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XI No.11 - Sunday November 4 - Saturday November 17, 2012


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NEWS
 

Money Expo on at Central Airport Plaza

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittirat na Ranong and Deputy Governor of Chiang Mai Chuchart Keelapaeng joined Bangkok Bank Executives in opening their booth at the Money Expo 2012.

Shana Kongmun
The Money Expo 2012 kicked off at Central Airport Plaza on Friday, November 9, 2012 with Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittirat na Ranong opening the event that will run through the weekend.
Deputy Governor Chuchart Keelapaeng was also on hand to join bankers, business people and Chiang Mai residents in opening the expo that features booths from all banks, as well as many insurance companies, investment brokers and other businesses related to financial services.
Bankers are on hand to offer advice, recommend various types of accounts, discuss car loans, gold investment, life insurance and much more. The Money Expo is at Central Hall at Central Airport Plaza through November 11, 2012.

The Islamic Bank of Thailand was just one of many banks with representatives at the event that runs through November 11, 2012.


Lampang weather bureau monitors thick fog, affect airport visibility

Thick fog has created limited visibility for pilots in Lampang, forcing some delays. (Photo courtesy of MCOT)

The local meteorological department and Lampang Airport reported thick fog, affecting aircraft landing this morning.
Thiva Phanmaisri, head of the Lampang meteorological department, said that thick fog has covered the province for the whole week, as a result of a weather system trough, blanketing the upper part of the province and limiting the visibility for aircraft pilots and ground personnel.
On Friday morning, a reported visibility of 250 metres was considered so low that Bangkok Airways’ 70-seat Bangkok-Lampang aircraft was forced to postpone landing by one hour.
Thick fog is normal in winter in this Northern Province, and Lampang airport’s runway is near Phrabat Mountain, so cold air masses from the mountaintop flow southward to cover the runway, Mr Thiva said.
The Lampang meteoreological station must check the weather condition regularly to work with the airport and the air traffic control tower, he added. (MCOT online news).


Chiang Mai gets free wifi

Chiang Mai Mail online reporters
The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) recently announced that they have implemented 3,000 public Wi-Fi hot spots around Chiang Mai in conjunction with AIS. ICT Free Wi-Fi is part of MICT’s free Wi-Fi policy called Smart Thailand Policy which intends to install 100,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots around the country by the end of this year and 400,000 by 2015.
Residents must register for the program at www.ais.co.th/ictfreewifi. The free service offers a download speed of 10 Mbps for five hours per month through AIS partner – 3BB Wi-Fi. Registration is open until August 31, 2013.
Hotspots can be found around the city; in schools, shopping centers, the airport, hospitals, government offices, on Tha Pae Walking Street, Waroros, Chiang Mai Night Safari and parts of Nimmanhaemin Road.


German Ambassador highlighted conservation work in Ayutthaya

Reinhard Hohler
At an evening reception at the prestigious Siam Society in Bangkok on November 8, German Ambassador, H.E. Rolf Schultze, highlighted Ayutthaya and its ongoing conservation work. Heavily damaged during the heavy flooding of Central Thailand in 2011, the former Siamese royal city (1351-1767) will be rehabilitated and the Federal Republic of Germany is part of the ongoing conservation and restoration project.
Especially Wat Ratchaburana will be restored to its former glory and conserved for generations to come. It was up to the guest speaker Prof. Dr. Hans Leisen, who gave a delighted talk on the technics involved. Under the theme "Ayutthaya-Borobudur-Angkor: Three World Heritage Sites with different challenges for conservation" Professor Leisen told the audience that all three World Heritage Sites, dating from different times, bear their individual art and religious values but also their individual preservation problems.
While Ayutthaya's temples are constructed in brick and laterite stone and decorated with stucco ornaments, Borobudur in Indonesia is built with igneous rocks deriving from the surrounding volcanoes. Finally, Angkor shows different building materials like sandstone, laterite and brick with stucco decoration.
All the monuments at the three sites have their own degradation history. For each of them individual preservation plans have to be compiled and well adapted conservation materials must be developed. Every intervention has to be prepared and accompanied by detailed scientific studies and documentation. Each step needs efficient quality control tests. Last not least, the lecture sucessfully showed the continuous work of Professor Leisen at outstanding World Heritage Monuments.
Since 1990 Prof. Dr. Hans Leisen, has been Professor for Conservation Science at Cologne University of Applied Sciences, Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences (CICS) and was Director of the German Apsara Conservation Project (GACP) at Ankor Wat , in Siem Reap, Cambodia. For further information, please contact Chiang Mai-based GMS Media Travel Consultant Reinhard Hohler, who is a life member of the Siam Society [email protected]


Chiang Mai top destination for Thai tourists in cool season

Thailand's northern province of Chiang Mai ranks as the top destination for Thais wanting to travel during the annual cool season, according to a survey.
The National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) conducted the opinion poll among 1,245 Thais nationwide at all educational levels and careers concerning the tourism season in this cool season.
According to the survey, some 39 per cent said they wanted to go to Chiang Mai, 11 per cent said they chose Loei province, and 9 per cent said they wanted to go to the resort island of Phuket.
Regarding travel companions, 73 per cent said they wanted to go with family, 19 per cent said with friends, and 8 per cent said with lovers.
For each journey, most of those surveyed said they planned to take three to four days for a holiday and to spend around Bt14,500 per person.
Concerning types of accommodation, some 30 per cent said they would stay at resorts, 23 per cent at hotels, and 20 per cent at relatives' or friends' homes.
Forty-two per cent said they searched for tourism information from the internet, 41 per cent from relatives and friends, and 23 per cent from television. (MCOT online news)


Obama wins US Presidential election

Election Watch at Payap University

Uncle Sam joined in for the election watch held at Payap University on Wednesday, November 7.

By Shana Kongmun
As polls closed across the United States Payap University students joined US Consul General Ken Foster and Consular staff to watch the results come in and take part in election games and quizzes on Wednesday, November 7, 2012. Chiang Mai Governor Tanin Subhasaen dropped in as Consul General Ken Foster noted that regardless of who wins, Thailand and the US will remain close friends, Thailand remains the oldest friend of the United States in Asia.
Assoc. Prof. Penpilai Rithakananone, Interim President, Payap University joined the students and visitors to watch the election results come in and many Americans joined in the discussion, happy to discuss the pluses and minuses of the electoral college and proudly wear their buttons, “I voted”.

Governor Tanin Subhasaen joined US Consul General, Japanese Consul General Assoc. Prof. Penpilai Rithakananone, Interim President, Payap University and German Honorary Consul Hagen Dirksen for a group photo in front of the big screen.

Students participated in educational games about the election. Here students show their electoral college map.


UK Foreign Secretary visits Thailand

Foreign Secretary William Hague visits Thailand on 6-7 November 2012, after attending the 9th Asia-Europe Summit in Laos. During his short but packed visit he will meet Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and take forward the UK-Thailand Strategic Dialogue. This covers foreign policy, trade and investment links, and global challenges including climate change.
Ahead of the visit, William Hague said:
“I am delighted to visit Thailand to reaffirm the UK’s commitment to relations with Thailand and the South East Asia region. In the 400 years since the first official contact between our two countries, we have consistently maintained a strong friendship. These strong and diverse ties will be reflected in my meetings with Thailand’s Prime Minister, a selection of Thai cabinet members, and political and commercial figures. We are looking forward to welcoming Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to Britain during her forthcoming visit as a Guest of Government.”
Alongside political figures including Kittiratt Na-Ranong, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Surapong Tovichakchaikul, Foreign Affairs Minister, and Abhisit Vejjajiva, Leader of the Opposition, the Foreign Secretary will also meet top Thai and British business leaders.
He will visit the British Council head office in Bangkok and chair the signing of an agreement on an anti-corruption initiative. (PR)


World Diabetes Day

The Chiang Mai Municipality will honor World Diabetes Day to be held on November 14, 2012 with a series of free health checks for residents. Held at the Municipal Building, there will be blood sugar tests, as well as blood pressure, weight, bone mass, eye checks, BMI tests, along with consultants with health officials. Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects over 285 million people worldwide and also remains a problem in Thailand.
The health officials will be available on November 14 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Governor asks for public cooperation during Loy Krathong

No balloons near the airport

Khom Loy fill the skies of Chiang Mai during the Yee Peng or Loy Krathong Festival in November. This year the Festival will be held from November 25-29. The Chiang Mai Mail will publish the full schedule of events in the November 18 issue. (Photo courtesy of [email protected])

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai Governor Tanin Subhasaen called on everyone to help spread awareness of the dangers of hot air balloons or Khom Loy, during the Loy Krathong Festival. He warned the public to avoid using any steel materials that could cause electrical fires or shock were it to land on electric lines. The public was asked to avoid launching large hot air balloons and to announce a ban on the launching of balloons near the Airport.
Raweewan Netrawesana, the Director of Chiang Mai International Airport, said that the Yee Peng or Loy Krathong Festival was a cause of concern to the airport for the hazards balloons can cause airplanes and asked the public to avoid launching any balloons that could come near the airport before 9:30 p.m. She asked the public to call the airport if they had any questions as to when or where to launch the balloons to avoid any hazards for flights. 0-5392-2319.
 


Chiang Mai to start tackling haze early

Chiang Mai Deputy Governor chaired a meeting of all 25 District Officers as they work on developing a concrete agenda to tackle the annual fire and smog.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Chiang Mai Provincial government held meetings with all 25 District Chief Officers to strategize on ways to combat wildfires and smog for the coming year. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has called on the Governors of eight Northern Provinces to find solutions to the forest fires and haze early on so that the impact on public health and the high tourist season is lessened.
Deputy Governor Chuchart Keelapaeng chaired the meeting which was held in cooperation with the Office of Natural Resources and Environment. A committee has been appointed to integrate collaboration and to determine an action plan to implement over the next 4 years to control fire in urban areas, as well as agricultural areas. A public relations education campaign will be launched as well as education programs. All sectors will be called on to work together to solve the problem from the village level on up and a concrete agenda is defined for all parties by November 1.


Pha Muang Task Force distributes blankets to high mountain areas

Region 3 Army Commander-in-Chief Lt. Gen. Chainarong Thanarun visited the Pha Muang Task Force Camp and attended a briefing on their work combatting drugs in the border area. Additionally he gave 675 donated blankets to the Commander of the Pha Muang Task Force, Maj. Gen. Somsak Ninbanjerdkul for the members of the Task Force to distribute to people in need in the remote, high mountain areas as the temperatures continue to fall.


Privy Councilor visits Queen’s Reforestation project

Privy Councilor Palakorn Suwanrath visited several Royal projects around Chiang Mai.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Privy Councilor Palakorn Suwanrath visited Chiang Mai on October 15 to inspect and monitor reforestation projects implemented by the Queen in a Royal Project that was initiated in 1994.
The reforestation project has worked to reclaim degraded forest lands with the cooperation of the Region 3 Army and the Forestry Department which has been assigned responsibility to 150,000 rai of forest land. The project works to restore the natural balance in nature as well as educate people living near and in forested areas to preserve and protect the forest.
Privy Councilor Palakorn Suwanrath visited areas undergoing reforestation in Chiang Dao and Chai Prakan, as well as implementation of the watershed at Mae Ngon in Fang under the watershed development project of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn which was established in 2008 after flooding there. The Royal Project works with the Chai Pattana Foundation to coordinate with government agencies in helping people and restoring the natural resources and environmental watershed in Mae Ngon. Mae Ngon has many Chinese immigrants from Yunnan as well as refugees from Myanmar.


Tonpao to be site of 6 festivals in the coming year

MoU Signed to promote Tonpao sub district

The MoU was signed on October 19, 2012 to promote the festivals of Tonpao subdistrict’s 11 villages.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Already the site of the famous Bor Sang Umbrella Festival, which will take place next year from January 18-20, Tonpao town municipality has joined together with the Tourist Authority of Thailand Chiang Mai office to promote 5 other festivals promoting eco-tourism, folk culture and Lanna handicrafts.
The Tonpao Town Municipality’s Mayor Supakin Wongsa signed a memorandum of understanding to promote the festivals with the Vice President of the Provincial Administration Organization Phichet Phisuthakan, Acting Director of the SME Office Chawan Sawatchuto and Director of TAT Chiang Mai Wisoot Buachoom on October 9, 2012.
The Mayor noted that they had been affected by flood damage last year which had slowed tourism but this year they will promote the arts and crafts the area is known for in a series of festivals and markets. A Khom Loy or hot air balloon launch and crafts exhibition will be held in Baan Nong Khong on November 16 and include a walking street market culminating in the launch of Khom Loy. The 30th annual Bor Sang Umbrella Festival is scheduled for January 18-20, then Tonpai will hold a festival featuring their famous Saa paper from February 14-17, 2013. There will be a festival featuring the linens of Baan Tonpao and merit making ceremony at Wat Mae Puka on February 24-25, 2013. The Tonpao Agricultural Fair will be held at Baan Sanpakha from April 5-7, 2013 and the 2nd International Kite Festival will be held on July 6, 2013 at Baan Bor Sang.

Nopniwat Krailerg
New Chiang Mai Governor Tanin Subhasaen held his first official press conference on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 after he was approved by the Cabinet on October 8, 2012.
Governor Tanin started off by saying that he was delighted to be returning to Chiang Mai mentioning that he got his start in Chiang Mai. He noted that the city has an ancient culture that must be respected and preserved. He said that the traditional way of life must be protected, something he learned as District Officer of the Muang District.
He added that the overall population of the province is registered at 1.7 million but that farmers make up 1.2 million of those and they must be taken care of as well.
Governor Tanin noted that he intends to continue the policies of former Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul in regards to ensuring laws and regulations must be followed by all businesses and proprietors.
A coordinated campaign to tackle the annual haze will begin on November 1, 2012.
He added that with the upcoming Asean Economic Community Chiang Mai must work on its English that children must be taught English so that the province can work in the AEC. He added in private interview with Chiang Mai Mail that he expects Chiang Mai will become an international city, noting that the expat community in Chiang Mai was an important part of the city and that he supported the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce’s proposal to provide a long term 5 year visa for retirees.
During the press conference he noted that he was quite concerned with kickbacks and corruption, feeling that these will hinder investment in Thailand by outside investors.
Finally he noted that there are many issues to tackle including the upcoming completion of the International Convention Center and ensuring effective management, traffic, and government’s plans to make Chiang Mai the hub for the Upper North, and preparing residents from the villages on up for the upcoming economic integration which are expected to bring huge changes to the region.


Community Relief Program launched in Tambon Suthep

Combat drugs problem in problem areas

Nopniwat Krailerg
As part of the national initiative to combat drugs “X-ray every inch over 90 days” launched on November 1, 2012. Chiang Mai Governor Tanin Subhasaen chaired the opening ceremony of the project to provide relief to the community suffering drug related crime and family problems at Baan Pong Noi School in Tambon Suthep on October 20, 2012. The aim of the project is to provide treatment for drug addicts, solve family issues associated with drug addiction and to prevent people from turning to crime to pay for their drugs. Education programs to combat children turning to drugs as well as to stop addicts from returning to drugs after becoming clean, to encourage people to cooperate with police in combatting drugs in their community.
Baan San Lom Joy in Tambon Suthep in the Muang District has a population of 1,665 people but has seen growth in drug violence, trafficking and crime in the community since 2008. Out of the small community there have been 6 arrests for drug dealing, 18 addicts, 30 people attending drug treatment programs, 27 people arrested, and 18 at risk youth.


Lanna Architect Fair announced

To be held December 21-23

Nopniwat Krailerg
The “Lanna Architect 2012” fair will be held at Central Airport Plaza from December 21-23 the Vice Chairmen of the Lanna Architect’s Association, Adul Heranna and Dr. Eakachai Mahaek announced at a press conference recently.
The concept of the fair, to be held from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., is “Baan Baan” and will involve the Association of Siamese Architects, the Chiang Mai Municipality, Chiang Mai Province, the Department of Public Works and Town Planning, Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association and construction companies both local and from Bangkok.
There will be professional and academic exchanges with ASEAN architects at a seminar to be held Saturday, December 22 at the Chiang Mai Hall at Central Airport Plaza and the Architecture of the Year serving people of the North will be awarded.
Additionally, there will be a market offering technology, building materials, furnishings, real estate and financial institutions.


Flora Fest at Royal Park Rajapruek 2012 will be held December 1

Welcoming Chiang Mai’s winter season

Royal Park Rajapruek is hosting the annual Flora Fest beginning December 1, to honor HM the King on his birthday.

Chiang Mai blooms into color in the cool season as flowers and trees bloom around the province and nowhere will be more colorful than the Royal Park Rajapruek which will hold the annual Flora Fest from December 1, 2012 to February 28, 2013. The Park will feature many beautiful cool weather blooming species including tulips, lilies, roses, carnations, begonias, petunias, hydrangea and many others that were grown on the high mountains of Royal Project Foundation gardens.
This year’s event is in honor of HM the King on his 85th birthday and his involvement in agriculture and horticulture. In addition to displays of blooming plants and trees there will be academic activities promoting local knowledge of plants as well as raising awareness of global climate change. Concerts in the park are scheduled as well as local hill tribe performances.


Bangkok Airways launches international check-through at Chiang Mai Airport

Bangkok Airways has introduced check-through service at Chiang Mai Airport for passengers with connecting flight to international destinations with participating carriers.
The new service will enable passengers’ baggage to be checked-through to their final destination and complete immigration formality. Passengers are required to present their international flight details with the minimum connecting time of 1.5 hours. Bangkok Airways international check-in counter is located at raw 11-12 at Chiang Mai Airport’s international terminal. See their website for participating carriers.


Thai-Japanese Friendship Museum to open in Mae Hong Son

By Shana Kongmun & Nopniwat Krailerg
The Japanese Consulate in Chiang Mai is joining together with Mae Hong Son Provincial government and Khun Yuam District at a festival at theThai Japanese Friendship Memorial Hall remembering those Japanese soldiers who remained in Khun Yuam after the end of WWII. The announcement of the event to be held in Mae Hong Son’s Khun Yuam District on November 10 and 11, 2012 was held at Central Airport Plaza on Saturday, October 19 and attended by Mae Hong Son Governor Naruemol Plawat and Japanese Consul General Kazuo Shibata as well as District Officer for Khun Yuam Chancha Sisakhien and other Mae Hong Son Provincial officials. The event will coincide with the blooms of Bua Thong or Mexican Sunflowers that fill the fields in Khun Yuam during the cool season and the start of the Bua Thong Festival on November 11, 2012. There will be traditional Japanese, Thai and Shan cultural performances as well as food and handicrafts.


6th Thailand International Balloon Festival 2012

November 23-35 at the Gymkhana

Nopniwat Krailerg
Yut Wanichchanont of the Earth Wind and Fire Co. announced the upcoming “Balloon and Music Festival” and “the Thailand International Balloon Festival 2012” which is to be held at the Chiengmai Gymkhana Golf Club during November 23 -25 2012.
K. Yut noted that Earth, Wind and Fire Co. are pioneers in bringing hot air balloons to Thailand. The first was held at Bang Sai Arts and Crafts Center from 1990 until last year when the festival moved to Chiang Mai to be held at the Princes Royal’s College which saw more than ten thousand people attend.
This year the golf course will provide a beautiful venue for the many hot air balloons including the stunning Night Glow balloons that were so popular last year. As well as many booths offering food, there will be performances from international and Thai musicians including Aruba Red from England, Nueng Jakkavan, Chiang Mai favorites Del Ritmo, Project Mayhem, The Skiss Band and the headliner; Hugo.


Under the Spotlight: Vichian Boonmeemak

The Living Place

Vichien relaxes in The Living Place with friends and guests.

By Kimberly L Bryant
The police have called twice so far. But that doesn’t stop the group of foreigners and Thais gathering together every Friday night at The Living Place to sate their desires for banging on bongos. In addition to drumming, these lively evenings consist of everything from nude modeling, body painting and dancing to homemade Thai food and drinks. With free entrance and cheap beer, The Living Place is a great place to chill, make music and meet free-spirited travelers and locals alike.
Anything goes and all are welcome. Painter Vichian Boonmeemak and his partner, artist Aresa Wuthanamassapong, have created a space that aims to collage together all aspects of passion-filled life: art, music, people, food, and performance. On constant display are works by both Vichian and Aree, rotated and changed frequently. These abstract and figurative works are bright and bold, ranging broadly in size. Small prints and cards sell for 30B and larger works are also for sale, priced accordingly.
Born in Northeast Thailand, in Petchabun province, Vichian, or “V” as his friends call him, is a talented and easy-going guy. He was kind enough to sit down with me to chat about The Living Place and share some of his insights about being an abstract painter in Thailand.
KB: What gave you and Aree the idea to open The Living Place?
VB: Well, we were looking for a warehouse to set up a studio in and we didn’t have any luck finding one. We had friends who had a guesthouse and the idea of combining everything happened. With painting, we combine everything – we do drawing, painting and collage. So with life we can do everything too.”
KB: How did the Friday nights originate?
VB: We started with jamming outdoors at Thapae gate. We were social there for a long time and we met so many people around the world. We met some great drummers and dancers who would come. One house around there reported the noise to the city and we got stopped by the cops. So we moved the jam into our own building and the drummers came to join it. Besides painting, we want to hang out and enjoy ourselves.
KB: What role does music play in your life?
VB: Music is a universal language to communicate. Sometimes we don’t have to use words; we just have to share the rhythm, share the harmony. Drums are a good thing. I want to do better so I need to have instruments and people who know drums around so that I can learn from them. Some who play here are very professional and they are great teachers. Sometimes the cops still come if it’s too loud. I think we’re going to do more independent stuff in our private space, like the life modeling.
KB: What inspires you as a painter?
VB: I like abstract and figurative work, both sides of it. I like spontaneous stuff, things that are unexpected. When I see work controlled by the mind, it does not inspire me. Every moment painting is just like life, you are working on every moment. Each moment is lost and found, always continuing, always challenging. It’s not there forever. It’s good to work for that. That’s what I gain from the experience.
To see some of Vichian’s work, please visit http://www.picassomio.com/vichian-boonmeemak/exhibition.html.
The Living Place: Opened recently in August 2012, this Chiang Mai guesthouse-meets-art studio hosts Friday evenings of music, dance and art, and provides a warm environment conducive to conversation, art creation and just being.
For information about nightly accommodation, get in touch with Aree via Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheLivingPlaceChiangMai. 2/2Thapea Rd. Soi2, Muang Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50300 Ph: 081 539 9676.


Small hotel damaged by kitchen fire

Municipal firefighters battle the blaze that engulfed the roof of the Boutique House Nipha hotel on October 17, 2012.

Nopniwat Krailerg
A fire broke out at the Boutique House Nipha at 11:15 a.m. on October 17, 2012 engulfing the second floor kitchen in flames. Firefighters arrived at the hotel on Rajchiangsaen Road to find the fire burning violently on the second floor of the building, the Municipal Fire Department firefighters used a high pressure hose to douse the flames which took a half an hour to put out.
Fire investigators found that the fire started in the kitchen before quickly spreading through the unoccupied floor causing around 80,000 Baht worth of damage. Forensic investigators will try to determine the exact cause of the fire but it is believed to have been an electrical short.


200 million Baht in assets seized from suspected drug traffickers

Police display the cash and other assets seized in the raid on the home of Thavorn Somchit on October 21, 2012. Thavorn’s assets have been seized according to the law that allows police to confiscate the assets obtained from illegal activity.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Police raided the home of a suspected ringleader of a major drug trafficking ring on October 21, 2012 and seized assets and property valued at over 100 million Baht. The Secretary of the Office of Narcotics Control Board Pol. Gen. Pongsapat Pongcharoen, Commander of Police Region 5 Pol. Lt. Gen. Suthep Dejraksa and more than 100 officers from the ONCB, Border Patrol, Pha Muang Task Force and members of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency raided a home in Pimuk Village 1 in Sansai where they arrested suspected ring leader Thavorn Somchit, also known as Ar Jong Saelu, age 33, a man they consider a major player in the Hui Chinese drug trafficking network that sends drugs to be sold in Central and Southern Thailand. Eakmorn Saeyang, age 23, was also arrested.
Authorities seized two cars, 7 pickup trucks, 7 motorcycles and a tractor as well as 672,600 Baht in cash, gold weighted at 14 Baht valued at around 349,000 Baht, and 9 bank accounts with deposits of more than 200 million Baht. Additionally police seized the titles to land including a 4 rai piece with the house and 8 plots of farmland valued at approximately 100 million Baht.
The raid was the result of the arrest of 4 people involved in Thavorn’s drug trafficking network in Nakhon Sawan with 200,000 methamphetamine pills. The investigation led police to Thavorn in Chiang Mai.


Suspect in string of 7-11 robberies apprehended

Banharn Loongtun re-enacts his series of 7-11 robberies for the police after they apprehended him at an internet café on October 24, 2012.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Police apprehended a young Tai Yai man suspected of a series of 7-11 and gas station robberies around the city during October. Police Region 5 Commander Pol. Lt. Gen. Suthep Dejraksa announced the arrested of Banharn Loongtun age 19, of Wiang Haeng District.
A string of convenience store and gas station robberies over several weeks in October involved a suspect wearing a mask and helmet, black jacket and carrying a black BB gun. The suspect would enter the store between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. and threaten the clerk with what appeared to be a gun.
Banharn confessed to police that he had robbed the Baan Srisan branch of 7-11 in Hang Dong, the Sri Ping Muang 7-11 branch on October 13, the Sri Bua Neng branch of 7-11 on October 19 and the LPG Gas Station on Mahidol Road near Chiang Mai International Airport.
He told police that he had worked as a construction worker but when he lost his job, purchased the toy gun with the intention of robbing stores to pay for playing games on the internet and purchase goods. He was arrested at an internet café behind Chiang Mai Rajabhat University at 1 a.m. on October 24, 2012.


Mae Ai policeman arrested for drug trafficking

ONCB continues raids on communities for drugs

Nopniwat Krailerg
A Mae Ai policeman was arrested on October 23, 2012 in Chai Prakan on the bus to Chiang Mai, he was found with 32 methamphetamine pills in his wallet.
Pol. Sub. Lt. Praphan Netsuwan, age 54, boarded the bus in Mae Ai and was arrested after a search at a police checkpoint in Baan Pha Hong. He confessed that he had been purchasing drugs in Chiang Mai and bringing them back to Mae Ai to sell to young people.
The ONCB and more than 600 police officers were involved in raids on six high risk communities in Chiang Mai in the early morning hours of October 16, 2012.
The raid, part of the ONCB’s project to round up drug users, criminals, and small time dealers in communities, netted 35 people, 5 arrested for drugs and three illegal aliens. The police searched the Pa Pheng area behind Tesco Lotus Khamtieng, houses along Klong Mae Kha and districts in Hang Dong and Sansai.
Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Chuchart Keelapaeng, Police Region 5 Deputy Commander Pol. Maj. Gen. Chamnan Ruwdrew and the Director of ONCB Region 5 Wichai Chaimongkol led the raid. Wichai Chaimongkol said that the raid is part of the proactive policy of the ONCB Secretary, Pol. Gen. Pangsapat Pongcharoen to push drug addicts into treatment and round up drug dealers and criminals to bring peace to local communities.


Pakistani man confesses to murder

Arrested as he tried to flee the country

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Pakistani man suspected of murdering Sangduan Harris, the owner of the Midnight Beer Bar on Loi Kroh Road on October 18, 2012 was arrested by police at Suvarnabhumi International Airport on October 25, 2012 as he tried to flee the country.

Mr. Syad Muhammad Ali attempted to flee the country on a Sri Lankan Airlines flight when police apprehended him at Suvarnabhumi International Airport for the murder of Sangduan Harris on October 18.

The body of Sangduan was found at a guesthouse on Kotchasarn Road on October 18 and police investigation of CCTV led them to suspect Syda Muhammad Ali, age 41. However, he had fled to Songkhla where he attempted to check into a hotel using a false name. The hotel required identification so he was forced to use his real name.
On October 26, 2012 Commander of Police Region 5 Pol. Lt. Gen. Suthep Dejraksa and the police returned Mr. Syda back to the guesthouse after he confessed to the killing. He admitted to police that he killed her but said that he flew into a rage after she rejected the gifts he had given her and threw one of them, which contained a symbol of Islam, back in his face.
Police believe that the crime may have been premeditated however, as he also stole her gold jewelry including a ring, earrings, a bracelet and necklace as well as her mobile phone in addition to fleeing to Hat Yai and then tried to leave the country.
Friends and relatives of the deceased, as well as many onlookers, gathered at the guesthouse where the police held the re-enactment with many shouting epithets at the accused.


 
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Money Expo on at Central Airport Plaza

Lampang weather bureau monitors thick fog, affect airport visibility

Chiang Mai gets free wifi

German Ambassador highlighted conservation work in Ayutthaya

Chiang Mai top destination for Thai tourists in cool season

Obama wins US Presidential election

UK Foreign Secretary visits Thailand

World Diabetes Day

Governor asks for public cooperation during Loy Krathong

Chiang Mai to start tackling haze early

Pha Muang Task Force distributes blankets to high mountain areas

Privy Councilor visits Queen’s Reforestation project

Tonpao to be site of 6 festivals in the coming year

Community Relief Program launched in Tambon Suthep

Lanna Architect Fair announced

Flora Fest at Royal Park Rajapruek 2012 will be held December 1

Bangkok Airways launches international check-through at Chiang Mai Airport

Thai-Japanese Friendship Museum to open in Mae Hong Son

6th Thailand International Balloon Festival 2012

Under the Spotlight: Vichian Boonmeemak

Small hotel damaged by kitchen fire

200 million Baht in assets seized from suspected drug traffickers

Suspect in string of 7-11 robberies apprehended

Mae Ai policeman arrested for drug trafficking

Pakistani man confesses to murder

 

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