Vol. VI No. 31 - Tuesday
September 25, - October 1, 2007



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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


NEWS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Airliners black boxes sent to US

Monorail goes through test runs at zoo

100 homes destroyed in Mae Wang floods

Police crackdown on ladyboys

Immigration police hold training seminar

Tops supermarket opens third store

Woman’s 80 thousand baht commission stolen

Three given death penalty in Chiang Mai court

 

Airliners black boxes sent to US

Officials expect answers within a week

The analysis of flight data recorders that may bring answers as to what caused the fatal One-Two-Go crash will be finished by the end of this month Flight Safety Standards Bureau director Wutthichai Singmanee. He added that investigators had collected all information about the weather and the aircraft as well as data from the control tower. Aviation specialists from the US were also helping analyze the data.
Of the 53 bodies of foreigners, nine bodies of Israeli and Indonesian nationals were claimed and have been returned to their families, and the remains of three dead Americans were to be retrieved by their relatives late last week, he said.
The remaining 31 bodies are as yet identified, but while forensic staff has already collected information for identity verification, the remaining bodies of foreigners would be returned to their families more rapidly if the forensic technicians received added evidence from relatives.
After a meeting of agencies concerned, Udom Tantiprasongchai, chief executive officer of One-Two-Go’s parent company, Orient Thai Airlines, said it will pay 100,000 baht (US$ 3,000) to the family of each victim killed in the plane crash.
Most of the families of Thai victims — about 27 families out of all 32 families — have already received the initial compensation. No family of other nationalities has as yet received compensation directly from the airline, but One-Two-Go is cooperating with the embassies.
Speaking about the insurance company, he said the insurer will be able to pay about 5.2 million baht (US$ 152,940) to the family of each of the deceased victims.
The injured will receive an initial sum of 50,000 baht (US$1,470) and they will receive added compensation later.
Meanwhile the Department of Civil Aviation has sent the black box flight data recorder of the airplane to the US on Friday for analysis to determine the cause of the accident.
The conclusion of investigation and data analysis will be reached within one week.
The chief of the department, Chaisak Angkasuwan said that the officials transported the flight data recorder to Washington, D.C.
The cause of the accident and overall investigation will be disclosed to the public. The conversation between the pilots and the staff at the control tower won’t be revealed as the investigation is not aimed to find someone to blame for the accident, Chaisak said.
Chaisak added that the department will meet with agencies concerned to discuss about the international aviation safety standard on September 27. TNA

 

Monorail goes through test runs at zoo

Foreigners to pay higher price

The Chiang Mai zoo monorail goes through tests runs as it prepares to enter into service in November.

Saksit Meesubkwang
The 200 million baht monorail project at the Chiang Mai zoo went through several test runs as it prepares to enter into service in November.
Members of the Board of Zoos Organization of Thailand carried out an inspection of the project and concluded that more greenery will need to be added along the routes of the elevated transportation system.
Mr. Prasert Kasemkomase Managing Director of Assets Co Ltd said the construction of the monorail began in 2005. The contract with the Chiang Mai zoo states that Assets company will receive 50% of the profits until the term expires and the zoo will take sole ownership of the monorail in 20 years.
The test runs were conducted to ensure all safety procedures and mechanisms were in working order. Tests included preparing staff on how to handle situations such as power cuts or accidents.
The monorail system will has 50 carriages able to transport passengers over a two kilometer route above the Chiang Mai zoo.
The monorails maximum speed has been set at 35 kilometers per hour.
Ticket prices for Thai nationals have been set at 40 baht while foreigners will be charged 100 baht for the ride.
The adjacent marine park is still under construction and 70% complete according to the zoo officials and it is expected to open after the monorail system becomes operational.


100 homes destroyed in Mae Wang floods

Following days of heavy rain some 100 homeowners in the Mae Wang district of Chiang Mai lost their homes after the Mae Khan river overflowed washing away everything in its path.
No injuries or loss of life were reported but substantial damage to farming land, orchards, and homes have left the residents of Mae Wang without housing and work.
Rescue teams including the Red Cross are providing assistance and members of the Tambon Administration department are providing sandbags until the worst is over.
The worst hit areas were in Ban Namton, tambon Bankad, Ban Seankhanta, tambon Tungruangthong, and Ban Rimwang, tambon Bankad, according to the district officials.
Though the water levels on the Mae Khan river have subsided more rains are predicted and residents are on alert. Chiang Mai News.


Police crackdown on ladyboys

An early morning round-up of ladyboys on the streets of Chiang Mai last week led to two arrests after most in the group of late night alleged sex workers fled from police.
According to the Chiang Mai police the kathoeys or ladyboys are responsible for frequent robberies involving tourists in the city and this is damaging the image of Chiang Mai.
An investigation team headed by the Muang district police station organized a raid at 2:30am on September 18 on Moonmuang road. As police approached, many of the alleged sex workers fled in different directions and the authorities were only able to detain two in the group. Both were charged with prostitution after police questioning.
Pol Lt Col Chanawut said the crackdown on the kathoeys came after a tourist was robbed in the area. He added that both ladyboys and female sex workers will be subject to arrest in an effort to rid the streets of Chiang Mai of prostitution.


Immigration police hold training seminar

Saksit Meesubkwang
The Northern Immigration Police Center hosted a training course for border check point chiefs and police inspectors from 17 Northern provinces to discuss planning, strategies and management of alien workers from neighboring countries.

Pol Col Krit Piasaeng, deputy Commander of the Immigration Police, Northern Office, presides at the opening ceremony of the training seminar of the immigration police from the Northern region.
The seminar was aimed at formulating stricter policy controls in order to control the number of alien workers who cross from Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos said the deputy commander of the Northern Center who added that the priority for the National Immigration Police Bureau is to uphold the country’s national security.
The high ranking police officers met at the Chiang Mai Hills hotel and also discussed ways to work together as well as ethical development and improvement.
Police Colonel Krit Piasaeng, the deputy commander of the Northern Immigration Police Office presided over the opening ceremony of the seminar which included guest speakers on minority groups and labor laws.
Although Police Colonel Krit said the number of alien workers have declined in the Northern region due to the season, policy and control measures must still be enforced.
The Police Immigration hotline in Chiang Mai is 053-851957.


Tops supermarket opens third store

l/r Chayan Petchonkram, District Director; Nick Reitmeigr, Vice President - International Food & Wines; Benchawan Ongsri - Vice President Operations; Nithirut Anansiriphoom, Store Manager.

Chotana branch is the new Tops Market next to The Novotel Hotel. It is the 98th store in Thailand and covers an area of 3,000sqm. There are other retail clothes shops, Wawee Coffee, S & P coffee and Khun Noi Bakery in the building which used to be occupied by Rimping supermarket.
Special services include home-delivery and interpreters for English speaking customers. In the near future both the Airport Central Tops supermarket and the Kad Suan Kaew supermarket will be remodeled.
The Tops Chotana branch is open daily from 10am until 9.30pm


Woman’s 80 thousand baht commission stolen

Saksit Meesubkwang
Miss Ampha Tabchu, 26, of Sansai, a sales assistant at the Mazda car dealer on Charoen Muong Road was out to celebrate at a dinner with her companion after receiving an 80,000 baht commission for selling a car. She didn’t get very far as two gangsters rode up alongside Ampha’s motorbike, pulled a pistol and demanded she hand over her bag containing her cash.
After filing a police report ten investigators went in pursuit of the thugs and happened upon them in Mae Rim.
According to the police the suspects were driving an unlicensed cream colored Honda Dream motorbike and attempted to flee up Samoeng Road when they realized they were being pursued. After an hour of hiding in the forest along the mountain road the suspects thought it safe to continue but were caught by the investigators.
The suspects, Khomchit Chaiman, 26, of Phayao Province and Kittipong Kantason, 26, also of Phayao Province were detained.
Pol. Lt. Col. Thanarach Chumsawat, Deputy Superintendent Investigations Region carried out the investigations and concluded that the robbery was carried out by a gang comprising of four members whose method of operation was similar to several crimes that have been committed in the area.
During preliminary questioning suspect Khomchit admitted that he didn’t work and earned a living with other gang members by robbing people and bag snatching in Sansai and Hang Dong areas and after spending the stolen money they would hit the streets and commit another crime.
Police are questioning Khomchit and searching for his alleged accomplices. Anyone who has been robbed recently can come to the Sansai police station where a lineup will be provided.


Three given death penalty in Chiang Mai court

Two others confess and given life

Judge Sukpichai Rattananont and a Committee of judges of the Chiang Mai Provincial Court handed down the verdict of death to three family members and sparred two others is a drug case dating back two years.
Defendants Suwan Saenfu 20, Pitak Chaisuthavee 32, Phach Saenfu 25, Chaiwat Saenkaew 27, Wattana Photethong 28 and Anchalee Saenfu 21 all members of the Lisu hilltribe group were arrested and faced the death penalty after being found guilty of transporting drugs with the intent to sell.
Pitak, Phach and Wattana were given the death penalty while Suwan and Chaiwat pleaded guilty and had their sentences reduced to life imprisonment.
The case dates back to November 2005 when the six traffickers were detained during a routine check point and it was discovered they were transporting 24 bars of heroin and almost half a million amphetamine pills hidden in three different vehicles.
The discovery was made in the Sansai sub-district on the Chaiprakarn-Phrao road.
Thai News



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