directly on 0 1796 3734.
Panda partners prepare for their big day
Although some say it’s just pandering to commercialism
It’s all happening at the zoo, as pandas Lin Hui and
Chuang Chuang prepare to make their vows.
Sophon Damnui, director of the Zoological Park, said that
preparations for the big day - or the big days, as the celebrations will
last from November 8 to 12 - are going according to plan.
The two pandas, gifts from China, have lived at Chiang
Mai Zoo for two years. With the couple now ready for breeding, the
Zoological Park in cooperation with Chiang Mai province and Chiang Mai
municipality is organizing a ceremony intended to stimulate interest and
Activities begin in the morning of November 8 at Thapae
Gate. Visitors are invited to join in the celebrations at Chiang Mai Zoo
from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. On November 9, a parade will start from Watthanothai
Payap School at 10 a.m. and proceed around the city before entering Chiang
Mai Zoo. Participants will wear Lanna and Chinese costumes.
Voices have, however, been raised against the idea, with
some saying that the Lanna theme of the event is pandering to an insensitive
form of commercialism. As a result of negative opinion, the “wedding”
aspect is being played down slightly.
The happy couple does not, however, show any signs of
being perturbed. Our correspondent at the zoo says that they are prepared to
grin and bear it.
for brainstorming session on Mae Ping River Basin development
A conference to discuss ways of utilizing and
developing more land in the Mae Ping River Basin was held on October
20 at the Chiang Mai Hills Hotel.
The agenda revolved around the proposals to build a
new airport and industrial zone, and to create a new city area that
would support 500,000 residents.
Kruepinit, director of Department of Public Works and Town and Country
About 200 delegates took part, with representatives
from PAO and TAO along with academics and the private sector. The
meeting was presided over by Pichai Kruepinit, director of the
Department of Public Works and Town and Country Planning.
Pichai said that opinions need to be heard from
every sector to apply the plan to meet everyone’s needs. To make
beneficial land at the river basin area needs wide consultation with
all and the entire scheme should be planned to avoid problems with
flooding. Residents’ lifestyles, the local economy, culture and
tradition all need to be taken into account, and such a large project
would need special consideration in the sectors of transportation,
public utilities, tourism, and environmental management.
Prof. Manope Pongsatad, lecturer of Mahidol University and town
planning expert is explaining how to expand city area.
Assoc. Prof. Manope Pongsatad, lecturer at Mahidol
University and a town planning specialist, said that the city area
would be expanded, as per the prime minister’s policy, to the area
between Chiang Mai and Lamphun, in San Kamphaeng, Saraphi and Baan
The Department of Public Works and Town and Country Planning have
studied the flooding possibilities in the area and is suggesting the
idea of draining some of the water from the rivers so that it
by-passes the city and goes instead to San Sai and San Kamphaeng. The
water could be used in the expanded city area without troubling the
old city residents.
Public demanding more say in major projects
Khon Rak Muang Chiang Mai Alliance has met with Chiang
Mai’s governor to ask him to release more information on large-scale
projects planned for the province, stating that they want more of a say in
the decision making process.
are uneasy about the proposed cable car at Kroo Ba Sri Wichai Monument,
the Night Safari, the International Horticultural Exposition at Tambon
Mae Hia, and other projects in which they feel they have not been
The alliance, led by Phra Maha Sa-nga Theera Siwaro
and comprising monks, businessmen, academics, students, artists and
residents gathered at city hall on October 17 to present a petition to
governor Suwat Tantipat.
Information has been requested on major projects such
as the proposed cable car at Kroo Ba Sri Wichai Monument area, the Night
Safari, an elephant camp and a crocodile farm. They want to know how
these projects would affect residents and agriculture. They said that
the governor who was responsible for these projects should let them know
Although voicing their support for promoting tourism and helping the
economy, the alliance believes that development should take into account
the local environment, culture and traditions. Residents should be a
part of these projects to jointly determine the direction of development
Municipality buses will start running soon
Unless there is another unavoidable delay!
Chiang Mai’s long awaited municipality buses will
begin serving citizens soon, so says Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn.
Postponed several times already, the most recent reason being the
Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn
Mayor Boonlert said that the municipality buses would
serve on four routes and 100 red minibuses would serve on two routes.
The municipality will support these 100 red minibuses at the rate of one
hundred baht per day each, or 300,000 baht per month.
The mayor explained one postponement, saying that the
municipality had to manage the budget for fuel oil and reparation
expenses including capital loss.
He added that the 100 red minibuses that will serve jointly with the
municipality buses would be selected according to specification and must
be no older than five years. The drivers had to be polite, gentle and
collect bus fares at the standard rate, the mayor said. How this was to
be monitored was not revealed.
Hospital struggles to deal with influx of patients from the region
New building and coordination center at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital will ease pressure
Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital is suffering from
overcrowding brought on by the transfer of too many patients from other
hospitals throughout the North. It is hoped that a new coordination center
in the hospital along with the new building that will open next year will
help to ease this situation.
At a press conference, Dr Wichan Lawwithaya, director of
the hospital and Dr Chaiwat Bumroongkit, deputy director, described the
circumstances that have placed immense pressure on the staff and facilities
at the hospital.
Dr Wichan said that under usual circumstances this
hospital could support 1,400 patients and that other hospitals both public
and private throughout the Northern region have sent patients to Maharaj
Nakorn Chiang Mai if they were unable to treat them.
Patients sent from other hospitals are flooding the
hospital resulting in 50 beds per zone, when normally it can support only 25
beds per zone. Doctors and nurses have to work harder as a consequence. The
pressure has led to the resignation of 96 nurses already this year, and as a
result patient care is not as efficient as it should be.
Dr Chaiwat said that a major problem is in the
coordination needed when transferring patients, and the lack of staff to do
this effectively. Patients transferred to the hospital during the past nine
months have totaled more than 6,600, and they have been sent from Chiang
Rai, Lamphun, Lampang, Phayao, Nan and Mae Hong Son when hospitals in these
provinces have said they were unable to treat the patients themselves.
This coordination center, which becomes operational in
November, will improve the quality of service and act as an information
center to coordinate the regional hospital network.
Another reason for the overcrowding is the reputation of
the hospital itself, with patients having great trust in the doctors and the
facilities. If the coordination process is improved then this particular
problem can be eliminated, said Dr Chaiwat.
Regarding the construction of a new building for the
hospital, Asst Prof Supachai Chueratanapong, deputy dean of the Faculty of
Medicine at Chiang Mai University said that work was proceeding on schedule
and will be finished next year. The complete cost is 357 million baht. More
than 300 million baht is needed to provide medical equipment but so far only
43 million baht has been donated.
Governor steps up alert on bird flu
Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat has urged all
organizations concerned to be on the alert for bird flu during the coming
He said that the climate during this cold period was
conducive to the spread of the disease, and that any sign of it would have
potentially grave consequences for public health and for tourism.
The governor said that the Chiang Mai Provincial Bird Flu
Center that was established in the previous year was keeping an extremely
close watch for any signs of the disease but that nothing has yet been found
in any area of Chiang Mai.
Northern villagers becoming more militant
Mae Maw powerhouse at the center
Residents affected by the lignite being burned at Mae Maw
powerhouse are to issue legal proceedings against the operators and also
plan to march on Government House in Bangkok to protest that plans to move
their households have not been implemented even though a year has passed
since the decision was made.
affected by Mae Maw powerhouse gathered to sue the Provincial
Electricity Authority (Public).
On October 19, 56 villagers of Baan Huay Fai, Baan
Huay King and other villages near the Mae Maw powerhouse in Mae Maw
district, Lampang, gathered at Chiang Mai Provincial Court to initiate
legal proceedings against the Provincial Electricity Authority (Public).
The villagers say their health is being affected by
the burning of lignite used in the electricity generating process, and
that animals and plants are dying.
Maliwan Nakwiro, leader of the villagers and
secretary general of Mae Maw civil rights network, said that 113
villagers are suing the company. Chiang Mai Provincial Court has
requested 56 of the villagers to pay court fees totaling 3,669,698.25
baht, waiving payments from the remaining 57 persons who are considered
too poor to find the money.
However, the 56 villagers had insufficient money to
meet this amount, and could only afford to pay about 1,000 baht each.
Maliwan said they would be satisfied if only a few of their cases were
heard, as the important aspect was to see that justice was done.
She added that what was most necessary for the
villagers was not money but the fact they had an organization to take
care of their health, which had been affected by the building of the
Powerhouse construction throughout the country had to
be done in a way that was environmentally responsible and took into
consideration the health of local residents instead of only paying
attention to the company’s benefits.
Maliwan said that a plan to move 694 households away
from the vicinity of the powerhouse, as per a cabinet resolution of
November 9 last year, had still not taken place, even though almost a
year had already passed.
“We have presented petitions to Prime Minister
Thaksin Shinawatra seven times and every time he claimed that the
problem had already been dealt with. Residents would like him to check
for himself to see how the problem is being solved. Otherwise it is just
a deceiving resolution of the cabinet”, she said.
Maliwan revealed that almost 600 families now intend to travel to
Government House to appeal for justice.
Archaeologists uncover 600 year old crockery at city center
and Preeyanoot Jittawong
Crockery dating back to the early days of Chiang Mai has
been discovered by archaeologists digging at a site opposite the Three Kings
excavating the site.
Archaeologist Supachai Nawakanpisut said that Chiang Mai
Provincial Archeology Office had organized the excavation at the site of the
former Chiang Mai City Hall. About 60 pieces of crockery estimated to be 600
years old were uncovered when a trench one meter deep and five meters wide
was dug at the site. The items have been sent to Chiang Mai Museum for
Supachai added that the area was still only partly excavated and that
further exploration is being made by digging to the same depth.
Wat Jet Yod prepares for 550-year anniversary celebrations
Wat Jet Yod is about to hold celebrations for its 550th
anniversary, and Phra Ratcha Kemakorn, temple abbot and deputy head of
Chiang Mai monks has said that as part of the festivities 80 boys will
become novice monks to make merit for His Majesty the King.
The temple was established in the reign of Phra Jao
Tilokarat, the 9th king of the Meng Rai Dynasty. Initially a royal temple
outside the Chiang Mai city walls it later became a residential temple.
Several important structures were added, notably Puttha Kaya Pagoda, built
in the image of one of the seven pagodas in India in which the Lord Buddha
stayed, resting for seven days in each or altogether 49 days.
The 550-year anniversary celebrations will take place
between December 1-7, and 80 boys will become novices to make merit for His
Majesty King Bhumibol.
Wat Jet Yod or Wat Jedi Jet Yod is named as such because
of its seven pagodas, although initially it was known as Wat Maha Photharam
or Wat Photharam Maha Wiharn.
Upon its founding the temple gained immediate recognition
as King Phra Jao Tilokarat invited senior monks from temples throughout the
Lanna Kingdom to a conference here that discussed the Buddhist scriptures.
Major gatherings like that had been organized before in India and Sri Lanka,
but it was a first for Thailand.
Secondhand stalls moved to new area
Chiang Mai municipality has cracked down on the
secondhand stalls along Ratanakosin Road, but they are being given the
option of moving to an area on Bamroongrat Road, from the Prince Royal’s
College junction to the Ratanakosin T-junction, where they will be allowed
to operate from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn said that the stalls have
been cluttering up Ratanakosin Road and interrupting the flow of traffic.
Rather than banning them, however, and causing financial difficulty to the
owners and depriving the public of the opportunity of buying secondhand
goods, city regulations have been implemented to move the stalls into the
new area, beginning on October 29.
Animal exchange discussed with Guangzhou Zoo
The possibility of an exchange of some species of animals
between Thailand and China was discussed when representatives of Guangzhou
Zoo in China visited Chiang Mai Zoo.
The Chinese visitors were shown around the zoo, and
director Thanapat Pongpamorn said that animal exchange was one of the main
topics of discussion. Chiang Mai Zoo would particularly like to have golden
monkeys and red pandas, animals that are rarely seen anywhere, while China
would like to have Thai elephants. However, stressed Thanapat, this was just
a discussion and any exchanges would need to be authorized by both
Chiang Mai province provides
50 million baht to help residents facing cold weather
Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat said that the province
is preparing to help residents when the cold weather arrives. Government
organizations and agencies and private organizations will provide aid, as
they have done in previous years.
“Chiang Mai province has provided 50 million baht, and
in addition each district is also arranging 1 million baht to help
residents, especially those living far away from the city and in the
highland, border and distant areas,” he said.
In addition, the governor has commanded local leaders
such as district chiefs, TAO presidents, village headmen and police in every
area and in tourism places to pay attention to the security of tourists who
visit Chiang Mai during the winter. The accident rate through cold-weather
incidents has been decreasing but is still high.
So it’s winter blanket time again. Now where did we put
last year’s hand-out?
Drug dealer with 3 kg of heroin shot dead during police sting
A drug dealer was killed in a gunfight that ensued when
he was caught in a police trap. The police sting operation was set up on
October 23, with Pol. Maj. Gen. Uayporn Jittakanon, commander of Narcotics
Suppression Division 2 and Pol. Lt. Col. Chinapat Sarasin acting as buyers
for a quantity of heroin.
The two officers waited on the Chiang Mai-Samoeng Road
and a man riding an unlicensed motorcycle appeared and led them to Baan Pang
Paka at Tambon Mae Ram. There, a Hmong tribesman carrying a brown bag
emerged from a grove. The officers negotiated a deal for 10 packets of
heroin weighing 3 kilograms, at a price of 1.5 million baht. With the deal
having been agreed, the police posse appeared with the intention of
arresting the Hmong man but he shot at the officers and they returned the
fire, killing him. The guide, meanwhile, fled. No police were injured in the
It is believed the heroin was imported from Burma through
American prisoner flees from psychiatric hospital
Claims the therapy was revolting
Almost 100 police officers set off in pursuit of an
American who escaped from a Chiang Mai mental hospital, eventually catching
him near a security checkpoint where he was apprehended. He was found in a
state of confusion.
Pearlroll, 44, was found nearby Thipanet security checkpoint.
Garry Pearlroll, 44, had been working as a teacher in
Bangkok for three years before moving to Chiang Mai where, while waiting for
the result of a job application, he was arrested on June 15 for stealing a
camera. His mental condition caused concern and he was sent by the prison
authorities to Suan Prung Psychiatric Hospital at Tambon Haiya in Muang,
Chiang Mai, from where he made his getaway on October 21.
He said he had run away while being examined by doctors because he had
been subjected to electric shock therapy to his head, and he couldn’t
stand it. Pearlroll has now appealed to the US Embassy for help.
Nine missing in Mekong boating accident
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
Nine people are missing, feared drowned, following an
accident in which a boat hit a rock in the Mekong River.
The boat crashed into a rock in the middle of the stream
opposite Baan Kang Kai at Tambon Wiang. At first it was believed that all on
board had been swept away, but then it was discovered that six people were
still alive, having been picked and taken to the Lao side of the river at
Baan Tui in Baw Kaew. They were brought back to Thailand and admitted to
Chiang Khong Hospital with minor injuries. Amongst them was the pilot of the
boat, Winai Imkaew, 45, with the other five being villagers from Baan Muang
Kan, Chiang Khong.
The pilot said that 15 people, including himself, had
taken the boat out to join a boat race organized on the Lao side. The
accident had occurred on the way home, because it was too dark to see
properly. Winai had been controlling the rudder but failed to see the rock.
The six saved had been rescued by another boat, but he said the other nine
had sunk under the surface.
The missing have been named as Somphaeng Imkaew, Suriyon
Srisawat, Wasana Srisawat, Yui Srisawat, Phatcharin Rong-anan, Saisunee
Anoma, Sao Kanyana, Maneejan Anoma and Suchat Darak. They were all from the
Officers from Chiang Khong Police Station were called out
to the scene on October 18, where they joined river patrol police in
searching for the missing persons.
Armed robber who took wife and kids along gets 13 years
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
A Malaysian man who robbed a Chiang Rai bank at gunpoint
while his wife and two children waited in their car has been sentenced to 13
years in prison.
Hoi Fooj Seng, 39, waved a 9 mm revolver to force bank
officers to pack 825,680 baht into a bag and then fled in a car together
with his Thai wife Waraporn Lamoonphan, 24, and two children.
Hoi was captured at Tambon Huay Sak together with the
weapon, 58 rounds of ammunition and the bag of money. Later, Waraporn was
arrested on charges of receiving stolen goods when only 768,680 baht of the
money was recovered.
Chiang Rai Provincial Court ruled on October 18 that Hoi
was guilty of all charges and he was sentenced to prison terms totaling 26
years, 6 months and 10 days. The armed robbery charge carried a term of 22
years and 6 months, and Hoi was given extra time for charges of entering and
staying in Thailand illegally, possessing a weapon without a permit, and
carrying and discharging the weapon in a public place.
The court did, however, reduce the total prison term to
13 years, 3 months and 5 days as Hoi had accepted the charges. He has also
promised to pay back the missing 57,000 baht.
Pol. Lt. Col. Tosaphum Jaruenpon, deputy superintendent
of Muang Chiang Rai Police Station, said that the evidence against Hoi had
been quickly gathered, allowing the court to make a fast decision. The case
against Waraporn was still being investigated and a decision is expected
Italian seized with 1.4 kg of heroin
An Italian caught transferring heroin from the
Thai-Burmese border was arrested at a police checkpoint in Mae Sai, Chiang
Rai, while on his way to Chiang Rai Airport.
The arrest happened on October 18 when police and Pha
Muang Task Force officers set up a checkpoint at Tham Pla, Tambon Pong Pha.
Stefano Pelliccia, 50, was in a rented car being driven by Jamrad Insrijan,
58, traveling from the Saithong Hotel to the airport.
Pelliccia was found to have two bars of heroin tucked
into his socks and two more bars in his trouser pockets. Total weight of the
heroin was 1.4 kilograms and its value in Thailand stood at 750,000 baht.
Pelliccia said he had purchased the heroin from a man at
the Thai-Burmese border and planned to distribute it in Chiang Mai.
The driver is being investigated to see if he had any
knowledge of the drugs that he was carrying.
Two drug dealers killed in shootout with Pha Muang Task Force
Two drug dealers were killed in a shoot-out with officers
from the Pha Muang Task Force on October 21.
Under Col. Anantasak Treelao, commander of the special
task force of the 2nd Calvary Regiment, the soldiers were patrolling an area
to the east of Baan Sui Thang, Tambon Mae Ngon in Fang, Chiang Mai.
Two men aroused their suspicions and the officers asked
to search them. The men, however, shot at the troops, who fired back. The
gunfight lasted about five minutes after which the task force withdrew
because it had become too dark.
Next morning the officers returned to the scene and found
the dead bodies of the two men. One appeared to be a Chinese Haw while the
other was a Wah. Neither had ID cards. Beside the bodies was an AK-47
together with 18 bullets, a knife, two backpacks, a tube or a gram of opium,
and a flashlight. The officers informed Fang Police Station and a doctor
arranged for removal of the bodies.
Husband and wife fruit sellers caught with 22,000 ya ba pills
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
A husband and wife couple delivered a quantity of fruit
to Mae Sai and then hid 22,000 ya ba pills in their pickup for what they
thought would be a profitable return journey.
Despite their fruity cover, Phrae Provincial Police
commander Pol. Maj. Gen. Phoomra Watanapanee received intelligence that
there would be a drug transfer in Phrae on October 23, and directed Rong
Gwang Police Station to set up a checkpoint at Rong Khem on the Yantrakit
The couple’s pick-up was stopped and officers asked the
driver, Plai-ngam Samranwong, a 41 year old Kalasin province resident, if
they could search the vehicle. Also in the car was Plai-ngam’s wife
Nongluck Nakjan, 38, of Samut Prakan province (who was out of luck), and two
Officers also asked to test the couple for drug use, and
took urine samples, both of which proved positive by turning purple. Under
the vehicle the officers found packages wrapped in plastic, which when
opened were found to contain 22,000 speed pills. The pills were confiscated
together with three cell phones, one gold necklace and 25,000 baht in cash,
all of which was sent to Rong Gwang Police Station for the prosecution
Plai-ngam said that after they delivered fruit to clients
in Mae Sai they were hired by a businessman for 100,000 baht to transfer the
ya ba to a gas station in Bangkok. Officers are now seeking this
Voodoo cursed villagers club together to hire killer
Hit man’s fee cheaper than doctor’s visits?
Villagers from Tambon Kongkoy, Sop Moei, clubbed together
to pay the fee of a killer they hired to dispose of a Karen tribesman who
was allegedly using voodoo to make their people sick.
Apparently, Jaw Yoklaprasameerung, a 53-year-old resident
Karen tribesman was practicing voodoo and many of the Baan Mae Phae
villagers had become sick. They had spent money on doctor’s fees but had
not recovered. Following the failure of medical science, the villagers
decided on a more primitive method to rid themselves of the voodoo curse.
Ten villagers put their money together to hire a killer.
This time they were indeed successful, but the September
22 murder of Jaw Yoklaprasameerung aroused great public interest, which the
local police could not ignore. Officers from Kongkoy Police Station
investigated and made the arrest.
The hired killer was identified as Naboo or Jareun Paw,
age 30. His driver and lookout man was Yuthana Phochanakarnden, age 31. Both
men are from Tambon Baw Luang in Hot, Chiang Mai. The villager who
commissioned the hit was identified as Barome Yoklap-udomsri, 24, living at
Tambon Kongkoy in Sop Moei. Yuthana admitted he was hired by villager Barome
for 11,000 baht, which he and the killer shared.
Mae Hong Son Governor Direk Konkleep and Provincial
Police commander Pol. Maj. Gen. Suthep Dechraksa jointly organized a press
conference on October 23 to announce the arrest of the culprits.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Suthep said that those who were involved
in the business of hiring the killer would be pursued and all brought to
justice. However, it has been reported that after Jaw’s death, those who
were sick suddenly became well again.