NEWS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Vietnam monks and workers busted in national forest

Soldiers return to barracks

Mass transit system improvements to start in 2007

International Horticultural Exposition to be opened on schedule

Some community radio stations allowed to broadcast

Chiang Mai petrol station receives PTT outstanding service award

Chiang Rai International Airport celebrates 8th anniversary

High ranking police positions swept of Thaksin supporters

Hand, foot and mouth disease patients found in Chiang Mai

Thai-Japanese police brainstorm transnational human trafficking suppression

35 northern region contestants to join Miss Teen Thailand 2006

Blooming Mexican Sunflower Festival coming in November

Human trafficking income third after drugs and arms dealing

Conscript and his girlfriend busted with 740 ya ba pills

10 million baht confiscated from Mae Chan drug dealing gang

American murdered near Baan Thawai

Grenade found in Chiang Mai city centre

Electronic patrol centre opened

Smuggled goods worth 1 million baht seized at Mae Sai

North Korean asylum seekers arrested

Police and drug suspect die in car crash

K9 dogs sniff out 10,000 ya ba pills hidden in garlic

Vietnam monks and workers busted in national forest

Saksit Meesubkwang
The Deputy Commander of the 7th Infantry Regiment, Naresuan Task Force, Col. Nopporn Ruanchan and his troops got a bit of a shock on the evening of Sunday October 7 when they went to donate goods to Baan Mae Pok residents in Samoeng district. Locals told him of trespassers having built a Chinese style Temple at the headspring. The colonel enlisted the aid of forestry police, the tambon chief and village headman to carry out a full inspection.
On arrival at the headspring area they discovered workers constructing a Vietnamese priest house which looked like a Chinese temple. They were also building 4 pavilions and 4 accommodation units. Among the 90 workers on the site, 57 of them were legally registered while 25 were Vietnamese, 4 were alien laborers and 3 were Vietnamese monks. The construction site was located on an area covering about 30 rai. All of those discovered were bundled off to the Samoeng District Police Station for interrogation.
The project owner, Tuang Huwens, a 54 year old Vietnamese told police he and 3 other monks wanted to build a temple to promote Buddhism amongst local residents. He said they’d formed a company, Sukhaowadee Chiang Mai Co., Ltd. with offices in a condotel on Irrigation Canal Road in Chiang Mai. Tuang claims he appointed a man known as Kannika Donsan to manage the project and coordinate with government organizations.
Passport inspections revealed some of the group came to Thailand as tourists who are allowed to stay for only one month at a time. However, it seems they were able to beat the system by sending their passports to different locations for stamping when their tourist visas were about to expire. This resulted in members of the group being able to stay in Thailand for a number of years.
Authorities say the Vietnamese have lived and worked in Thailand but do not meet the Ministry of Labor’s policy regarding entry to the country as tourists. The Vietnamese workers are being held in custody while the Thais have been released along with the monks, although the monks have been told to remain in the area and the project has been halted until the investigation is concluded.
Col. Nopporn has ordered administrative officers, police and forestry officers to again inspect the construction site as it seems it covers an area of 30 rai when it should have been restricted to 4 rai. If forestry officers have neglected their duties they could face legal proceedings.


Soldiers return to barracks

Soldiers providing security in Chiang Mai ordered to return to camp.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Soldiers that had been guarding strategic points within Chiang Mai following the coup of September 19 have been ordered to return to barracks. After the coup soldiers had become a familiar sight at embassies, the airport, and important roads. The order follows the appointment of Pol. Sorayuth Juthanon as the 24th prime minister of Thailand on October 1.
Pol. Lt. Sombat Bonnkorkaew, commander of the 7th Army Battalion, brought soldiers out to thank merchants in Ton Phayom market, Suthep sub-district, for their support of soldiers during the democratic reform movements operation, specifically for their prompt delivery of food.
All troops active in Chiang Mai were ordered to return to barracks as of October 2, 1:00 p.m.


Mass transit system improvements to start in 2007

Saksit Meesubkwang
Charnchai Kilapaeng, head officer of Chiang Mai Land and Transport Office, informed reporters that as part of a drive to persuade car owners to switch to the mass transit system, minibuses were being introduced to improve the service between Chiang Mai city and a number of Chiang Mai districts. The Office of Chiang Mai Land Transport hopes to improve minibus services to San Khampaeng, Doi Saket, Mae Rim, San Sai and Hang Dong districts.

Chiang Mai Land Transport Office showed the a/c minibuses scheduled to be used between central Chiang Mai and other districts.

Previous to this announcement the Chiang Mai Land Transport Office and invited organisations involved in mass transit, such as transportation cooperatives and companies permitted to run transportation businesses. All participating organisations agreed to improve service by running between 2 and 4 air conditioned buses on each route. The pilot project of the service was launched on September 26. If the pilot project is a success air-conditioned minibuses will be running in many Chiang Mai districts from the beginning of 2007.


International Horticultural Exposition to be opened on schedule

Preeyanoot Jittawong
Organisers of the International Horticultural Exposition confirmed that the expo would be ready for its November 1 opening, and that it is not affected by the current political situation. They said that the preparation was 85% complete.
Bunphot Hongthong, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, made the announcement at a meeting with representatives of various foreign nations. He pointed out that the expo was an event to celebrate both the 60th anniversary of the ascension of HM the King to the throne and HM the King’s 80th birthday next year and as such would not be affected by events in the political arena.
Bunphot added that many of the gardens on display at the expo, from both public and private sector organisations, use the sustainable development ideas of HM the King, such as the use of vetiver grass to protect the soil surface. At present there are 22 separate organisations displaying gardens at the expo along with 33 countries from five different continents. The expo will be divided into four different sections: indoor and outdoor gardens, indoor exhibitions and art and culture performances.
Bunphot said he was extremely happy with the way that the expo was progressing and urged all Chiang Mai organisations to get ready to welcome tourists on November 1. He said he believed the expo would be Thailand’s greatest tribute to HM the King.


Some community radio stations allowed to broadcast

Others not

Staff Reporter
Chuchoke Thongtaluang, head officer of Chiang Mai Public Relations Office revealed that the Third Army Region had allowed 17 community radio stations in the northern region to resume their broadcasting providing they abided by the following 16 conditions:
1. The community radio stations have to publish statements of the Council for Democratic Reform (CDRM) whenever it has announcement.
2. The community radio stations have to publish news according to the truth with intention of supporting the unity of the nation.
3. The community radio stations are not allowed to air news that might cause disharmony.
4. The community radio stations are prohibited from offering phone in shows.
5. SMS is not allowed.
6. The community radio stations broadcasting post height must not interfere with other government TV and radio signals.
7. Radio programs must publish the speeches, commands and projects of the royal family at 8:00 am and 6:00 pm along with the national anthem. The national anthem must also be played at the close of the radio station. Statements from the government public relations department must be announced at 7:00 am and 7:00 pm, while statements from the Royal Thai Army are to be reported at 11:30 am and 1:00 pm.
8. Any stations that infringe on other radio station’s signals have to make alterations so that they have their own frequency.
9. Any station not registered as a community radio station has to inform the government public relations department in their respective areas.
10. Community radio stations have to enforce their own standards of good conduct.
11. Community radio stations may not air anything that may adversely affect the nation, the religion or the monarchy.
12. Community radio stations must ostracise stations that may cause disharmony and chaos.
13. Community radio stations must support the CDRM and support ethically sound politicians.
14. Community radio stations must be broadcasted in Thai, unless they have the permission of their governor. If the radio stations are broadcast in other languages, Thai translations must be provided.
15. Any stations that do not follow these rules will be commanded to cease broadcasting until they comply.
16. The DJs have to have a DJ permit except true local DJs.
Chuchoke added that nine Chiang Mai community radio stations were forbidden to broadcast, identified as: 101.00 MHz of Fang district and 90.65 MHz , 103.40 MHz and 93.70 MHz of Muang district, 89.70 MHz and 101.20 MHz of San Patong district, and 90.40 MHz, 104.10 MHz and 105.40 MHz of San Sai district.
However, it was found that of the 500 community radio stations of the 17 northern provinces faced technical problems, and have therefore been prevented from broadcasting. CDRM spokespersons said that these stations were considered to be threats to national stability, but could still apply for permission to broadcast as each application was taken on a case-by-case basis.


Chiang Mai petrol station receives PTT outstanding service award

Saksit Meesubkwang
Wilai Service PTT Petrol Station, located on the 10 km point of the Chiang Mai-Doi Saket road has been selected to receive an award for outstanding service by PTT of Thailand Public Co. Ltd. The service station offers numerous features for motorists and local people alike, as well as selling petrol.

The coffee shop at the station has become quite popular.

Wilai Service PTT Petrol Station managing director, Somlak Chuasomboon, said that she had inherited the petrol station from her parents and that it had been open for the last 33 years. This makes it one of the oldest operational petrol stations in Chiang Mai, as many others had since closed down due to the 1997 economic crisis and rising oil prices. The petrol station also offers oil changes by certified professionals and general care car services on its 3-rai premises.
In front of the petrol station a restaurant, coffee shop and mini-mart are provided for weary drivers. The grounds are decorated with a small waterfall, a small garden and clean restrooms. Somlak revealed that over the past three years the station had been attracting more and more customers from the local area, as well as drivers passing through. After examining the petrol station PTT officers proposed that it be awarded with two prizes; the most complete service station in the northern region and the no. 1 PROTEC oil change service centre in Thailand. Somlak said that she was very proud and that in her 33 years of working at the service station she never thought that she would receive any awards for her efforts.
Somlak added that she would like to invite customers to taste the service station’s “Amazon” and “Caf้ au Lait” coffee brands, priced at between 25 and 85 baht a cup both hot and cold. The restaurant serves both Thai and Western food and has both an air-conditioned indoor section and an outdoor section.


Chiang Rai International Airport celebrates 8th anniversary

Staff Reporter
October 2 saw the eighth anniversary of Chiang Rai International Airport as a member of the Airports of Thailand Public Co. Ltd. The occasion was attended by many members of the public and private sectors.
Prathuang Sornkham, director of Chiang Rai International Airport, told reporters that at the moment the airport did not cover its operating costs. The airport currently fields four THAI flights from Chiang Rai to Bangkok, three Air Asia flights and one Orient flight, but hopes to expand to cover its financial costs. The airport has been in negotiation with southern China, Burma and Laos, and hopes that these negotiations will lead to the opening of a regular route to Yunnan in southern China, in the near future. The airport also plans to coordinate with the Civil Aviation Teaching Centre in establishing a pilot school by 2008.
Prathuang added that for the forthcoming tourist season the airport had improved in service provision, officer training, cleanliness and security and considered itself 100% ready. In 2007 the traffic through the airport is expected to grow by 15%.


High ranking police positions swept of Thaksin supporters

Nopniwat Krailerg
On September 26, Pol. Gen. Kovit Wattana, acting as police committee chairman appointed by the CDRM, held an emergency meeting regarding the promotion and transfer of commissioner and commander-rank police officers. Reports indicate that police officers close to Pol. Lt. Col. Thaksin Shinawatra are to be transferred to less prominent positions.
Following the meeting, on September 27, Kovit asked registrar police officers to check a list of 130 potential commissioner and commander rank police officers. The names on the list had been approved at the previous day’s meeting and were to be forwarded to leader of the CDRM, Sondhi Boonyaratklin, in order for him to approve and forward the list to HM the King.
The meeting follows an order from the CDRM to cancel the promotions of any high ranking police officers who received their promotions directly before the coup. Provincial Police Bureau Region 5, which has responsibility for the eight upper northern provinces, will see Pol. Lt. Gen. Wutti Withitanon moving into the commissioner post from his present prestigious position as commissioner of the Royal Thai Police, while the present commissioner, Pol. Lt. Gen Panupong Singhara Na Ayutthaya, will be promoted to the position of assistant to the Royal Thai Police commissioner. Rumours have circulated suggesting that Pol. Lt. Gen. Wutti’s demotion is due to his acquaintance with Pol. Lt. Col. Thaksin as 10th generation graduates of the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School.
Many commander-rank positions also saw changes in the northern region. Pol. Maj. Gen. Bandhop Sukhonthaman, commander of Phayao Provincial Police, was promoted to commander of Chiang Mai Provincial Police, Pol. Maj. Gen. Jiruj Promobol, commander of Chiang Mai Provincial Police was transferred to commander of Lampang Provincial Police, Pol. Maj. Gen. Nathanont Singhara Na Ayuthaya, commander of the 3rd Forensic Office was moved to the position of commander of Lamphun Provincial Police, and Pol. Maj. Gen. Suthep Dejraksa, commander of Mae Hong Son Provincial Police was moved to commander of Chiang Rai Provincial Police. The transfers and promotions will take effect in October.


Hand, foot and mouth disease patients found in Chiang Mai

Staff Reporter
Chiang Mai Public Health Office has warned that 28 Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) patients have been discovered in Chiang Mai, but there are as yet no reports of any deaths. The Public Health Office warned that any children who display rashes and pustules should see a doctor immediately.
Dent. Surasingh Wisarutrat, deputy Chiang Mai Public Health officer, said that since the early 2006 28 HFMD cases had been discovered in many districts. The disease is caused by Enteroviruses, especially enterovirus 71 which can in some cases lead to death. The virus can spread by patients’ secretions and faeces. The majority of patients are small children and kindergarten students who become infected after not washing their hands after going to the toilet.
Dent. Surasingh also suggested that nurseries and kindergartens should take care of the cleanliness of their toilets by applying detergent when children wash their hands before meals and ensuring they clean their hands after going to the toilet. Children’s clothes and toys also need to be cleaned. If children are infected with a strain of the virus which is not enterovirus type 71, they will be better between 7 and 10 days.


Thai-Japanese police brainstorm transnational human trafficking suppression

Saksit Meesubkwang
On October 5, at the Meeting Room of Chiang Mai Provincial Police, Deputy Chiang Mai Provincial Police Pol. Col. Chamnan Ruadrew hosted a meeting with police officers from cities in Japan; Tokyo, Kanagawa, Shizuoka, Yoko, Nara, and Oga, led by Pol. Lt. Col. Shiroyui Ota, chief of human-trafficking suppression team, Tokyo, Japan. The meeting aimed to exchange information about human trafficking suppression measures in Japan and Thailand.
Pol. Lt. Col. Shiroyui said that in the past, Japan had faced a number of human trafficking and prostitution problems. Prostitutes came from various countries in Asia, including Thai women from Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, who entered Japan as tourists. Once their visa expired, however, they would stay in Japan, a number of them becoming prostitutes. Some were lured to Japan by companies promising marriage with Japanese men only to find themselves forced to work as prostitutes. Pol. Lt. Col. Shiroyui revealed that at present there are more than 5,000 Thai women who live illegally in Japan, mostly, they in Chiba.
The meeting hoped to find solutions to the problem of the repatriation of these Thai women and to exchange information regarding problems and obstacles faced when trying to combat human trafficking. They aimed to close legal loopholes that trafficking gangs exploited and make their operations more difficult.
“The human-trafficking problem, especially concerning Thai women being lured into prostitution has been chronic in Japan for years,” Pol. Col. Chamnan said. “This problem has damaged Thailand’s image. Chiang Mai Provincial Police does not ignore this problem. If we got any information regarding human-trafficking activities, we immediately sent our suppression officers to arrest any of them. We have also set up northern region police coordination centres to help combat the problem.”
The meeting was considered a step forward in Thai-Japanese police cooperation. Along with the meeting, Japanese police officers visited a number of Chiang Mai-based NGOs concerned with human trafficking.


35 northern region contestants to join Miss Teen Thailand 2006

Some of the contestants that will be competing in the Miss Teen Thailand 2006 from the north region.

Preeyanoot Jittawong
The northern region has selected 35 beautiful young ladies to attend Miss Teen Thailand 2006 to compete for a 100,000 baht cash prize, a diamond crown and the opportunity to become a celebrity.
Miss Teen Thailand 2006, the north region first round was finished on October 1, 2006 at Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel. Many young ladies were interested in the contest as many as last year, and those 35 contestants chosen from 125 persons.
Miss Teen Thailand is one of four national beauty contests open to female teenagers aged between 15 and 18 years old. This contest opens opportunities for courageous and smart teenagers to present their abilities so they might become as well known as the several previous Miss Teen Thailand winners.
The 35 northern contestants will join another round with representatives from other regions. After the next round, only 42 persons will be selected to compete in the final round on October 27, 2006 in Bangkok. Miss Teen Thailand will receive a diamond crown, an aiguillette, a gold brooch, an honorary trophy and 120,000 baht in cash, together with a Mitsubishi Lancer car.


Blooming Mexican Sunflower Festival coming in November

Tourists visit the blooming Mexican Sunflower field every year. (File photo)

Staff Reporter
Mae Hong Son province, in cooperation with Khun Yuam district, plans to hold the Blooming Mexican Sunflower Festival 2006 in November to coincide with the a World War II remembrance ceremony.
Mae Hong Son Governor Direk Konkleeb revealed that every year at Doi Mae U-Khor, Mae U-Khor sub-district, Khun Yuam district in Mae Hong Son, there are numerous beautiful blooming Mexican Sunflower Weeds covering a 20 sq. km. area. The area has attracted numerous tourists to Mae Hong Son. The festival will coincide with the start of the cold season and the start of tourism season, enabling tourists to experience the beauty of the flower field, the only one of its kind in Thailand. The festival is part of the province’s overall tourism strategy of “Paradise on the Mountain”. The festival will take place between November 1 and December 5.
Khun Yuam assistant district officer Nimit Raikhlongkhru added that the opening ceremony will be held on November 11 at Khun Yuam Airport at 6.00 p.m. There will be shows from Tai, Hmong, and Lisu tribes and a reenactment of the Japanese advance through Khun Yuam during World War II. The district will put armaments from the war on display as a reminder of those who lost their lives in battle.
Tourists and people who are interested in attending the festival can find further information at: Tel. 0-5369-1108 or Khun Yuam assistant district officer Nimit Raikhlongkhru’s cell phone number, Tel. 087-1807811.


Human trafficking income third after drugs and arms dealing

Saksit Meesubkwang
The Human Trafficking prevention and Suppression Centre of the Social Development and Human Security Office organised a meeting to discuss the problem of human trafficking on September 29 at the Holiday Garden Hotel, Chiang Mai. The meeting was presided over by Chiang Mai deputy governor, Thongchai Wongrianthong.
Thongchai noted that human trafficking was rapidly becoming a national problem, despite government efforts to suppress it. Chiang Mai itself had developed both as a source and destination of human trafficking gangs. Participants in the meeting urged members of the press to give coverage to this issue. They argued that if the issue of human trafficking was at the forefront of the public’s minds, gangs would find it increasingly difficult to operate here.
The meeting revealed that human trafficking, after drugs and weapons, was one of the most lucrative criminal activities, generating an estimated 7 billion dollars worldwide per year.
Policewoman Major Jariyan Puttanurak, representative of Chiang Mai provincial police, revealed that the majority of human trafficking in Chiang Mai centred on illegal labour. She revealed that gangs would charge between five and six thousand baht per head for transfer from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai, Bangkok and other major cities. She also revealed that the trade in women as sex workers was increasing and becoming more violent, especially amongst Tai tribe women under the age of 18.
Although law enforcement agencies are making some inroads into the human trafficking gangs, often the unwillingness of the victims to cooperate in the legal process means that suppression remains difficult. International surveys report that Thailand is one of the major countries involved in human trafficking, as a source, destination and transit point. It was noted, however, that Thailand’s efforts to combat human trafficking had been amongst the most concerted in the region.
Suriya Kasame-sirisawat, manager of the Trafford Project of Thailand Northern Region pointed out that human trafficking remains strong in the region despite campaigns against child labour, beggars and the sex trade. She said that human trafficking gangs pose as tourists, businessmen and even advertise as “Thai Bride” wedding agencies.


Conscript and his girlfriend busted with 740 ya ba pills

Staff Reporter
Police, in cooperation with military police, discovered 740 ya ba pills hidden in the panties of the girlfriend of an army conscript, during a search of a Transport Co. Ltd. bus at Chiang Rai bus terminal on September 29.
Pvt. Pongphan Roengjai, 25, a conscript in the Royal Thai Army Chemical Department, and his girlfriend, Samniang Khankaew, 26, a resident of Ayuthaya, were noticed looking suspicious as police searched the bus. Officers asked them to get off the bus and female officers searching Samniang discovered the ya ba. Both were arrested and taken for interrogation by the military police, owing to the fact that Pvt. Pongphan is in the army.
During questioning, Samniang confessed that the reason for smuggling ya ba was that she wished to earn some money to spend with her boyfriend after he was decommissioned.


10 million baht confiscated from Mae Chan drug dealing gang

Staff Reporter
Mae Chan Police Station, Chiang Rai recently confiscated possessions worth 10 million baht from a transnational drug dealing gang.
Pol. Col. Wanchai Suwansirikhet, superintendent of Mae Chan Police Station, Chiang Rai, together with other officers traveled to check the confiscated possessions of Thanakorn Je-uma and Lampha Kruthanee, two suspects who have so far managed to escape arrest. In the meantime, two members of the gang, identified as Plian Weerasak, resident of Fang, and Ibroheng Hayimateng, resident of Narathiwat, were arrested on September 24 while transferring 200,000 ya ba pills and 2 kg of heroin.
Following questioning, the two men confessed and revealed that Thanakorn and Lampha were the financial backers of the drug gang. They transferred the drugs from Thachilek, Burma to distribution points in Malaysia. In total the police confiscated 9 pick-ups and cars, two houses and property worth 10 million baht.


American murdered near Baan Thawai

Nopniwat Krailerg
On September 29 the body of an American male, John LaChapelle, 43, was discovered at a house in Rattanaporn Ville, Tambon Khun Khong, near the handicraft village of Baan Thawai. On initial investigation police ascertained that LaChapelle had been shot twice with a shotgun: once in the back and once at the waist.
The body was discovered by Sineeporn Phanthawong, a lawyer for ICO International Group Co. Ltd. at 3 p.m. on September 29. Sineeporn said that LaChapelle had agreed to meet her at ICO offices the previous day. He had not turned up for his appointment so Sineeporn had decided to contact him at his house the following day. On arriving at the house she found him dead in the kitchen. He was topless and wearing a pair of brown shorts. Police investigators said that he had been dead approximately 24 hours.
LaChapelle had been indicted for fraud by a partner in his export company, Worldwide International and Export Co. Ltd. The contestant in the fraud case claimed that LaChapelle had claimed he needed 2 million baht to set up the company and received a payment of 200,000 baht. Following the payment, LaChapelle had disappeared. After checking the company profile, the partner discovered that Worldwide International Export Co. Ltd. did not exist. On discovering this, they filed fraud charges against LaChapelle.
ICO lawyers had managed to contact LaChapelle and arranged to negotiate the debt with the aggrieved party at the company’s offices near Payap University. LaChapelle, however, never turned up for the appointment.
At present police believe there are two possible motives for the murder: the fraud and the fact that LaChapelle was committing adultery with a Thai woman. Police also believe that the murderer was known to LaChapelle.


Grenade found in Chiang Mai city centre

An officer of the law carefully inspects a grenade found at Thapae Gate.

Saksit Meesubkwang
An M.26 grenade was discovered at Thapae Gate on October 3, hidden in a flower bucket. Chiang Mai Municipality police officers, who are responsible for the public garden, informed Muang Police Station before Mae Rim border patrol police arrived to dispose of the devise.
Following an investigation, it was learnt soldiers of the CDRM had stationed a checkpoint at Thapae gate before being ordered back to barracks earlier this week. Since while the soldiers were on duty no unusual events were reported, police concluded the grenade was the work of youth gangs who had hidden it on seeing the police.
However, some security officers believe that it was planted by groups still loyal to former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, but were unable to plant the device while soldiers were on duty.


Electronic patrol centre opened

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

Staff Reporter
Pol. Lt. Gen. Panupong Singhara Na Ayuthaya, commissioner of Provincial Police Bureau Region 5, opened Chiang Mai’s Electronic Patrol Command Centre. The Command Centre is meant to increase officers’ potential for controlling, operating, recording and analyzing information and increase their effectiveness in providing security. The private sector contributed 3.5 million baht towards the centre.
Panupong explained that the centre would initially focus on providing security and assistance to tourists visiting the International Horticultural Exposition 2006 between November and January. Around 10,000 officers from Chiang Mai and nearby provinces are ready for duty both inside and outside the expo. In the event that police numbers are insufficient, officers will be brought in from nearby provinces. On the opening day of the expo, around 3,000 officers will be on duty.


Smuggled goods worth 1 million baht seized at Mae Sai

Staff Reporter
Smuggled goods worth approximately 1 million baht were seized by Mae Sai customs and military officers of the Pha Muang Task Force at the Thai-Burmese border, Mae Sai.
The officers intercepted the goods on Sai Lom Joy Road in Mae Sai’s Wiang Phang sub-district. Following an inspection of the goods officers discovered 150 VCD and DVD movies, audio CDs and 900 fake Polo, La Coste and Blueberry shirts with a total value of 1 million baht. Officers arrested some of the smugglers, but three men, believed to be Burmese, fled across the Sai River into Burma.
Following the seizure, customs officers speculated that the goods might belong to a traders group who were attempting to replace lost and damaged stock from the recent floods. The products would probably be sent to Bangkok and Songkhla’s Hat Yai district. Officers stated that investigations concerning the owner of the goods would continue.


North Korean asylum seekers arrested

Staff Reporters
On September 27, Chiang Saen district police officers arrested six North Korean asylum seekers, along with the Laotian boat pilot who attempted to smuggle them into Thailand.
The North Koreans were arrested by the Special Task Force of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment in cooperation with Mekong Patrol Boat Team, Chiang Rai, while disembarking onto the riverbank at Golden Triangle border point of at Chiang Saen district. After questioning via an interpreter, officers discovered that this group of North Koreans had hid in Mom, Laos, and hired a Laotian boat to bring them to Thailand in order to refuge from the Stalinist North Korean regime.


Police and drug suspect die in car crash

Nopniwat Krailerg
At midnight on the night of September 26, a pick up truck transporting three drug suspects crashed into a tree outside Rong Tharn Public Health Office in Chai Prakarn district. Jatuphon Phumchat, one of the drug suspects and Pol. Sen. Sgt. Maj. Somphet Phrombat, investigation squad leader of Chai Prakan district, were both killed in the collision.
The remaining two drug suspects, along with two custody officers, were wounded and taken to Nakhon Ping Hospital for treatment.
The pick-up was returning from a press conference at which police announced the arrest of the three drug suspects and the confiscation of 300,000 ya ba pills and 3 million baht worth of property.
Reports stated that while returning the suspects to Chai Prakan police station during a heavy rainfall, the pick-up had swerved to avoid a motorcyclist, crashing into a tree as it did so.


K9 dogs sniff out 10,000 ya ba pills hidden in garlic

Saksit Meesubkwang
At 10 a.m. on September 27, undercover police arrested Thongchai Chamwong, 41, in possession of 10,000 ya ba pills. Earlier in the day police received information that ya ba dealers from Chiang Mai would be conducting a drug deal in Mae Rim district. Officers disguised as financial backers arranged to meet Thongchai at a cemetery in Baan Huay Nam-Rin, Mae Rim.
At 10 a.m. Thongchai arrived in a Suzuki Caribbean, only to be arrested by 20 police officers. On searching the vehicle officers discovered four packs of ya ba wrapped in black tape and covered in garlic to disguise the smell. Thongchai was arrested and the ya ba, along with a cell phone, was confiscated. Following his arrest, Thongchai was taken for interrogation at the Special Investigation Office, Provincial Police Bureau Region 5. Thongchai was charged with possession of amphetamines with intent to supply.
During the investigation police discovered that Thongchai’s wife, Patcharee Damnernnathee was arrested in a similar case last year and is currently imprisoned in Chiang Mai Female Prison.