Opium farming on the rise
Biggest plantations in 20 years uncovered
Opium production is on the rise in the mountains
of Chiang Mai.
The Royal Thai Army Region 3 has decided to modify plans to destroy
opium farms after having discovered a large rise illegal farming on the
ridge borders recently with plantations as large as 20 acres being found,
the largest found in over 20 years.
Maj. Gen. Phansak Jandong, deputy commander of Special Task Force, National
Command Center for Drugs (NCCD), Region 3, they had organized a meeting
regarding the Destruction of Addictive Plants project by Region 3 with 4
agencies and 2 agencies to make plans to exterminate opium plantations for
2013 to integrate cooperative work leading to the highest potential
The Deputy commander of the Special Task Force added that the Special Task
Force of NCCD Region 3 with Chiang Mai, Survey and Monitoring of Drug Crops,
and Pha Muang Task Force had inspected the borders of Doi Angkhang, in
Nongbua sub district at the connecting route to Chaiprakan district and Fang
district, where officers found many illegal opium plantations on hills, some
plantations were as large as 20 acres, a sight not seen for over 2 decades.
Since the area is at quite a high altitude and has the right weather
conditions it is ideal for growing opium and high opium prices have jumped
making it an attractive prospect for local farmers.
In the past three months the Special Task Force found 1,839 plots over
1,102.01 acres, of which they had 100% success in eradicating 1,829 plots
and 1,159.01 acres.
Rajabhat University student
takes Miss Chiang Mai crown
Lamphun native Pattayaporn
Thepweerapong (center) has won this year’s Miss Chiang Mai contest at the
Winter and OTOP Fair.
Lamphun native Pattayaporn Thepweerapong, 22, a student from Chiang Mai
Rajabhat University (CMRU) won the recent Miss Chiang Mai 2013 beauty
For her victory, Pattayaporn received the 100,000 baht first prize along
with a crown and sash. She also won the Media Darling and Miss Beauty Skin
Governor Tanin Subhasaen presided over the Jan. 8 event at the Chiang Mai
Winter Fair and OTOP Fair behind Chiang Mai City Hall. Despite the cool
weather, a large crowd of residents and visitors gathered for the show.
The contest was whittled down to 20 finalists, who competed in a swimsuit
round. The top 10 swimsuit models competed in a Lanna Thai traditional dress
From there, the 5 finalists modeled evening gowns, during which the
committee of experts and media chose the winners and runners-up.
Rewiyanant Yakerd, 20, was named 1st runner-up and took home 50,000 baht.
2nd runner-up was Kaneporn Intamoon, 23, who was awarded 30,000 baht, whilst
3rd runner-up Bongkot Inkum, 21, and 4th runner-up Thanyarat Pittichot, 18,
were each awarded 20,000 baht.
Cool season tulips are here!
The late onset of the cool season has made things difficult for
tulip growing but not impossible and the King Bhumibol Tulip & Exhibition of
80 Species from the Royal Project show has begun.
Organized by the Royal Park Rajapruek, Highland Research and Development
Institute (private organization), or HDRI, the show began on January 21 and
runs through February 16, 2013. Held at the 2nd Exhibition Building at the
Royal Park Rajapruek, the opening ceremony of the Exhibition opening was
held by HSH.Prince Bhisadej Rajani, President of Royal Projects, the event
was attended by Consuls and honored guests.
Dr. Amphon Kittiamphon, MD of HDRI, welcomed and addressed the event
followed by Mrs. Irene Koedijik who spoke on the origins of Bhumibol’s
Tulip. Kazuo Shibata, Consul General of Japan in Chiang Mai presented a
Sakura tree to the president of the event and presided over the ribbon
cutting ceremony. followed by Mr. Kasueoka Chibata, senior consulate from
Japan of Chiang Mai, presenting Sakura tree to the president of the event
and presided over the cutting off the ribbon.
Dr. Amphon Kittiamphon, MD of HRDI, stated that King Bhumibol’s Tulip
exhibition is being held to honor HM the King and Queen Sirikit.
Mr. Glas Khudike, a Dutch agriculturist and owner of F.A.P Koeddik & Zn, was
so impressed with the loyalty and love that Thais have for their King upon
the 60th Coronation Anniversary that he became inspired to develop a new
tulip and requested the Royal name be granted by HM the King. HM the King
granted approval and so the King Bhumibol tulip was born on August 20, 2009.
The HRDI contacted Dutch Embassy to request that they propagate King
Bhumibol’s Tulip in Thailand for the first time with the cooperation of Doi
Inthanon Royal Agricultural Station. The first 500 tulips bulbs only
produced 3 viable plants because of unsatisfactory weather conditions but
the next generation should yield 300 blooms in February.
The HDRI is working to make Royal Park Rajapruek the center of knowledge on
Royal Projects and the Royal Project Foundation was asked to cooperate in
the planning of the Exhibition which is held to honor HM Queen Sirikit and
the foundation of the Royal Project.
The Exhibition is at Royal Park Rajapruek until February 16.
Speaker of South Korean Assembly pays a visit to Chiang Mai
Speaker of the Assembly of South Korea Khang
Chang-hee and his wife enjoyed their stay in Chiang Mai visiting many sights
such as the Royal Park Rajapruek.
Khang Chang-hee, the Speaker of the South Korean Assembly, or
Parliament as we know it in Thailand, visited Chiang Mai on January 19-20 as
part of a trip to build closer relations between the Thailand and South
Khang Chang-hee and his wife E-Jae Suk were part of a committee invited by
the Thai government to visit the sites the country has to see and to learn
more about Thailand from January 16-20.
The last two days of their trip were spent in Chiang Mai where they stayed
at the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Devi Hotel and visited such notable sights
such as Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, the Hmong community at Baan Doi Pui where
they enjoyed cultural performances and learned more about Hmong village life
Mr. Somsak Kiatsuranont, Speaker of the House of Representatives and
President of the National Assembly hosted a dinner for the couple at the
Mandarin Oriental Dhara Devi Hotel.
They also visited the Royal Park Rajapruek and Ban Tawai before returning to
Bangkok to fly on to Myanmar.
It’s the “Season of Love” in Pai
Valentine’s Day romance
Mae Hong Son Governor Naruemon Palawat announces
the Season of Love @ Pai activities organized for lovers.
It’s the “Season of Love”. Yes Valentine’s Day is coming and that
means the 5th annual “Season of Love @ Pai” events for lovers.
Mrs. Naruemon Palawat, Mae Hong Son Governor, announced the Season of Love @
Pai # 5 which will be held from 13th-15th February, 2013, at Pai sub
district in a collaboration between Mae Hong Son and TAT, Mae Hong Son
office, to promote and for lovers and couples in a romantic atmosphere in
the nature of Pai. The couples will enjoy romantic activities for the entire
3 days and 2 nights at Bura Lampai Resort such as offering alms to monks
with the Governor of Mae Hong Son, the traditional tying of strings around
the wrists, registration for marriage, nature tours, pay respects to the
various religious deities of Pai district, visit Santichon Chinese Village
including charity activities donating blankets plus performing small
activities in Ban Srai Ngam, Mae Na-terng district, Pai subdistrict and a
mini-concert from famous artists.
TAT Mae Hong Son office invites lovers and tourists from all over the
country to enjoy the Season of Love @ Pai # 5 during the festival of love
from 13th-15th February, 2013, for only 2,999 baht per couple. For further
information contact Mae Hong Son’s TAT office at 053-612982-3 and Dontree
Season co. ltd, at 053-850-778-9 / 088-1370197.
MICE master plan announced for Chiang Mai
The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (a private
organization), or TCEB, with 8 partners consisting of Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai
PAO, Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce, Chiang Mai Business and Tourism
Association, Chaing Mai Office of Commerce, Tourism Authority of Thailand’s
Chiang Mai Office, Chiang Main Creative (CMCC) and Chiang Mai University,
representing 8 universities of the northern region, announced their
intentions to cooperatively draft a master plan to develop the MICE industry
in Chiang Mai to become the center of MICE businesses of the nation and
ASEAN within 5 years.
They plan on focusing on national marketing and laying the foundations for
the MICE industry this year, with all agencies working together to help
promote the new MICE center as well as the entire industry in Chiang Mai.
They plan on focusing on the Provincial Administration Organizations to hold
their conference here as well.
In 2014-2015 they will promote regional markets through collaboration with
GMS/ BIMSTEC/ neighboring cities of the province. The Chamber of Commerce
will use its investment networks to expand the business markets of Chiang
Mai’s MICE to create cooperation with ASEAN countries, GMS and/ or BIMSTECZ
covering conventions, fairs, expos and exhibitions.
TCEB with universities and Chiang Mai’s Business and Tourism Association
will develop the potential and skills of personnel in language, vocational,
service, marketing and business to accommodate the growth of MICE industry
in Chiang Mai in both national and international levels and push for the
private sectors to develop standards while holding conventions and
They plan to push for planning of infrastructure and relevant accommodation
services such as airports, immigration checkpoints, tariff and national
airways with the national government.
Internal Security officer arrested with 1.3 million Yaba tablets
Arrested still wearing uniform
A Lieutenant, dressed in his uniform, was arrested by ONCB with 1.3
million methamphetamine tablets and 30kg of crystal methamphetamine hidden
in the panels of his black Ford Ranger pickup truck.
badge of the arrested ISOC officer, Surapol Phromvijit.
On 10th January, 2013, at 5:30 p.m., Vichai Chaimongkol, director of Office
of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) Region 5, with Pol. Maj. Gen. Wanchai
Suwansirikhet, commander of Chiang Rai station, Pol. Col. Weerawuth
Chaichanamongkol, superintendent of Mae Chan station, Chiang Rai, with
officers of Maejan station with Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NCB) and
officers from ONCB Region 5 had enlisted forces to expand the search to
arrest drug dealers in Mae Suai and followed a black Ford Ranger, suspected
from delivering a large package of drugs. The driver realized he was being
followed and sped away to escape. The cars reached Mae Chan where they
managed to cut in front of the truck and stop the truck.
Police found the driver, Mr. Surapol Phromvijit, dressed in a lieutenant’s
uniform with the identity card of Internal Security Operational Command
stating that he was a special officer with responsibilities of border patrol
and international security intelligence.
While the officers were arresting Mr. Surapol, he boasted to the officers
about who he was and refused to allow them to search the truck. However,
police enacted the search anyway and found over 1,300,000 yaba pills hidden
in the back seat of the cab and 30 kg of ice. He was arrested and taken to
Region 5 Police Bureau.
This is not the first arrest of officers delivering drugs, with the latest
case in Nan in 2012 when a Lieutenant and four non-commissioned officers
were arrested delivering drugs in a police car from Chiang Rai to Ayutthaya.
Cop busted selling drugs
re-arrested with more drugs
Disgraced ex-police from Chai
Prakan station re-arrested with a new haul of drugs.
The Chiang Mai investigators continue their search into the now
disgraced ex-policeman Phermsak Kawin, age 41 who was arrested at a police
checkpoint in Fang with 17,800 methamphetamine tablets to deliver to
customers in the city. He told police at the time that he had been hired by
Muser tribesmen in Myanmar to deliver the drugs for 100,000 Baht.
However, further investigation shows that the ex-policeman was doing more
than delivering and police obtained a search warrant for his rooms in Chiang
Mai where they found 200 grams of heroin, 1,800 grams of Ya-ice or crystal
methamphetamine and 1,000 pills of yaba as well as drug paraphernalia. He
has been re-arrested and faces further legal proceedings.
Police believe 84 year old
Swiss tourist died of a heart attack
Chiang Mai police were called to the scene of a luxury 5 star hotel
on Charoen Prathet Road on January 16, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. after a cleaning
lady discovered the body of Karl Walter Scherrer in the room.
There were no signs of a break in, or of any trauma and police found heart
medications in the room in the name of the deceased. Police believe that
with the advanced age of the victim and the various medications for heart
medications that the man had a heart attack and died in his room before
being able to call for help. It was estimated he had been dead at least 8
hours, employees of the hotel said he had been seen to enter his room alone
the previous day but was not found until his room needed cleaning.
1.3 million Yaba tablets
uncovered at Mae Sai
Army and police inspect the drug haul found in
Chiang Rai in Mae Sai.
The Pha Muang Task force opened fire on an armed group at the border ridge
on the Thailand-Myanmar Road in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai,on January 16, 2013. The
gunfight occurred at the route into the bamboo forest near Wat Noi in Mae
After the shooting ended the officers moved into to clear the area and found
3 dead men with war weapons and carrying green backpacks in the forest.
Additionally 12 packages containing 1.2 million methamphetamine tablets were
Before the shooting, the Thai officers had learnedthat there were armed
group with 2 million yaba pills from Myanmar bringing the drugs over the
border from Ban Bala in Myanmar. Soldiers and officers were ordered to
surround the area and discovered 20 individuals with firearms walking
through the forest along the route where the officers were stationed.
Officers ordered them to stop but the gang opened fire and the half hour
firefight saw three of the gang dead.
Police believe this is a Muser gang led by Lt. Col. Yeesae, who has a 2
million baht bounty from Thai government, and had opened fire with Thai
officers leading to 4 deaths recently.
Former Deputy Minister dies in Chiang Mai hotel room
The former Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Mr.
Somphat Kaewpijit, was found dead in his hotel room on January 19, 2013.
Officers dispatched to the scene found the body of Mr. Somphat Kaewpijit,
52, wearing long sleeves shirt, blue jeans, lying face down in the bathroom
of the hotel room. From the inspection of the belongings in the hotel room,
officers found medicine and antacids; officers believe the cause of death to
be from illness.
Mr. Somphat Kaewpijit was the former Deputy Minister of Agriculture and
Cooperatives in the government of Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and Prime
Minister Somchai Wongsawat and was a member of House of Representatives in
Nakhon Pathom in the Chart Thai Party. He had come to Chiang Mai on tour
with the committee of Nakhon Pathom Municipality and had stayed on after the
Police nab car thieves
from Kamphaeng Phet
Gang stole over 14 cars
car thief gang are displayed to the public and to their victims at a
Police arrested 4 people in San Phi Seua on suspicion of
stealing over 14 cars over the past 3 months in Chiang Mai and Lampang.
On 9th January, 2013, at 10:30 a.m., Pol. Lt. Gen. Suthep Detraksa,
commander of Region 5, Pol. Maj. Gen. Prajuab Wongsukh, commander of
investigation of Region 5, with officers from Suppression of Automobiles
and Motorcycles Theft Center, region 5, announced that the Automobiles
and Motorcycles Theft unit had arrest a thief, who had stolen a Toyota
Tiger pick-up and Vigo.
With his information, officers were able to arrest 4 individuals at San
Phi Seua; Mr. Rungniran Phanto, 37, Mrs. Patcharee Chusree, 34, Mr.
Kamjad Deephan, 27, and Mr. Thassana, or kai, Jaiwong, 36, all from
They were found with a red drill and drill bits as well as other
equipment used to steal vehicles. They confessed to police that they had
been stealing vehicles around Chiang Mai mainly since the end of
September. They admitted to stealing over 14 cars, 11 in Chiang Mai and
3 in Lampang. Most of the stolen vehicles were Toyal Vigos, and Tigers
and were sold in Mae Taeng for re-selling in neighboring countries.
Victims of the car thieves travelled to the press conference to curse
them for their crimes. The ringleader, Niran Phanto, was convicted of
several crimes already and is currently out on bail awaiting trial for
the murder of an employee from Suphan Buri. The said they would come to
Chiang Mai for 3-5 days to steal a few cars, sell them and then return
to Kamphaeng Phet to enjoy their ill-gotten gains.
The stolen cars were sold to Mr. Noi, Thai, in Mae Taeng district, who
was acquainted with Mr. Niran when they were in prison in 1990. Each car
was sold for 40,000-50,000 baht and Mr. Noi would export the cars to
Myanmar through Chiang Dao, officers have already issued an arrest
warrant for Mr. Noi.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Suthep Detraksa, commander of Region 5, stated that both
of these cars are high on the order list from groups in Myanmar. He
added that the thieves would drill out the door lock and then once
inside break the ignition lock. This gang would steal only cars without
high safety technology such as Toyota Tiger and Vigo and the theft would
be easy for regular gears but additional ignition switch off system must
be installed. He added that this is an old gang that was arrested 4-5
years ago but with the insufficient witnesses and evidence, the court
was unable convict and were released.