NEWS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Intersection construction into penalty times after April 10

14th elephant baby was born in Maesa Elephant Camp

More claims that Anocha Panjoi is still alive

EC lays down campaign rules but media feels it is being stifled

Organic farming taught in Chiang Saen

Lamphun administrators study environmental management

177 countries to join the Thailand Codex Conference

Political conflict causing problems with northern travel federations

9,000 check dams to be constructed in Lampang

Accident prevention during Songkran Festival rehashed again

Five districts of Lamphun facing drought

Chiang Mai Municipality says forget trains, it’s now trolleys

Chiang Mai municipality denies dumping garbage outside Chiang Mai

Mae Ping River bank wall to cost 1.3 billion baht

Homeless woman found burnt to death in central Chiang Mai

Drug traffickers arrested in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai

Ah Kha tribesman incinerates 20 houses

Natural Resources and Environment acting minister’s wife sentenced

Chiang Saen customs seize Chinese aphrodisiacs

Monk arrested in luxurious mansion, selling ya ba in Lampang

Intersection construction into penalty times after April 10

Nopniwat Krailerg

Residents and visitors are justifiably complaining about the sluggish rate of construction at the Khuang Singh and San Dek intersections. The construction of the underpasses at these intersections has fallen a long way behind schedule because of work apparently stopping for long periods; and drivers are fed up with having to detour a considerable distance to perform a U-turn. They are also concerned about the grossly untidy appearance of the location and the immense amount of dust around that area.

However, construction has now resumed and the contractors are predicting they will have the projects finished by June. Nevertheless according to the contract, the construction agent has to pay a fine of 100,000 baht per day after April 10, because the work will not be finished on the date stipulated in the contract.

Porntham Yamploy, head of Chiang Mai Highway District 2 apologized for the tardiness in constructing the two tunnels on the Chiang Mai-Lampang Superhighway at the Khuang Singh and San Dek intersections. Recently construction has resumed after several minor problems have been solved and both materials and construction workers have been assembled to continue working. The contractors planned to work both night and day until the project is finished; and had promised comply with resident’s requests to widen the carriageway before the forthcoming Songkran Festival, especially at the Khuang Singh Intersection.

Progress has also resumed at the Nong Pratheep Intersection and the carriageways on both sides of the intersection have been widened for more convenience. The construction of this intersection is predicted to be completed within 600 days, by 2007.


14th elephant baby was born in Maesa Elephant Camp

Nopniwat Krailerg

There was a welcome new arrival at Maesa Elephant Camp in Mae Rim, Chiang Mai, the 14th baby elephant born under the Thai elephant breeding support project, a project established by Chuchat Kanlamphijit, the owner of Maesa Elephant Camp.

The 14th baby elephant born at Maesa Elephant Camp takes refuge under her mother.

The male baby was born at 4.00 a.m. on March 14, 2006, missing Thai Elephant Day by a few hours. He is a healthy, 80 cm tall baby who weighed in at 90 kg. after a 21 month pregnancy (637 days) for mother, 29 year old Phang Kham Ton by Plai See Daw, 42. He is a result of natural breeding and is the second baby born to Phang Kham Ton (the first is Phang Kham Saen, 8, who was featured painting in the Guinness Book on February 19, 2005).

Vet. Ronachit Roongsri told us that there were about five or six elephants being bred under the project but it was not possible to tell yet if all had conceived. The survival rate of elephants born in this camp is 100%, due to good management and resting pregnant females. There had been some problems with mothers not allowing their babies to suckle but the camp took good care of the baby elephant. No name will be give to the new born elephant until Thai Elephant Day next year.

The project chooses the healthiest mother and father for breeding to get the best babies. So far there have been 13 elephant births at the camp since 1998. All have been cared for by Vet. Ronachit Roongsri.

The faculties of veterinary medicine of CMU and Kasetsart and Thai Elephant Conservation Center, Lampang participate in the project amongst other cooperative projects, for example to check readiness of female elephant for breeding and artificial insemination by using frozen sperm.


More claims that Anocha Panjoi is still alive

Preeyanoot Jittawong

Rescue of North Korean Abductees Chiang Mai (ARNKA) has officially been given permission by the author Charles Robert Jenkins, to copy and distribute his book “To Tell the Truth”, which contains an important key to identifying Anocha Panjoi; the Thai lady that was abducted to North Korea 27 years ago and claims she is still alive.

Tomoharu Ebihara, president of Rescue of North Korean Abductees Chiang Mai (ARNKA).

Tomoharu Ebihara, president of ARNKA, said that her family had not heard anything from her for 27 years. He been to a meeting in Tokyo, Japan in December, 2005 concerning plans to rescue Thai and Japanese people who were abductees in North Korea. He confirmed that evidence was being gathered to send to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and America would help the abductees.

Passages written in the book by Charles Jenkins contained important information relevant to the plight of the abductees. He was American soldier who had gone AWOL from the US Army and had lived in North Korea for 40 years, where he had married a Japanese lady who also had been abducted to North Korea. Several points in his book that was published on October 15, 2005, mentions that his family was close to Anocha and claims she is still alive. However, the North Korean authorities have denied this, claiming that Anocha was not abducted to their country.

ARNKA realized the book supported their efforts to seek Anocha’s whereabouts so it was translated into the Thai language and will be published to disseminate information concerning the plight of the abductees.


EC lays down campaign rules but media feels it is being stifled

Saksit Meesubkwang

The Election Commission of Chiang Mai has called on candidates to learn how to campaign without breaking the law.

Theerawat Sinthuboon, local director of the Election Commission disclosed that the law and regulations concerning campaigning in the forthcoming senatorial election had many complicated details that were different from previous elections; therefore candidates needed to be informed as to what was, or was not allowed, to prevent falling foul of the law.

All the election campaign processes have to strictly follow the regulations determined by the Election Commission. For instance, campaigning to be a Member of Parliament allows the candidate to hire vehicles to broadcast his message along the street, but the senatorial candidate may not do so and must introduce him or herself personally; a representative is not allowed.

During the conference, the candidates and media were encouraged to ask questions and many reporters were eager for the Election Commission to explain the rights of the media that they felt were being curtailed. The subject that seemed to be giving the reporters most concern was why the media was limited in what they could publish about many issues regarding candidates in the senatorial election, with many matters media tried to present being deemed to be illegal.

The director informed the reporters that only the Election Commission was allowed to give out information about the candidates and their campaign. The reporters were not very happy with that reply but reluctantly accepted there was little they could do about the situation.


Organic farming taught in Chiang Saen

Saksit Meesubkwang

Chiang Saen Farmer’s School emphasized new ideas on seed-bed preparation, without burning the rice straw or tilling the field by ploughing the soil. The new method will rely on microbes to ferment the straw residue from the previous harvest; the action of the microbes will convert the vegetable matter into fertilizer, enabling the farmer reduce the application of chemical fertilizers by at least 50 percent. An additional benefit is gained by leaving the straw to rot down and become fertilizer. The covering of straw inhibits the growth of weeds resulting in a worthwhile reduction in the application of chemical weed-killers; better for the environment and leaving more money in the farmer’s pocket.

These environmentally friendly methods were taught at the Farmer’s School by Ajahn Phat Santhad, a leading expert of organic farming. He told the interested farmers in the class that project had been thoroughly tested at Tambon Sri Muang Chum in Mae Sai and had been a great success. The project using the natural methods had shown an equal or better return in terms of tonnage of rice per rai; and this tonnage was gained with a considerably lower outlay of money, manpower and chemicals.

It was asserted that organic farmers would have a better livelihood and reduced expenses and addedg income, as well as expanding the opportunity for farmers to learn new technologies. Farmers would definitely benefit from adopting the latest ideas because their former practices caused many problems for example, poor health, overuse of chemicals souring the land and polluting watercourses, marketing and product problems. If farmers are willing to join this project, experience has shown that the market will pay a premium for organically grown produce, with the public becoming ever more aware and critical of how their food is grown. The first areas of land in Chiang Saen have already been set aside for the Farmer’s School to start off the new project in Tambon Pasak Noi and Tambon Sir Don Moon.


Lamphun administrators study environmental management

Chiangmai Mail Reporters

Prapat Poojareun, Lamphun mayor disclosed that two years ago, Muang Lamphun Municipality had signed a contract on August 28, 2003 with the European Commission cooperating with the Municipalities of Sance, France and Westernburg, Germany, on environmental management, mineral resources preservation and a city garbage disposal and recycling scheme.

The period of the contract was over two years and Muang Lamphun Municipality had sent several staff members to Europe, to inspect these facilities in both countries; with the object of applying what they learned from their observations back home in Lamphun Municipality.

At the conclusion of this two year study period, in the light of their staff-members newfound knowledge, the municipality conferred to determine how best to put into practice the various concepts concerning environment management and waste disposal. The resolutions of this conference will act as a guide to other organizations for the future.

The mayor added that there were five designs to be considered, covering environment management; foul water treatment, garbage disposal by turning it into fertilizer, energy saving by using solar cells, environment protection by enforcing laws governing emissions etc., including communicating information to keep the public informed of the entire process. He expressed the hope that the residents of Lamphun would soon see the benefits of these projects and the city would become a cleaner place to live in.


177 countries to join the Thailand Codex Conference

Preeyanoot Jittawong

The 28th Codex Conference is to be held in Chiang Mai on October 30 to November 3, 2006; the first time the conference has been held in Thailand and the first time in Asia, bringing together around 400 academics from 177 countries around the world.

The conference will debate six issues concerning horticulture; with International Workshops on Tropical and Sub Tropical Fruit, Ornamental Plants, Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, including a debate on Coffee Production and Marketing and an International Symposium on Marketing of Agricultural Products.

Somchai Channarongkul, deputy director of the National Bureau of Agricultural Commodities and Food Standards (ACFS) reported that Thailand was one of the 189 countries who were members of the WTO; therefore it needed to submit to regulations and rules of WTO. If any conflict with the WTO occurred, there were three organizations within the framework of the WTO who were able to judge or consider the rights and wrongs of the situation; and one of these was the Codex Alimentarius (Latin) meaning the Food Code. Therefore, the fact that the Codex Conference being held in Chiang Mai was extremely important; as on the previous 27 occasions it had always been held in Europe.

With the conference coming here, Thailand and other Asian countries would have opportunity to offer what was beneficial for Thai and Asian agriculturists and agricultural products. It would be a huge step forward for Thai agricultural products to reach the international community.

The Codex Conference will coincide with the opening of Royal Flora Ratchaphruek 2006, the International Horticultural Exposition that is to be organized from November 1, 2006 to January 31, 2007 at the Royal Agricultural Research Center, Tambon Mae Hia, Chiang Mai Province. There has been enormous advance interest shown in this exposition, with global enquiries. The exposition will act as a showcase to promote Thai plants and agricultural products.


Political conflict causing problems with northern travel federations

Saksit Meesubkwang

Travel Federations of the 17 Northern Provinces are appealing to the opposing political pressure groups to stop their conflict, as it is causing so much dissension in Thailand at the present moment, it is adversely affecting tourism and associated businesses.

Phanom Meesuk, president of the Northern Travel Federation, Chiang Mai announced in a bulletin that the federation would like all privy councillors to act as intermediaries among four groups of people; protestors, government, opposition and senior citizens. These four groups should immediately have sit down talks with one another to try and resolve their political differences.

The federation would like the Election Commission to go ahead with the election on April 2, and would also like the privy councillors to choose someone to act as interim PM and be the leader of the government to work for the next 14 months from April 3, 2006 to June 2, 2007. They expressed their fears that if Thaksin Shinawatra became the PM again, the protestors would not stop their activities; and may even escalate them. They felt that a new short term government would be accepted by Thai citizens; and that government should appoint a politically neutral committee to amend the constitution within the next 12 months, to create the ground-rules for a new parliamentary election on June 2, 2007. This would give the party candidates on both sides plenty of time to mount their campaigns and do away with the unrest that is dividing the country at the moment.

After April 2, even if Thaksin Shinawatra is re-elected as PM, the electorate should abide by the democratic decision and stop their protests completely. The federation said that until the proposed interim government’s term of office comes to an end on June 2, 2007 and a new election is held, all sectors should respect the result of the forthcoming election; and parliament members selected on April 2, 2006 should be allowed to get on with running the country.

They felt that this political upheaval could not have come at a worse time, especially as this year the country should be united and focused on honouring HM the King. The federation disclosed that in the last three weeks since the protests started, many tourists had cancelled their trips to Chiang Mai and tourism would be fall into a crisis situation if this situation continues.


9,000 check dams to be constructed in Lampang

Chiangmai Mail Reporters

Wanchai Sutthiworachai, Lampang Deputy Governor presided over a meeting of a check dam construction project, following HM the King’s concept of, ‘80 Years 80 Thousand Dams Project’ in Lampang.

The meeting was a continuation of the cabinet’s resolution headed by Somsak Pongpanit, Deputy Minister of Interior, on August 30, 2005 when it was agreed to construct check dams along local water courses. This concept involves constructing 80,000 check dams per year, altogether a total of 240,000 dams throughout the country from 2006-2008. There will be 3,000 dams constructed in Lampang each year, totaling 9,000 in three years, which will cover all districts of Lampang. The budget used for this construction will come from CEO and local administration funds.


Accident prevention during Songkran Festival rehashed again

Nopniwat Krailerg

The Road Safety Center Chiang Mai held a seminar to come up with ideas to reduce the accident levels, which always increase sharply during the Songkran Festival.

Songkran Festival in Chiang Mai every year attracts many foreign tourists. (File photo)

Pajon Pajakul, head officer of Road Safety Center Chiang Mai said that the government hoped to see a reduction of at least 15 percent in traffic accidents from the previous year, so Chiang Mai Province is requesting cooperation between government organizations and the private sector and especially local residents.

Chiang Mai is a province that many Thai and foreign tourists like to visit during the Songkran Festival. However, although the accident and death rates of the past several years have fallen slightly year on year, the numbers of needless deaths caused by speeding and drink driving is still a national disgrace, and causes the deaths of so many young people. The police will be asked to check motorbike riders and car drivers to ascertain whether they are driving after drinking alcohol.

Wirat Rujiwattanapong, Chiang Mai Deputy Governor said that all sectors cooperated well last year; and their efforts to prevent traffic accidents had shown a reduction of the numbers of accidents and deaths from the year before. “Songkran is a happy time for the whole country, but became a time of sadness and grief for the families of 506 persons who died and the 6,194 people injured during the festivities. I hope every one will still enjoy themselves this Songkran, but show a little more restraint and not drink and drive over the holiday period.”

Considering that the vast majority of fatalities comes from motorcycle riders not wearing a suitable standard helmet, the answer to the problem should not be difficult to pinpoint, however, we shall see.


Five districts of Lamphun facing drought

Nopniwat Krailerg

Many areas around Lamphun are facing drought. Weather forecasters have been predicting prolonged periods of dry weather this year and Chumporn Intathep, head officer of Department of Public Disaster Prevention and Relief, said his department has been preparing for the eventuality.

The department has already distributed 170,000 liters of water to the worst hit areas of Thoong Hua Chang District, Baan Hong, Lee and Mae Tha districts with eight Tambons and 27 villages waiting for help. Chumporn assured everyone in these villages that help would come before they were in crisis and staff from the department would distribute water.

The head officer added that in preparation to rescue the drought victims, the department had set up a special operation center for drought relief by procuring water trucks to enable them to distribute water. The operation center was also able to provide food and medicine for livestock during the drought to support residents whose lives depended on agriculture. The department also requested urgent participation by factories in the industrial parks to conserve water.


Chiang Mai Municipality says forget trains, it’s now trolleys

Nopniwat Krailerg

The Chiang Mai mass transport project is ready to go ahead, and apparently the preferred means of mass transport is a type of electric trolley coach which will operate on four 30 km routes.

Boonlert Buranupakorn, Chiang Mai Mayor

Boonlert Buranupakorn, Chiang Mai Mayor confirmed that Chiang Mai municipality in cooperation with Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning would soon jointly hold a press conference concerning the mass transport for the Chiang Mai Municipality area. A feasibility study has been conducted over the last two months, to determine the best routes and means of transport. The study concluded that the most economical solution was to construct an electric trolley coach, because the infrastructure for an electric train with its own railway lines was considered too expensive.

The mayor added that designated stopping points to pick up and drop passengers would be provided throughout the city and further details would be disclosed at the press conference on March 30, including publishing a map showing the routes of the electric trolley-bus. He believed that the committee’s decision to go for the option of the electric trolley-bus would also be the choice of Chiang Mai residents.

Interestingly, the front page of the first edition of the Chiangmai Mail, in October 2002, had as the main story an item on electric school busses. Perhaps they have been having their batteries charged in the interim?


Chiang Mai municipality denies dumping garbage outside Chiang Mai

Nopniwat Krailerg

Boonlert Buranupakorn, Chiang Mai mayor disclosed the outcome of a Municipality Council Conference that was held to discuss the smelly problem of garbage disposal. They will employ organizations from the private sector to take care of the task, thus keeping their own hands clean.

The mayor said that a budget of 72 million baht had been authorized to employ private contractors to deal with the garbage disposal. The Environment Management Department of the municipality had started off this process in October, 2005, providing the first 50 million baht of the annual budget to get the project off the ground.

Boonlert reported that the municipality had contracted the Baan Tan Group to dispose of the city’s waste at a contract price of 690 baht per ton; and if their performance was satisfactory the contract would be renewed in April. He dismissed the allegations that Chiang Mai was disposing of its garbage in garbage pits in several other provinces, stating that it was just not true. “The contract we have with the Baan Tan Group specifically states that garbage must be disposed of in the designated places within Chiang Mai Municipality; and prohibits the dumping of waste in any place other than authorized dumping sites,” he said.


Mae Ping River bank wall to cost 1.3 billion baht

Nopniwat Krailerg

A meeting to discuss the progress of the proposal of the Department of Public Works and Town to construct a riverbank wall at seven high-risk points along Mae Ping River, followed the resolutions of the mobile cabinet in January.

At this meeting on March 10, Phojanee Khajornpreedanan, head officer of the Department of Public Works and Town disclosed to the local residents his departments’ progress and intentions so far and listened to the opinions of those people who would be directly affected by the project. A similar meeting to talk about this process was organized to be held at the end of March for further discussion.

The head officer said that his department placed great importance on these monthly meetings and although the construction of the riverbank wall would benefit all the citizens of Chiang Mai, he was well aware of the disruption that the construction would cause to those residents living immediately alongside the river. These monthly meetings would be used give the local residents the opportunity to air their objections and to share their points of view; and the planners welcomed the ideas and local wisdom that would be incorporated into the design of the riverbank wall before the project got underway. A monthly bulletin explaining the conclusions of these meetings would be publicized throughout Chiang Mai Municipality and TAO areas including the target areas.

Wilat Rujiwattanapong, Chiang Mai Deputy Governor stressed that to construct a river bank wall, five different forms of construction were being considered. The length of the walls amounted to a total 19.4 km and the construction project would be divided into seven separate contracts with a total budget of 1.3 billion baht.

He said, “It is an important part of social participation that everyone should state their preference before plans are finalized and work started.” Adding, “This needs to be decided quickly, because if the river overflowed again, his department would not be responsible for the consequences.”


Homeless woman found burnt to death in central Chiang Mai

Nopniwat Krailerg

On March 18, The body of a female was discovered to have been burnt with tires behind the Chanasilp Motor Company; ted at Don Chan Intersection, Tambon Thasala in Muang, Chiang Mai. Pol. Maj. Uthai Khadchadakham, duty inspector of Mae Ping Police Station, Chiang Mai, hastened to the scene together with Pol. Col. Chamnan Ruadreuw, deputy commander of Chiang Mai Provincial Police accompanied by forensic police officers including doctors from Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital.

The woman’s body had been discovered in a grove of trees about 30 meters to the rear of the motor company. The remains were lying amongst the ashes of a bonfire, that judging by the steel rods and wires, had obviously been created by using car tires. The forensic team checked the body looking for evidence of cause or death and discovered the woman had suffered severe blows to her cranium, but the extreme heat of the burning tires had obscured the possibility of finding any other clues as to the cause of her death. This discovery led the police to treat the woman’s death as murder and further sifting of the ashes revealed the remains of a cell-phone and a few coins scattered nearby.

Police interviewed the staff of the car sales company and were informed the dead person was in all likelihood a homeless vagrant, well-known in the neighborhood known as Kai, aged around 38-40 years. She usually slept under the Don Chan Bridge, and was frequently seen in the company of Nipon Khamjoi, 51, living in Thoong Hua Chang District, Lamphun who was employed as a security guard. and his usual place of duty was at the Chanasilp Company during the day. In the night-time he lived in a container near to the scene of the murder and many witnesses informed the investigators that he and the dead woman liked to drink together at night. They were known to have a regular, if stormy relationship; and were frequently observed arguing, so it was suspected that the security guard might have killed her after an argument and tried to get rid of her body by burning it with tires. The investigators theories were further strengthened when they learned that Nipon had requested to leave his employment at midnight of March 16 and had disappeared for two days, taking all his possessions with him. The police put out an all-points bulletin to be on the look-out for Nipon and said that they had not seen a case like this in Chiang Mai for more than ten years.

Police, acting promptly, later traced Nipon to Chiang Rai where he was arrested drinking amongst friends in the Viengchai district on 21 March. He confessed to the crime and was returned to Chiang Mai to re-enact the crime.


Drug traffickers arrested in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai

Chiangmai Mail Reporters

An anonymous tip-off to the Pha Muang Task Force of 2nd Calvary Regiment, informed them that a gang of drug traffickers would be delivering narcotics into the city of Chiang Mai, passing en route through Baan Tha Ton, Mae Ai in Chiang Mai. The Task Force set up a checkpoint in Mae Ai and flagged down a vehicle and ordered a search. Two lumps of ya ba and 4,050 speed pills were discovered hidden under the hood of the car, so the police arrested the three occupants of the vehicle and seized their belongings, comprising a gold bracelet and three cell phones, including their car and of course the contraband narcotics. The three drug dealers were identified as Surasak Anwilai, 32, living in Bangkok; Monchai Khampin, 24, resident of Tambon Suthep in Muang, Chiang Mai and Ayer Sermue, 21, living at Tambon Kuedchang in Mae Taeng, Chiang Mai. All three were arrested and taken into custody in Mae Ai police station

On the same day, the Special Task Force stopped and searched a woman traveling from Tachilek, Burma. She was carrying two gift boxes which, when opened, were found to contain 43,500 orange amphetamine tablets stamped WY. She was later identified as Pimonwan Khonthong and said that she lived in Bangkok and had joined a tour group with 30 travelers on a coach trip from Bangkok to Mae Sai, Chiang Rai before entering Burma. Having purchased the ya ba whilst in Burma, she was returning to Chiang Rai when she was captured.


Ah Kha tribesman incinerates 20 houses

Chiangmai Mail Reporters

A severe fire broke out at the Ah Kha tribal village of Ban Pha Jee, Chiang Rai. The blaze spread rapidly, gutting 20 tribal wooden houses nearby, with many other properties severely damaged. It took the villagers over an hour to extinguish the blaze; and the cost of the conflagration, which also consumed two motorcycles, and many other household appliances, came to several million baht.

Around two hundred villagers found themselves homeless after the fire; and when the cause of the conflagration was investigated, military officers found the blaze had started in the home of Acha Chemheur, the village headman’s assistant, who was known to be mentally defective.

The investigators interviewed people at the crime scene and it was found out that Acha was undergoing drug therapy. It became apparent that the hot weather had caused Acha to go crazy and set fire to his own house, which spread to the neighboring houses on either side. The officers took Acha into custody and placed him in the care of a psychiatrist to undergo a mental evaluation before charging him with arson.


Natural Resources and Environment acting minister’s wife sentenced

Chiangmai Mail Reporter

Chiang Rai Provincial Court announced its judgment in the lawsuit that Rattana Jongsoothanamanee, president of Chiang Rai PAO had filed against Salakjitra Tiyapairat, the wife of the Acting of Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Yongyut Tiyapairat; accusing her of corruptly influencing the outcome of the PAO election, held in Chiang Rai on March 14, 2004.

Salakjitra had accused Rattana of buying votes in the Chiang Rai PAO election. In reply, Rattana counter-sued Salakjitra on May 2006, accusing her of giving false information to officers of the Election Commission. The case dragged on for almost a year but finally the Court announced its judgment on March 17, 2006, finding in favor of Rattana.

After the lengthy trial the Court found the defendant guilty of electoral malpractice. The initial judgment sentenced Salakjitra to be incarcerated for 5 years, fined 100,000 baht and banned from campaigning for the election for 10 years. However, Salakjitra ate humble pie and expressed her contrition to the court so eloquently, that the judge was moved to compassion and her punishment was reduced. She finally was sentenced to be jailed for 3 years and 9 months, the fine reduced to 75,000 baht, and banned from politics for 10 years; the sentence to commence immediately. Then, in a complete about-face, the Court allowed the defendant to be bailed out in the sum of 400,000 baht; and given permission to appeal against the judgment.


Chiang Saen customs seize Chinese aphrodisiacs

Chiangmai Mail Reporters

Patcharadit Sinsawas, head of Chiang Saen Customs Department reported that his officers, whilst on a routine patrol of the wharves at Chiang Saen, had come across five suspicious crates on the dock. A check of the cargo database revealed no appropriate documentation for the crates; and despite asking everyone in the vicinity, no one accepted ownership of the boxes.

The officers decided to impound the crates and have them checked. The crates were found to contain various kinds of Chinese herbs, some of which had properties for heart and blood strengthening, internal heat and healing diabetes and 800 packages of sexual stimulants with an estimated street value of approximately 8 million Baht. The customs officers stated they would continue their search for the owners of these drugs; and when located, they would be prosecuted to the full measure of the law. However, this might be stiff assignment.


Monk arrested in luxurious mansion, selling ya ba in Lampang

Chiangmai Mail Reporter

On March 16, Pol. Lt. Col. Pithak Nasomwat, Deputy Superintendent of Lampang Provincial Investigation Department with drug suppression officers arrested Kamon or Phra Wimon Thawaro, 18, resident of Lampang, Wat Mai Nikom’s Area 3 monk, the accused for selling illegal drug along with ya ba pills. He got arrested by being lured. Officers found 10 ya ba pills and 470 another speed pills, 2,000 Baht cash from being lured for selling drugs, 4,170 Baht Cash in his pocket, gold necklace, a cell phone before having an interrogation for having illegal drugs in possession for illegal selling.

Before arresting, officers found out that Wimon had delivered ya ba pill by 200 Baht per each to teenagers and university students in Lampang. He rented a mansion at Mon Cham Sin Road, Muang Lampang to be a drug selling place. So, officers decided to arrest him by having an informer to call Wimon for buying 10 ya ba pills which cost 2,000 Baht. Before sending an informer to buy, officers had banknotes photocopied to be evidence, before waiting to arrest him.

When he delivered the drug at place, officers decided to show up before arresting him. Before the searching process at his mansion, officers found 470 ya ba pills wrapped in plastic bags hidden in his closet. Wimon got caught with evidence and was taken to have an interrogation, before being defrocked.

Wimon or Pra Wimon was a Wat Mai Nikom’s monk in Lampang and still studied in Bachelor degree at famous monastery university in Lampang. Also, he was nearly graduated in Bachelor degree, but got arrested.