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Vol. XII No.21 - Sunday October 20 - Saturday Novemer 2, 2013


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NEWS
 

Kingdom celebrates 103rd Chulalongkorn Day

Wednesday, October 23, marks the 103rd anniversary of HM King Chulalongkorn’s death. Since Chulalongkorn Day is a national holiday here in the Kingdom, banks and government offices will be closed for the day. However, as usual, ATMs and many foreign exchange booths will remain open.
His Majesty King Chulalongkorn the Great (Rama V) was born in 1853, the son of His Majesty King Mongkut (Rama IV) and Her Majesty Queen Thep Sirinthorn.
HM King Chulalongkorn ascended the throne in 1868, with the title ‘Phrabat Somdej Phra Paraminthra Maha Chulalongkorn Bodinthorn Thep Phaya Maha Mongkut Burutsaya Ratanaraj Rawiwong Warut-tapong Saboripatara Wora Khatiyaraj Nikarodom Jaturatana Borom Maha Chakarapaddiraj Sangart Boromtammika Maha Raja Thiraj Boromanat Bopitara Phra Chulachomklao Chao Yoo Hua’.
His Majesty King Chulalongkorn lived with one purpose in his mind and heart: the happiness and well-being of the Siamese people. His Majesty would often dress as a commoner and move among his people with only two or three advisors. In this way, he could find out how his subjects really felt and see what was happening in his Kingdom.
There is one famous story of His Majesty and two counselors who, after a hard day’s travel, stopped at a farmer’s house to ask for a drink of water. Rural hospitality being a hallmark of Thai people, the family asked the three strangers to stay and have food with them. Speaking freely, the farmer and his wife told the strangers of how their life was progressing and what they would like to see done for their village by the ‘Great King who lives in the Palace in Bangkok.’ The farmer’s son noticed that one of the strangers looked familiar. He went and looked at a daguerreotype the family had of the King. Running back to the group, the family learned that they were serving food to the ‘Lord of Life’ in Siam.
A French warship entered the Chao Phraya River in 1893 in what was a carefully formulated plan to take over Siamese territory. It was required by international law that all foreign ships fly their colors when entering the waters of another sovereign country. The French deliberately did not do this. When hailed by the river guard to fly their colors, the French ignored the guard. The guard fired a warning shot over the French ship’s bow.
The French Embassy in Bangkok had been prepared months in advance and already had a letter sent from France months before the incident, stating that Siam had performed an act of aggression on the French and must pay huge reparations.
The French were not prepared for what happened next. Hearing of the huge demands, Siamese both wealthy and poor brought cartloads of jewels, precious metals and every valuable possible to the Royal Palace and offered it to His Majesty to keep the French out of Siam. The French had not imagined that Siam was so wealthy and the people so devoted to their King.
Siam was able to pay the reparations but the French, deciding this was not enough, took all Siamese territory east of the Mekong River.
His Majesty King Chulalongkorn was wise, knowing that Siam could not resist the French and British and held the motto of ‘giving up some so as not to lose all.’
Siam lost over 160,000 sq. kilometers of territory to the French and British.
His Majesty King Chulalongkorn was the first Siamese monarch to visit the West. He believed in adopting all things good from the West while Siam kept its culture. The wise King Chulalongkorn made Russia a strong ally of Siam to counteract the British and French influence in SE Asia. He followed the Chinese concept of ‘have strong allies but make sure their borders are far away.’
HM King Chulalongkorn’s most noteworthy achievement in Siam was the abolition of slavery. He did not do this in a haphazard manner as it was done in other countries. He devised a complex method of ‘freeing’ slaves so that older ones would not be left in poverty with no place to live. Younger slaves were to be released by ‘stages’, responsibility falling to the owner to see that they had a way of supporting themselves.
His Majesty King Chulalongkorn the Great is beloved of Thai people and considered a truly ‘enlightened’ ruler among historians. His Majesty passed away 103 years ago, on October 23, 1910, after the second longest reign in the history of the Thai nation. He is remembered and loved by the Thai people and the date of his death is commemorated every year.
The Chiang Mai Mail joins the Chiang Mai people in honoring this truly great King.
The day is a public holiday and government offices and banks will be closed.


Water to be shut off on November 1

 Nopniwat Krailerg
The Provincial Waterworks Chiang Mai office has issued a notice that on November 1, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. the water would be shut off as they install a new main pipe for Central Pattana Company at the Chiang Mai – Lampang Road in Faham. The following areas will see either no water or very low flow: Tambon Pa tan, Faham, Nong Pa Khrang, Muang Chiang Mai, San Sai district in Tambon San SaiLuang, San Sai Noi , Sarapee District in Tambon NongPhueng, Chai Sathan, Pa bong and Sankampang district in Tambon San Klang. For more information please contact Chiang Mai Waterworks Office 0-5323-3479 Ex 116.


Chinese Premier visit a boon to tourism and commerce

Distinguished visitors awed by beauty and culture of the north

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra greets Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Royal Flora Rajapruek (Photo by PRD Chiang Mai)

Nopniwat Krailerg
Premier Le Keqiang of the People’s Republic of China was greeted by Chiang Mai Governor Wichian Phuttiwinyu and officials upon his arrival in Chiang Mai on October 12, 2013. The Premier was swept off to Royal Flora Rajapruek where he was met by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. After viewing the park he enjoyed a traditional dinner in front of the Hor Kham Luang Pavilion and enjoyed Lanna performances. After dinner the Prime Minister joined Premier Li and others in releasing 1,000 Khom Loy and enjoyed a fireworks show with 999 fireworks over the park.
On the 13th of October Premier Li was joined by the Cabinet in visiting Chong Fah Sincung Wanish Bamrung Kindergarten in Muang Chiang Mai and then dropping in on the OTOP Distribution Center in San Kamphaeng to view the many handicrafts of Chiang Mai. He then departed for Vietnam on a special flight out of Wing 41.
While he was in Thailand the two leaders discussed waiving some visa requirements between the two countries as People’s Republic of China now accounts for the largest number of tourists to Thailand.
 


New governor vows to work hard for Chiang Mai people

Wichian Phuttiwinyu Chiang Mai Governor

Nopniwat Krailerg
Wichian Phuttiwinyu, who took over the position of Chiang Mai Governor on October 1, met with press at the Chiang Mai Hill Hotel on October 8, 2013. He said that although he is a native of Chonburi he had always wanted to be assigned to the North from his first assignment as Assistant District Chief. When he found out he had been assigned to Chiang Mai as Governor who knew that there many things to tackle, that the large size and growing economy would present different challenges from his role as Governor of Nonthaburi.
However, he said that he was looking forward to the challenges of developing the economy, promoting tourism, international trading and not only developing Chiang Mai into a cosmopolitan city but to also address the needs of the Chiang Mai people in a sustainable manner. He called on all sectors to help develop Chiang Mai sustainably, improve the quality of life and combat drugs. He said he was ready to work and called on all parties to help in the problem solving and to support his work to develop the province.


Buddhist Lent ends Saturday, October 19

Saturday, October 19 marks the end of this year’s Buddhist Lent, or Auk Pansaa, celebrated on the full moon night of the eleventh month of the year. The event also marks the “official” end of the rainy season, even though the weather might not necessarily cooperate. A great number of lay people gather at their local temples to pay their respects, make merit, perform the Tak Bat Dhevo ceremony and place steamed rice wrapped in coconut palm leaves, called “kao tom hang”, into monks’ alms bowls. Other religious ceremonies also take place at local temples as well as in front of the 3 Kings Monument.


Lamphun to launch electric streetcars on two routes

Lamphun Mayor Prapat Phucharoen announced the start of electric streetcars offering free public transport in the city; the cars will follow two routes around the city.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Lamphun Municipality is launching a free transport service in the city with the purchase of two 20 seat electric streetcars. Mayor of Lamphun Prapat Phucharoen announced that the city had received budget support to purchase the streetcars that began their routes on October 15, 2013.
The cars will provide transportation for the public with one car running from Wat Phra That Haripunchai to Wat Chang Rong then the Lamphun Governor’s official residence, TOT office, the Lamphun Bannakhan, Pha Sang Bus Station, Sam Taharn Gas Station, Boonyakiat Thai Silk, Mitrniyom to end back up at Wat Phra That Haripunchai.
The second route starts from Hari Phunchai National Museum to Lamphun City Hall, the front of Wat Chang See on Inthayongyot Road, the side gate of Wat Chang See, Lamphun Clinic, Chao Ying Khaek Kaew Public Park, Mahawan Gate Intersection, north of Wat Chai Chanuek, Queen Chammathewi Monument, Government Saving Bank, Chaem Fah Gold shop, and return to the Hari Phunchai National Museum.
The service will be free of charge and will run at 7.30 a.m., 8.30 a.m. and 9.30 a.m. and in the afternoon service will run from at 2.30 p.m., 3.30 p.m. and 4.30 p.m. The Mayor praised the service saying it will help tourists get around the city better as well as reduce the use of fuel and reduce pollution.


Kew Pha Wok border checkpoint to open this year

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai re-opened the Kew Pha Wok border checkpoint in Chiang Dao District and will use the opportunity to promote tourism both there and 4 other border districts after a meeting was held with Myanmar officials earlier this year.

Piroj Kullawanich, the Head of the Office of Commercial Affairs Chiang Mai announced plans to promote the natural beauties of 5 border districts in Chiang Mai.

Piroj Kullawanich, the Head of the Office of Commercial Affairs Chiang Mai, said that the workshop held in June, 2013 saw officials discuss ways to connect tourism routes by re-opening the border checkpoint. Then in September officials met to discuss ways to promote the border regions for tourism with the promotion of its natural attractions, cultural and ethnic traditions, and creating conservation activities.
Five border districts are included in the plan; Wiang Haeng, Chiang Dao, Fang, Mar Ai and Chai Prakarn and the government plans to promote each district this coming year. They will focus on five major sectors; natural and cultural tourism, entertainment and sports, and conferences and seminars and will work to build up restaurants, hotels, and tour guide services.


Flight of the Gibbon wins TAT award

Flight of the Gibbon, which just recently expanded into Cambodia, won the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Award of Excellence in Tour programs for their Rock the Gibbon tour (Treetop Adventure Company Limited). Flight of the Gibbon’s Utsanee Sripet traveled to Bangkok to pick up the award from Mr. Somsak Pureesrisak, Minister of Tourism and Sports and Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni, Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand, with her is Chiang Mai TAT head Wisut Buachoom.


Zoo employees join nation wide protest against ZPO chief

Chiang Mai Zoo employees dressed in black to protest the continued presence of Sanchai Jullamon as head of the Organization despite repeated calls nationwide from zookeepers to step down.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai Zoo employees held their own protest in solidarity with nationwide protests by Zoological Park Organization employees against Sanchai Jullamon as Director – General of the Zoological Park Organization under the Royal Patronage of H.M. the King. Sanchai has been the head for 14 months and has made several controversial decisions including the delay of the artificial insemination of panda Lin Hui.
Charuwan Chingchai, an Associate Director of the Chiang Mai Zoo along with Wuttichai Muangman, Head of the Development Department and Rossukon Juikhamwong Head of the Education Department led 150 Chiang Mai Zoo employees dressed all in black in a protest held at the Zoo on October 4, 2013 at 10:0 a.m. The group echoed calls of protests held by over 300 Zoo employees in Bangkok on October 2 and 3, 2013.
Zoo employees are protesting against the appointment of Sanchai Jullamon because they feel he lacks the proper qualifications for the position and had never held such a major administrative position and had no clear vision of the future of the Zoological Park Organization. Charuwan Chingchai said that 5 Chiang Mai Zoo employees had traveled to join the protests in Bangkok.
Wuttichai Muangman pointed out that his previous position as a lawyer and bank employee showed that he lacked the executive abilities and did not conform with the requirements of the position as listed in the rules required for the recruitment of the Director – General, those being: 1. Must be or was a government official or state enterprise employee not less than 10 years, 2. Work or worked in a private sector business that was registered in the Stock Exchange with a registered capital of not less than 2,000 million baht and position not less than administrative employee or equivalent position or another name, 3. Have visions, knowledge, expertise and experience in organizational management, or related parties with nature and environment and 4. Have the leadership, morals and ethics necessary for executives.
However, Sanchai Jullamon reportedly said that he thought the protests were organized by someone whose efforts he was hindering in the ZPO. Protesters called on him to step down but since he had not yet done so zookeepers continued their protests in Chiang Mai.


Japanese government donates 3 million baht for emergency medical equipment

Mr. Akihiko Fujii, Consul-General of Japan in Chiang Mai and Mr. Naris Boonthanapat, Director of Thung Chang Hospital signed the funding contract for emergency medical equipment on October 11, 2013.

The Government of Japan, under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects Scheme (GGP), is providing funds amounting to 3,415,000 baht for “The Project for Improving Medical Service for Residents in Remote Areas in Thung Chang District, Nan Province”. On 11 October, 2013, Mr. Akihiko Fujii, Consul-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, and Mr. Naris Boonthanapat, Director of Thung Chang Hospital, jointly signed the funding contract at the Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai.
Thung Chang district, located in the North of Nan province, is a mountainous district adjacent to the Thai-Laos Border. Minority people such as Hmong, Lawa, and Khamu, make up half of the population and their villages are scattered in the mountains far from the center of the district. Roads are mostly unpaved and become impassable especially during the rainy season, which disrupts transport and communication, thus the villagers have been facing difficulty in receiving adequate medical services.
Thung Chang Hospital, the only state hospital in the district, serves around 20,000 residents of 40 villages in 4 sub-districts, and treats approximately 47,000 cases a year. It also conducts referral services for those who have no other means of transportation, including people coming over from the Laos side. However, the hospital, in fact, has no 4WD ambulance capable of negotiating the winding mountain roads, which forces it to use a vehicle without stretcher or life support equipment. Therefore, many patients lose vital time in receiving medical treatment. Besides, the medical equipment in the hospital is outdated and unreliable, making it difficult to provide adequate treatment.
In response to a request from Thung Chang Hospital, the Government of Japan will bear the costs of purchasing a 4WD ambulance and updated medical equipment. This support will strengthen the hospital’s emergency transport system and increase the overall accessibility of medical services to the local population, which will help to reduce the health disparity. (GGP)


Central Festival to open November 14

CPN’s Executive Vice President for Marketing Dr. Nattakit Tangpoonsinthana is joined by celebrity guests and CPN staffers in announcing the grand opening of Central Festival on November 14, 2013 at a press conference held at the Shangri La on Friday, October 11, 2013. (Photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)

By Shana Kongmun
Chiang Mai’s newest shopping mall, Central Festival Chiang Mai, is scheduled to open November 14, 2013 with discounts, entertainment, celebrities and major prize giveaways for visitors.
The shopping mall predicts 80% of the stores to be open on opening day including M & S, which according to one Central staffer, will have a section offering European sizes for clothing. Also on offer will be Topshop, Topman, La Senza, H & M, Miss Selfridge and many others. Executives noted that those who sign up for the green Robinson card will receive not only discounts that cover over 60 stores but also free Wi-Fi usage wherever there is a Robinson signal.
The theater will have both 3D and 4D rooms with ten screens available. An ice rink is planned but completion is not expected until next year as is the outdoor dining pavilion. However there will be over 60 restaurants providing Thai, western, Japanese and Asian foods.
On opening day two lucky winners will drive away, one in a Nissan Cube valued at 1.85 million baht and another in a Mazda CX5 valued at 2.4 million baht. Other prizes to be given add the value to 34 million baht.
The new mall is 250,000 sqm, the same size as Central Chaengwattana in Bangkok and has parking spaces for 2,500 motorbikes and 3,000 cars. Dr. Nattakit Tangpoonsinthana noted that they have also rented land next door for overflow parking as needed. He added that they hired a traffic engineer to help plan entrances and exits to maximize traffic flow and minimize traffic jams. He also added that they will provide a free shuttle bus from Central Plaza Chiang Mai Airport that will run daily. The mall will be open Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.


Public meeting to be held on water management

Tackling drought and flood

Wichian Phuttinwinyu announced a public meeting on planned water projects in Chiang Mai for October 28, 2013.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Chiang Mai Governor announced plans to hold a public meeting to garner local opinion on water management at the International Convention Center on October 30, 2013. Governor Wichian Phuttinwinyu announced that 36 governors met in Bangkok on October 9, 2013 where it was determined each province would hold meetings to obtain public opinion on planned projects to mitigate drought and flood.
The Governor said that Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation assigned the Chiang Mai Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation to restore and renovate existing water resources projects to fight drought and flood. A budget of 6.95 million baht has allocated for the projects and a further 3.89 million baht for two projects to prevent and reduce the impact of flash floods and mudslides.


Despite reforms, Myanmar sends activist to jail

Naw Ohn Hla waves to supporters as she is carried away in a police truck.

Maung Too, Myanmar,
for the Democratic Voice of Burma

Activist Naw Ohn Hla first joined local residents in a vocal protest against the Latpadaung Copper mine in northern Myanmar last November. A joint project between a Chinese company and a business owned by the Burmese military, the mine has seen hundreds of villagers forced from their homes.
For her continued protest, Hla was found guilty of sedition and sentenced to two years in jail. The president appointed a commission to investigate the brutal crackdown on protestors at the mine, but the commission, headed by Aung San Suu Kyi, declared the project should continue in September.
“We did not agree with the recommendation of the Inquiry Commission because it is not in line with local people,” says Hla, of why she continued to protest.
More than 7,000 acres of farmland has been confiscated to make way for the mine.
During Naw Ohn Hla’s trial, her lawyer was barred from the courtroom and he denounced the verdict as unjust. Tate Naing from the Association for Political Prisoners says her detention is unfair.
“Throughout history, this so-called article 505(b) is just a tool for arbitrary arrest and imprisonment against activists,” says Tate.
Myanmar has been praised by the international community for releasing political prisoners, but Hla’s detention is a stark reminder that the newly granted freedoms can be snatched away at any time.
Hla has spent her life campaigning for human rights and democracy and has been imprisoned seven times as a result. In 2004 she set up weekly Tuesday Prayer Groups at Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. The group would meet to pray for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest. Then in 2010 she was sentenced to two years in jail for sedition, while leaving a Buddhist pagoda. Ohn Hla was release two years ago in a presidential amnesty but continued to demand that remaining political prisoners be released.
“The government always says there are no political prisoners and the amnesty reducedthe sentences by only one year, it is nonsense. It’s not worth calling it a presidential amnesty,” she says.
The activist is now organising a signature campaign for the release of all remaining political prisoners. Hla’s lawyer says she is now on a hunger strike in jail and has been transferred to a prison with medical facilities. U Htwe, the chief of Monywa prison, says there is no hospital inside the prison that Hla is currently detained in.
“So if her health goes downhill, we may have problems here,” he says, “But the Mandalay prison has a hospital, more doctors and better facilities.”
Naw Ohn Hla hopes to appeal.This article was first broadcast on Asia Calling, a regional current affairs radio program produced by Indonesia’s independent radio news agency KBR68H and broadcast in local languages in 10 countries across Asia. It is published in conjunction with the Faculty of Mass Communications, Chiang Mai University. You can find more stories from Asia Calling at www.asiacalling.org.


Seminar for local entrepreneurs on Hong Kong Trade Development

Members of the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce met with people from NOHMEX and Dannie Chiu from HKDTC to discuss ways to crack both the Chinese and international markets via Hong Kong.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKDTC) held a seminar on developing trade in Hong Kong as the key to unlocking the Chinese market.
The seminar, titled “Hong Kong: Your Turnkey Solution to China and International Market”, was held at the Shangri La Hotel Chiang Mai and was overseen by Dannie Chiu, the Director of the South East Asia and India of HKDTC. Dannie shared experiences on developing in the international market and Jirasak Sornsuwit, the Secretary of the Northern Handicrafts Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NOHMEX) joined in to help provide information for entrepreneurs and exporters looking to expand their export market to China and other major international markets.


Car rental companies instructed to prioritise tourist safety

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Chiang Mai Governor met with police and representatives of the Chinese Consulate in Chiang Mai to discuss ways to ensure tourist safety when renting cars in Chiang Mai on October 10, 2013. Governor Wichian Phuttiwinyu was also joined by Pol. Maj. Gen. Krit Kitilue Commander of Chiang Mai Provincial Police, and Charnchai Keelapang, head of the Land Transportation Department at the meeting that also saw representatives from 60 car rental companies in Chiang Mai. He asked the operators of rental companies to make sure that the tourists know the traffic rules and do not give them a car if they do not know them or do not know how to drive. He asked them not to exploit tourists as it gives Chiang Mai and Thailand a very bad reputation worldwide.
However, representatives from the car rental companies said that tourists had complained to them the signage in Chiang Mai is poor and that many are forced to drive slowly to try and find out where they are going, they also said many of the traffic signs are poorly placed, hard to understand or just not there. The Governor instructed the relevant departments to check into this complaint and solve the problem before high season begins in November.


Zoo employees meet with Governor to discuss planned merger

Zoo employees met with Chiang Mai Governor Wichian Phuttiwinyu to protest the planned merger of Chiang Mai Zoo with the Pinkanakorn Development Agency.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai Governor Wichian Phuttiwinyu met with Chiang Mai Zoo employees on October 7, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. to hear their grievances against the proposed merger of the Zoo with the Pinkanakorn Development Agency. He was greeted the chief of the Zoo, Karnchai Sawenwong and zoo employees who displayed a banner protesting the proposed merger.
He then met with the group and heard the history of the Zoo and to receive their protest letter from Wimut Chompanon who was representing Chiang Mai Zoo employees. The Governor said he had heard of the proposed transfer from the media and would investigate it further now that he was in Chiang Mai. He said he planned on meeting with employees to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of the transfer and would then pass this information on to the government.
Wimut Chompanon told the Governor that Zoo employees nationwide opposed the transfer that had been proposed by the Prime Minister because there had been no public hearing and the details of the transfer were not transparent.


Teacher accused of sexual abuse of minors

Fang man charged with abduction and indecent acts with children

Nopniwat Krailerg
A 61 year old teacher of religion at the Agape Foundation was charged by police with abducting and raping of minor children after two students told Foundation staff that one of the teachers was sexually assaulting students.

Manu Maneewan is a religion teacher at the Agape Foundation and has been charged by police in the alleged rape of two minors.

On October 3, 2013, Police Region 5 and officers from the Children Women Family Protection and Anti Human Trafficking Center of Provincial Police Region 5 worked together to arrest the suspect; Manu Maneewan. The Center had received reports from a teacher at the Agape Foundation that two students had been reportedly raped by a teacher there.
Initially students were unwilling to come forward but staff from the Foundation worked with them and the police to find the name of the teacher who had allegedly raped them.
The school educates disadvantaged and orphaned children and the students say that Manu used his position as a teacher there to foster children at his home in Fang. It was reported that many children believed him and went to stay at his house but were raped by their teacher. The two students, age 13 and 15, who came forward to name the accused had stayed at his house as well.
The suspect has denied all charges but police continue to investigate and detained him for further questioning.


Drug arrests in Chiang Rai and Phayao net 1.4 million Yaba pills

58 kilograms of heroin uncovered on a bus

Police uncovered 1.4 million methamphetamine tablets and 93 kilograms in a week in Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai and Phayao.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Police in the North uncovered 1.4 million methamphetamine tablets and 93 kilograms of heroin in four separate arrests from October 3 to October 9, 2013.
The first major arrest took place in Chiang Rai on October 3, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. when police received a tip off that a drug trafficking gang from Mae Chaem in Chiang Mai and Mae Fah Luang in Chiang Rai would be smuggling drugs from Mae Chan to Bangkok in two pickup trucks.
Police stopped two trucks on the Phaholyothin Road between Mae Chaem and Chiang Saen in Chiang Rai and found 976,000 methamphetamine tablets, 35 kilograms of heroin and 1 kilogram of crystal methamphetamine. Four men were arrested; Phitthanet Laosang age 27, Wikrom Rakkotmai age 28 of Mae Chaem, Arlum Khala age 36 and Naruepak Khala age 30 of Mae Fah Luang. The four suspects confessed that they were engaged by Lahu people from the Mae Cha – Mae Salong Road to carry the drugs to another drug trafficker in Chiang Saen district for 100,000 baht.
The second major haul of drugs occurred in Phayao on October 7, 2013 when four men were arrested on a Chokeroongtaveetour Co., Ltd after police received a tip that drugs were being smuggled on the bus headed to Central Thailand. Police stopped the bus at Mae Tam and questioned two men who were behaving suspiciously. They confessed that they had two large bags of drugs in the hold of the bus and that two men from the bus company were involved in the plan.
Police searched the bus and found 218,000 methamphetamine pills and 58 kg of heroin worth over 345 million baht. The police announced that this group was a part of the Yi Sae network and had transported drugs in this manner three times already. The police intend on working with bus companies to stop the smuggling of drugs on buses.
On October 8, 2013 Pongsak Wangsamer, Chiang Rai Governor and Pol. Maj. Gen. Wanchai Suwansirikhet, the Chiang Rai Provincial Police Chief announced that they had uncovered 200,000 methamphetamine pills hidden in a Siam First Tour bus at the Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 2. Police had received a tip off that drugs were being hidden in the bus and found the bag but the owner of the bag, Chatchai Chermurku, whose documents they found inside the bag, had disappeared. Also in Chiang Rai police arrested Suwanna Ruerwongngam age 54 of Bangkok at the Tha Khao Pluak checkpoint after the suspect drove a car through the checkpoint. Police felt she was behaving suspiciously and on searching her car found 3,200 methamphetamine pills hidden under the back seat. The suspect confessed that she was engaged to transport the drugs from a car park of Tesco Lotus in Mae Sai to Bangkok for 30,000 baht.
In Chiang Mai on October 9 police announced the arrest of a drug dealing gang of 6 people; Surasit Kaewma age 33, Apirak Sangruam age 25, Ekarach Samakarn age 28, Jahue Jahae age 26, Khanueng Khongsuk age 31 and Sri Khaja age 36 with 1,420 methamphetamine pills.
Police set up a sting operation to purchase 600 methamphetamine pills from Surasit Kaewma by phone for the price of 42,000 baht and agreed to meet at the car park at the Big C on the Chiang Mai – Hang Dong Road. They arrested Surasit as he delivered the drugs and he led them to arrest Apirak Sangruam and Ekarach Samakarn in front of the Home Pro in Big C Hang Dong with 416 methamphetamine pills, Jahue Jahae in front of Nakornping Hospital that the suspect confessed that hide 400 methamphetamine pills in his anus and last 2 suspects Khanueng Khongsuk and Sri Khaja on Sri Chandon Road in Chang Klan sub district with 4 methamphetamine pills.


Student arrested for burglary

20 year old technical college student Suriya Palatueng was charged with burglary in a government facility after he confessed to breaking into college rooms and stealing cash and laptops.

Nopniwat Krailerg
After a series of laptops went missing at schools in the area police started checking CCTV to identify the culprit and the courts issued an arrest warrant for 20 year old Suriya Palatueng, a Mae Taeng resident attending a vocational college in Chiang Mai.
Police were called in after students reported laptops going missing from rooms at technical and vocational colleges in the city. The investigation uncovered Suriya who was arrested while he was in class. Police then searched his house and found four laptop computers, other presumably stolen equipment and 5,020 baht in cash.
Suriya confessed to police that he had stolen the items as he was very good at picking locks. He said he had stolen from rooms on three separate occasions and that he was going to sell the items as he had a 3 month old baby and could not afford to buy milk for the baby.
Suriya has been charged with burglary of a government facility.


Drug trafficking network uncovered in Chiang Mai prison

11,000 methamphetamine tablets seized

Nopniwat Krailerg
A police investigation uncovered a drug trafficking being run out of Chiang Mai Central Prison with the ringleader already in prison yet still able to organize sales and drug drops from his prison cell.
In an undercover sting, police set up a buy with Nakorn Khamsai, age 30, a prisoner at the Chiang Mai Central prison. He arranged the payoff via bank transfer and the pickup from the Tesco Lotus at Ruamchoke via a mobile phone that had been smuggled in.
The undercover agent transferred 260,000 baht to the account of Paochan Bunchuay and Nakorn arranged for two men to meet him to deliver 4,000 methampetamine pills. Police arrested Jame Lungpang age 20 and Phuangphaka Lunglu age 20 with 10,000 methamphetamine pills at the car park. A further 4,000 was uncovered at their room in the Muang District.
Police then worked with prison officials to search Nakorn’s cell where they found two mobile phones and 3 sim cards, one of which had the number the police had used to arrange the buy. Nakron confessed to police that he had ordered the two men to deliver the drugs and led them to two other associates; Saranya “View” Mata and Phuwadol “Dan” Wongsakul who had 400 methamphetamine tablets on them, and Kan or Pang Rangsee age 26 and Thongchai Srikul age 25 with 600 methamphetamine pills on October 10, 2013.


Vintage car goes up in flames

Firemen put out an engine fire that erupted from a vintage Fiat Superbrava on Assadathorn road.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Fire and police rushed to the scene of an engine fire on Assadathorn Road on Monday, October 7, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. On the scene they found the front of a white Fiat Super Brava blazing. It took firemen 10 minutes to put the fire out completely.
The owner of the car, a former Maejo University President, Dr. Arnon Theingtrong, told police that he had been driving down the road when smoke started coming out from under the hood. He parked the car and lifted the hood to find the engine on fire. He called the fire department when smoke and flames poured out of the engine compartment. Fire Department officials said the advanced age of the car is the most likely cause of the fire.


 
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Vintage car goes up in flames

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