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Update June 2016


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
Chiang Mai News
 

No new Zika cases in Chiang Mai so far

Dengue cases rise to 400

Paisan Tanyawinitchakul, Head of Chiang Mai Public Health Office reported that there has been no Zika outbreak in Chiang Mai but that residents do need to be concerned about Dengue fever and need to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds.

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The two children diagnosed with Zika Virus have recovered from the virus and so far no new cases have been found in Chiang Mai but Dr. Amnuay Kajeena, Director General of the Department of Disease Control reported that there have been 400 cases of Dengue fever diagnosed in the province since the beginning of the year.

Dr. Amnuay reported that the Office of Disease Prevention and Control and the Bureau of Epidemiology visited the area where the two children live in San Sai Noi and so far there have been no new cases of the mosquito borne disease.

Health officers have been observing the area and the residents for any outbreak of the virus which has been listed under the Contagious Disease Act B.E. 2558 as one of 57 diseases that must be strictly monitored.

Dr. Amnuay assured people not to be concerned and that they could still travel as usual but must be aware of removing breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Those with symptoms including rash, fever, red eyes, joint and back pain and swollen joints should visit a doctor immediately. Other symptoms to watch out for include headache, extreme tiredness and edema, and diarrhea which do not resolve within 2 -7 days. Pregnant women should be especially careful as Zika has been linked to deformities in new born babies.

Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart issued a statement with the head of the Chiang Mai Public Health Office Dr. Paisan Tanyawinitchakul that there has been no outbreak of Zika Virus in Chiang Mai. He noted that all schools are being monitored and that the two children are believed to have contracted the virus in Petchabun which has seen more cases.

However, the dengue fever situation is growing with 88 people diagnosed with Dengue in Mae Taeng district and 400 in Chiang Mai Province. There have been no deaths from Dengue fever yet so far this season. The Public Health Office reiterated the need to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds and to avoid mosquito bites with screens, mosquito nets and repellents.


Murder gang caught in murder for hire case in Mae Jo

The suspects in the murder for hire case of Ketsuda Saikiew in Mae Jo confessed to police that they had been hired by her ex-husband for the murder.

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Police announced the arrest of a gang that had been hired to murder a Mae Jo woman on June 23, 2016 with Pol. Lt. Gen. Tanitsak Theerasawat, Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5, Deputy Governor Krit Thanawanitch and Commissioner of the Provincial Police Pol. Maj. Gen. Montri Samboonnanont on hand with the suspects and the weapon seized from the suspects.

Police display the M16 used to shoot the victim 19 times as they drove by on a motorcycle.

Ketsuda Saikiew was shot 19 times at the Kitcharoenyont Garage on June 14, 2016 and police investigation uncovered four people involved in the shooting; Katawuth Plangun, Jeerapong Taepho, Udom or M Pabpram and Jeerasak or Man Leelachum.

Jeerapong Taepho has been charged as the shooter and while Udom was believed to be the getaway driver. Katawuth Plangun is considered to be the mastermind behind the gang and has been wanted on an arrest warrant by the Royal Thai Police as a known gunman for hire.

Police arrested the first suspect in Phrae while the other four were found in Chiang Dao. Police found M16 bullets and a t-shirt that matched the CCTV photo of the suspect on the day of the shooting. The suspect arrested in Phrae was believed to be driving the getaway motorcycle while the shooter was arrested in Chiang Dao.

The four suspects confessed that they had been hired to murder Ketsuda Saikiew by her ex-husband Eak, who promised a payment of 140,000 baht for the murder. The team said that so far they had only received 20,000 baht by bank transfer. The suspects told police that they had gone to the meeting point near Mae Jo University where Katawuth parked the getaway car. Two of them went on a motorcycle with an M16 wrapped in a bag where they opened fire on the woman, killing her instantly.

The Chiang Mai Court has issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Eak, the ex-husband of the deceased on charges of murder for hire.


Police announce arrest of five men in drug cases

At 11 am on June 23,2016, Pol.Lt.Gen.Tanitsak Teerasawat - Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5, Wichai Chaimongkol - Director of Narcotics Control Office Region 5, Pol.Maj.Gen.Pacha Ratanaphan - Deputy Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5, Maj.Gen.Kosol Prathumchart - Commanding General, the 33rd Military Circle announced the arrest of five men in three separate cases over the past week.

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Region 5 Police announced the arrest of five men suspected of drug trafficking on June 23, 2016. The five men were arrested in three separate cases, the first involved Sompol Lungya of Mae Taeng and Gub (last name unknown) with 10 packages of crystal methamphetamine or Ya Ice totalling 10 kilograms and a total of 6.8 million baht.

The two suspects were arrested in a drug sting arranged from Mae Hong Son to purchase the Ya Ice for 680,000 baht per kilogram.The suspects allegedly delivered the drugs to to a house in Padaed in Chiang Mai.

The second case involved two suspects arrested on June 17 who were stopped and found to be hiding26,000 Yaba or methamphetamine pills. Thanaporn Booncharoen and Witsanu Preeda of San Kampaeng confessed to police that they had hidden the pills in a hut in a rice field after being stopped by police.

The third arrest occurred on June 20, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. when Chiang Dao police arrested Sai Nantaw with 7.5 kilograms of raw opium and a muzzle loading gun at a longan orchard in Baan Mae Aor Nai in Chiang Dao. The police had received reports of someone stealing from migrant workers in the camp as well as selling drugs to the workers. Police investigated the camp and uncovered the opium in a white bucket belonging to the suspect. Police charged the suspect and took him for further prosecution.


Two San Sai children diagnosed with Zika viruss

Authorities believe they contracted the virus in Petchabun

San Sai Luang Mayor Nattee Damrong issued the order for control around the houses of the children who were diagnosed with the Zika Virus recently.

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Provincial health authorities have determined two children who visited a funeral in Petchabun contracted the Zika virus. An order has been put in place to monitor the San Sai area for any further Zika cases for 28 days from June 20, 2016.

San Sai Luang Mayor Nattee Damrong announced the target area for observation will be around the house of the two children in Moo 5 in San San Noi.

The Municipality Act B.E.2496 and the amendment through Article 13 Section 50 (4), Municipality is in charge of prevention and combat against contagious disease. As a result, San Sai Luang Subdistrict Municipality announced a 100 meter radius around the house in San Sai Noi as a target for disease eradication and observation for 28 days from the announcement on June 20, 2016.

Dr.Waranyu Jamnongprasartporn M.D., Chiang Mai Deputy Provincial Public Health Medical Physician reported the cases to Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart. The Office of Disease Prevention and Control 1 notified Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office that nine patients with skin rash were found in Petchabun Province on June 19, seven were Petchabun residents and two Chiang Mai residents who attended a funeral at Ban Tiew, Lom Sak District in Petchabun. The two children attended the funeral from June 2 to June 11 when they returned to Chiang Mai. The first patient is a 9-year-old girl and the second her 11-year-old brother. Both were treated at Lanna Hospital and are recovering at home.

Dr.Waranyu Jamnongprasartporn additionally reported that the Epidemiology Section notified the District Public Health Office to investigate the area for any other cases for 100 meters around the house. Any people who show fever and rash in the next 14 days should have a sample of blood and urine to determine if they have contracted the Zika virus. Additionally, the District Public Health Officer to eliminate sources of mosquitoes around the patients’ house and in the area around the house for the next five days.

The Zika virus is carried by the Aedes mosquito and while the symptoms are fairly mild in patients and usually recover within a week the disease has been linked to severe deformities in babies born to women who contract the disease while pregnant.


Plans in place to cope with floods, landslides and strong winds for the rainy season

Thanawat Paengjai, the Head of the Disaster Prevention and Operations Division announces plans to cope with natural disasters in the province.

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The Chiang Mai Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office have adjusted its plans and preventional measures to cope with winds, floods, landslides and other natural disasters during the rainy season.

On June 21, 2016, Thanawat Paengjai, the Head of the Disaster Prevention and Operations Division reported that the Office has reviewed its work plans and adjusted its measures in case of disaster caused by strong winds, floods, and landslides at the provincial, district, and local administration organizational levels. 

They will cooperate with other working agencies, such as the Department of Water Resources, Irrigation Department, the Department of Mineral Resources, and other concerned agencies.

Chiang Mai has 25 districts, 178 sub districts, and 919 villages, which are located mostly in the mountainous areas, Mae Ping watersheds area, rivers, and canals. This has seen annual cases of landslide and flooding. Last year 12 districts saw damages from winds, floods and landslides affecting about 119, 476 people in 220 villages and 1,078 rai of farmland damaged.

The agencies have prepared equipment and readied telecommunications systems and set in place evacuation areas, disaster warning and monitoring systems and readied rescue teams.

Command Centers will be established to inform and warn the public about disasters and training courses are being held to help villages prepare for possible disasters due to weather. If there are any natural disasters, then the established command and warning centers will be able to help villagers deal with disasters and damages.


Twenty people arrested for gambling in Euro Cup

Police increase patrols for areas at risk for property crime by losers

 

Pol. Col. Precha Wimolchaiyajit, Deputy Commander of the Chiang Mai Provincial Police said police will up patrols around areas at risk for property crime by those who have lost money gambling on the Euro Cup.

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The Chiang Mai Police worked with other government sectors to track down people gambling illegally on the Euro Cup including three people arrested for gambling online.

Pol. Col. Precha Wimolchaiyajit, Deputy Commander of the Chiang Mai Provincial Police said that the crackdown follows Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha’s concerns over widespread gambling on football and the crimes that inevitably follow by those who have lost and need money to pay their gambling debts.

Police are patrolling areas in front of banks, gold shops, convenience stores and ATMs to ensure that crimes against property are suppressed.

Twenty people were arrested during the period of June 10 -12 alone with three of those charged with gambling online.


Lanna Expo to be held June 30 – July 6

Charms of Lanna at the International Convention Center

The Lanna Expo will be held at the Chiang Mai International Convention Center from June 30 to July 6 and feature products and services from the Upper North.

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The Lanna Expo 2016 will be held at the Chiang Mai International Convention Center from June 30 – July 6, 2016 it was announced at a press conference at the Shangri-La Chiang Mai Hotel recently. The expo will have the theme of Lanna, Endless Charm: Lanna Health and Wellness and will be held in honor of His Majesty the King’s 7th cycle anniversary.

The opening ceremony will be held on June 30 at 2 p.m. and will be presided over by former Chiang Mai Governor and current Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office M.L. Panadda Diskul.

The event, which features the provinces of the Upper North, Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang and Mae Hong Son will aim to promote the region and publicize Northern products and services. The region’s main features are food and agricultural products, herbal and handicraft products, health and wellness services and tourism.

The health and wellness services will be highlighted and will work to link with other medical services in the North to create a Medical Hub in the Upper North which include medical services, hospitals, food and other health products as well as Halal food.

The outstanding products and services of the four provinces will be on display and will have 12 zones including Medical & Wellness, Health Care and Spa, Cosmetics, Herbs, Health Tourism, Hotels and Accommodation, Home Stay Services, Airlines and Transportation, Northern Food Valley, Food and Agricultural Products, OTOP and SME, textiles and household items.

There will be art and culture shows, exhibitions on local wisdom as well as conferences on innovation, research, food and more. There will also be mini-concerts with famous singers and artists.

Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart said that this year the event is being organized with the Office of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) with Chiang Mai at the center as one of the important economic provinces in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region and linking neighboring countries. Many exhibitors will focus on Thai- Myanmar border trade and offer business matching among member countries.

Media from neighboring countries will also be attending bringing international focus to the event. Target revenues are expected to reach about 68.8 million baht, or a five percent increase from last year.


Chiang Mai Airport holds emergency drills

Airport staff are addressed by Group Captain Sami Chanthorn, Deputy Managing Director of the Airports of Thailand Regional Airports at the start of the emergency drills.

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Chiang Mai International Airport held readiness drills for emergency preparedness and full scale exercises in line with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) regulations. ICAO mandates that full scale exercises must be held at least once every two years to ensure readiness in case of emergencies.

Emergency drills gave Airport staff a chance to simulate an earthquake disaster with injured passengers and others

Group Captain Sami Chanthorn, Deputy Managing Director of the Airports of Thailand Regional Airports presided over the opening ceremony and training on June 17, 2016.

The emergency exercises tested equipment including fire extinguishing and rescue procedures, communications, medical services and cooperation to create confidence among users, passengers and airlines.

This year’s exercise was set up to prepare for an earthquake and followed the Business Continuity Plan, part of the AoT management system to cope with crisis situations caused by natural disasters and to protect AoT properties. The drill simulated a 6.0 earthquake that was 2 kilometer under the earth with an epicenter at Mae Rim.

Airport staff worked with Wing 41 and Army Circle 33 officers in a training drill for disaster at the Chiang Mai International Airport.

The exercise was held in conjunction with the Provincial Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Wing 41, the 33rd Military Circle, the Northern Meteorological Center, the Aeronautical Control Center, the Provincial Public Health Office, the Chiang Mai Seismograph Center, the Department of Hydrography of Royal Thai Navy, local administration organizations,  airlines, and the government agencies operating at the Chiang Mai Airport.

In the drill the passenger lounge was destroyed and the runway severely damaged with many passengers injured or dead. Rescue teams worked to remove the victims and passengers evacuated from the buildings.

Mae Fah Luang Airport in Chiang Rai has been designated as the secondary airport to be on standby should disaster strike Chiang Mai International Airport. All necessary equipment can be removed to Chiang Rai airport within seven hours.

The full scale drill gave staff experience in procedures among the agencies and an understanding of necessary processes should disaster strike.


Farewell interview with U.S. Consul General

Outgoing U.S. Consul General Michael Heath on his role in Chiang Mai, his achievements and his views on the future of Thailand and U.S. relations.

U.S. Consul General Michael Heath was interviewed shortly before his departure to take up a post in Australia. The Acting U.S. Consul General is Henry v. Jardine from the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok. The new U.S. Consul General will be arriving to take up the position in early August.

What will you miss most about departing Chiang Mai after nearly three years?

Chiang Mai is such a fascinating place to work. The city itself has over 700 years of history, far older than any of our cities in the United States. I admire the way the local government and people have preserved their cultural traditions dating all the way back to the Lanna Kingdom period. Our Consulate buildings themselves have an important place in Lanna history. Our district covers 14 provinces besides Chiang Mai, though, and I learned so much about the values and cultures of provinces such as Lampang, Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai, Sukhothai, Phrae, etc. etc. We have over 10,000 citizens living in northern Thailand, so I'm not the only one who loves the region. The people, the food, the scenery, and the health facilities are all world-class. It's no wonder that northern Thailand is one of the world's top tourist and retirement destinations.

What are your Consulate's most important accomplishments during your tenure?

One area is our engagement with students about the election process in the United States. It's difficult to discuss Thai politics here, but we are happy to talk about U.S. politics because we face many of the same issues that Thais face - such as immigration, health, the environment. I was happy to hear students ask smart and thoughtful questions about American politics. I was happy to hear their criticism too, because it shows the students are thinking independently. That's a good sign. Many of these students were political science students or law students, and they need the opportunities to debate issues in their fields of study. They represent Thailand's future, and Thailand has a bright future based on the quality I saw.

I'm also proud of our Consulate's role in the discussion about air pollution in the North, which is a serious health problem. We disseminated air quality statistics from Thailand's Pollution Control Department to the general public on our Facebook page. We discovered that there was already good progress being made at Chiang Mai University and at the NGO Warm Heart International in developing alternatives to open-air waste burning. We also assisted the Pollution Control Department by linking them with our own Environmental Protection Agency to discuss our own programs to reduce air pollution. Thailand itself has already had huge success in improving Bangkok's air quality over the past 20 years. Hopefully there will be a similar transformation in the North.

Finally, I'm glad that we were able to maintain our cooperation with Thai government agencies in the fight against drug trafficking and the fight against human trafficking. The impact of dangerous drugs, such as "yaa baa" and methamphetamines, on Thai society is devastating, just as it is in my own country. On human trafficking, we closely worked with some true heroes in the NGO community in capturing traffickers of children and prosecuting child sexual crimes. Certain police officers were also heroes in this area, and I'm disappointed that they haven't received the credit they deserve.

What are your impressions of the political situation?

The current political situation is complex, and it has many causes. The situation is obviously very different than when I arrived in 2013. We've always said that it is a Thai problem for Thais to resolve themselves. We don't take sides in domestic politics and we don't try to impose any type of solution. However, we will always support the principle of freedom of expression. If you ask us our opinion on that, we will provide it very clearly. There won't be true stability in any country unless viewpoints from all segments of society are respected. That is especially true in the North. I was able to meet with a wide variety of people during my tour here, and gave every side equal respect. The Chiang Mai military authorities have a difficult task carrying out their orders from Bangkok, but I respected their role as well.

In summary, the United States wants to see Thailand succeed and get past this period of political uncertainty. We believe that in the long run, Thailand WILL succeed as it always has in the past. In the short run, we may have disagreements from time to time, but the relationship between our peoples is very strong. Anyone who seeks to weaken that relationship will ultimately fail.


Thai and Myanmar police to work together on human trafficking

Myanmar and Thai police led by Mr. Htun Naing, the Deputy Commander of the Anti-Human Trafficking Agency of the National Office of Myanmar Police and Pol. Col. Songsak Raksaksakul, Deputy Director- General of the DSI met to discuss cooperation on human trafficking.

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Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI) met with the National Office of the Myanmar Police last week at Kantary Hills Hotel to discuss cooperation on human trafficking prevention and suppression following an exchange program held between the two agencies.

Pol. Col. Songsak Raksaksakul, Deputy Director- General of the DSI chaired the meeting where the police officers discussed cases of human trafficking and follow up on work from past bilateral meetings. They discussed frameworks for cooperation and implementing work plans together with the National Office of the Myanmar Police.

Pol. Col. Songsak said that the Myanmar police were interested in the exchange of facts and information with their Thai counterparts and in working in cooperation especially on cases of laborers being cheated and trafficked to work in the fishing industry; including more than 1,000 cases from the past. The DSI expressed concern over criminal cases, transnational crimes, prostitution and labor cheating.

With the establishment of the anti human trafficking center under the DSI, in cooperation with the National Office of Myanmar police they have been working together more closely to combat trafficking and reduce the number of criminal cases. They admitted that human trafficking cases are difficult especially when trying to collect evidence and investigate since often those being trafficked will be afraid to assist in the investigation.

The Myanmar police have learned quite a bit about the Thai investigation process, the Deputy Director General said, as more human trafficking cases are uncovered in Thailand and the police here have more experience with them.

Mr. Htun Naing, the Deputy Commander of the Anti-Human Trafficking Agency of the National Office of Myanmar Police added that their office has been able to make important contributions in fighting human trafficking but that they have not been able to arrest the masterminds behind the trafficking. There are many cases of human trafficking which has caused big problems and the two countries need to work together urgently to solve the problem. He concluded that some Myanmar laborers come work in Thailand and were cheated in both wages and times that were not under the agreements regulated by the brokers. The two agencies are working together to solve these issues.


Ukrainian ATM skimmers busted with 36 cards and a skimming machine

Three men were arrested for using fake ATM cards to steal money from Thai banks after Interpol and the Bank of Thailand alerted the Region 5 Police to their presence in the city.

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The Provincial Police Region 5 Office worked with Interpol to arrest a Ukrainian gang of ATM skimmers last week. Pol. Lt. Gen. Thanitsak Theerasawat, Commission of Region 5 announced.

Three men were arrested and found with 36 ATM cards, 150,000 baht, US$14,205, a bank book, credit card skimming and recording machine. Mr. Mykola Chovhan, 21, Mr. Oleksll Pusshkar, 29, and Mr. Serhll Matsyshyn , 27 were charged with using fake electronic cards, equipment for making fake cards and using false information.

The Commissioner said that Region 5 Police had been contacted by Interpol and the Bank of Thailand to trace the gang who had been using cards to withdraw money from ATMs around Thailand and South East Asia.

Police tracked down the suspects who had been using the cards in ATMs in Chiang Mai; they were staying at a guesthouse on Changklan road and are being held by police who will file charges against the gang.


Malaysians arrested running fraudulent call center

Fifteen people were arrested in a Call Center scam- fourteen Malaysians and one Vietnamese were charged with working illegally and fraud.

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Fifteen people were arrested last week after investigative police uncovered their call center which was being used to cheat Malaysian victims and get them to transfer money to the gang.

Ten men and four women, one of which is from Vietnam, were arrested and accused of setting up an illegal business operation, working illegally and fraud. Region 5 Police received a tip off that a large group of foreigners were renting a house at the Kluay Mai Housing Estate in San Sai Noi and after obtaining a search warrant from the courts raided the house where they found the gang calling Malaysian victims on the phone.

The group was led by Malaysian national Chin Kiat Yong, age 30, who confessed to police that they would call Malaysians and claim to be bank staff in Malaysia and would tell them there was a problem with their credit cards. They would talk the victims into transferring the money to them. In the past fourteen days the gang bilked people out of about 4,297,000 baht or 500,000 ringgits. Members of the gang were given a percentage of the take by the boss in Malaysia, with the leader in Chiang Mai receiving 8 percent, team members 6 percent and new employees 3 percent. The names and phone numbers of potential victims were sent from an email in Malaysia.

Chin Kiat Yong was also found in possession of seven Yaba or methamphetamine pills so was also charged with possessing illegal drugs.


Longkhod sub-district receives fire engine from Japanese government

Japanese Consul General Shinya Aoki hands over the ceremonial key to Longkhod Chief Executive of Longkhod Sub-District Administration Organization Shongvut Nitipronk for the fire engine purchased using funds from the Japanese Grassroots Human Security Projects scheme.

The Government of Japan, under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects Scheme (GGP), has provided funds amounting to 2,800,000 baht for “the Project for Procurement for a Fire Engine in Longkhod Sub-District in Phrao District, Chiang Mai Province”. On14 June, 2016, Mr. Shinya Aoki, Consul-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, and Mr. Shongvut Nitipronk, Chief Executive of Longkhod Sub-District Administration Organization, were present at the hand-over ceremony of the fire engine with crane at the Longkhod Sub-District Administration Organization Office in Chiang Mai.

The new fire engine also has a crane that can be used in fighting forest fires in Longkhod.

In this project the Government of Japan supported the cost of purchasing a medium size fire engine with a water tank and crane. The fire engine will be used not only for firefighting but also supplying water in the dry season, repairing street lights and electric cables, and trimming trees.

Longkhod Sub-District lies about 100 km north of Chiang Mai. It covers 305 sq. km, 93% of which is a vast mountainous area that is largely designated as national park or protected forest. The Sub-District has a population of about 5,000 and the majority of the residents are engaged in agriculture in the basin in the central area. The Sub-District Administration Organization operates a “community participation type project” aimed at helping local communities live together and maintain a verdant natural environment, known as “The Longkhod Model”. Relevant local organizations in cooperation with local residents have promoted environmental conservation and succeeded in stopping illegal deforestation. In 2015 the Thai government authorized “The Longkhod Model” as a people-environment co-existence model. On the other hand, forest fires still break out every dry season due to the spread of fires from mountains in neighboring areas. Therefore, procurement of a fire engine was an urgent issue because the Sub-District Administration Organization didn’t possess such a vehicle until now.

It is expected that this support will contribute to ensuring the security of the residents in Longkhod Sub-District and the nearby area as well as mitigating smoke haze and aiding conservation of the natural environment in the north of Thailand. (GGP)


Courts received permission from Army to use public lands for new buildings

Public concerns over encroachment

Photos of construction that appear to be on the mountains circulated on social media as concerned citizens called for an investigation to ensure there was no encroachment onto the national park.

Justice Udom Sithiwiratchatham reported on the case and stated that the Courts had received permission from the Army to use their lands back in 2006 but only received the budget for construction in the past few years.

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The President of the Appeals Court Region 5 clarified housing being constructed near the foot of the national park and mountains and near Huay Tung Tao Reservoir after photos of the construction were shown on social media.

Udom Sithiwiratchatham, President of the Appeals Court Region 5 said that after studying aerial maps it was determined by Ministry officials that the construction was legal.

The Appeals Court Region 5 was relocated from Bangkok in 2005 to the Courts a SanDek Intersection with the Chiang Mai District Court and Juvenile and Family Courts on the Superhighway.

The Appeals Court needed to be moved as the Court Buildings at SanDek were overcrowded. Also, there is no public housing for judges and justice ministry officials so the Justice court asked permission to use lands under the control of the Army 33rd Military Circle in Don Kaew, Mae Rim. The Army gave permission to the courts to use 147 rai of land in 2006 to construct the Appeals Court as well as 47 houses and 13 apartment buildings.

The budget was only approved in 2013 and the construction project was implemented with bids for construction and environmental impact reports in 2014 with construction finally beginning recently.


Share Life Give Blood on June 14 at Central Plaza Chiang Mai Airport

World Blood Donor Day is at Central Airport Plaza Chiang Mai June 14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Chiang Mai residents are urged to turn out for World Blood Donation Day on Tuesday, June 14 to join the Share Life Give Blood donation drive at the Chiang Mai Hall at Central Plaza Chiang Mai Airport.

The event will be held all day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the opening ceremony presided over by the Deputy Governor and Vice President of the Provincial Red Cross in Chiang Mai at 10:30 a.m.

Donations will be accepted from people no younger than 17 and no older than 60 and all donors will receive a free t-shirt. The Provincial Red Cross hopes to receive 500 units of blood.

There will also be health exams and healthy massage for attendees and visitors.

World Blood Donor Day was first designated by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent , (World Health Organization, The International of Blood Organizations (FIODS) and The International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT) to be held on June 14 in 2004.

June 14 marks the birthdate of Karl Landsteiner (1868–1943), an Austrian biologist and physician, considered to be the “founder” of modern blood transfusion. Landsteiner discovered the ABO blood groups in 1901, developed the modern system of classification of blood groups, and identified, in 1937, together with Alexander S. Wiener, the Rhesus factor which enables doctors to transfuse blood without endangering the life of the patient.

Acting Head of the Provincial Public Health Office Dr Watcharee said that Chiang Mai needs more than 85,000 units of blood per year but only manages to collect 54,000 units per year which is not sufficient for the demand.

Last year there were shortages of O and B blood groups while this year Blood Group A is in short supply. RH Negative blood is also very rare in Thailand and generally more in need by foreigners. More campaigns need to be launched for foreign blood donors and the Provincial Red Cross will work in cooperation with the consulates.


Police track down suspects involved in drug trafficking

Police question the girlfriend of a man who was arrested earlier in June with 326,000 methamphetamine pills. She later confessed to police that he had asked her to open a bank account for money transfers related to drug trafficking.

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A Chang Mai couple was arrested this month and accused of being involved in a drug trafficking gang by the Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB). Police raided the home of the girlfriend of a man who had been arrested in early June with Yaba.

In early June Surin Masayasikharin was arrested by police in Lampang with 356,000 methamphetamine pills. Investigation into his associates uncovered suspicious account activity in the bank account of his girlfriend Somsri Saenliew in Keeleg in Mae Taeng.

Police raided her house in Mae Taeng after conducting searches in Chiang Dao and Mae Taeng that uncovered nothing suspicious. They also raided a house belonging to Somsri but found no drugs however, she confessed to police that she was the girlfriend of Surin and had been asked by him to open a bank account for drug money transfers.
She told police that after her boyfriend was arrested she threw away the bank book. Police found 40,000 baht in cash on her person and a further 100,000 baht in the bank account.

Police seized the bank evidence and will investigate further to press charges in drug trafficking.


DTAC joins hands with UNICEF to produce parents’ handbook for the digital age

On-uma Rerkpattanapipat, Senior Director for Organizational Communications and Sustainable Development for Total Access Communications (DTAC) introduces the new guidebook, both as an e-book and a printed book, to teach parents how to keep their kids safe online.

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DTAC joined hands with UNICEF to produce a handbook for parents to learn how to cope with the digital age and their tech savvy children. In conjunction with Telenor the new guide will help parents navigate social media and the cyber world with their kids.

The DTAC Parents Guide was produced after statistics showed that 59 percent of kids will turn to friends or people online instead of consulting their parents with problems. Of these 48 percent have no security with online communications.

The book was introduced at a press conference on June 8, 2016 at Café de Museum by On-uma Rerkpattanapipat, Senior Director for Organizational Communications and Sustainable Development for Total Access Communications (DTAC). This book is addressing parental concerns about the use of internet among children and teaches parents how to be digitally savvy; how to understand and use the internet safely and how to avoid dangerous online behaviors.

DTAC has also set up workshops for parents and has so far visited 50 schools throughout the country. The company printed out about 100,000 copies and they can be picked up free of charge at any DTAC branches and the e-book can also be downloaded online through the DTAC website and the UNICEF website and is also readable on mobile devices.


Ministry of Justice cooperates with Yunnan on drug suppression

The Ministry of Justice and the Yunnan Provincial Public Security Department signed an agreement to cooperate on drug trafficking and production.

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The Ministry of Justice signed an agreement with the Yunnan Provincial Public Security Department (YPPSD) to cooperate on drug suppression in the region at a signing ceremony held at the Shangri La Hotel, Chiang Mai. Minister of Justice General Paiboon Khumchaya signed the agreement with Dong Jialu, Executive Deputy Director General of the YPPSD which will see cooperation between the Committee Office of Drug Control in China and Thailand’s Office of Narcotics Control Board Region 5.(ONCB)

The ONCB assigned ONCB Region 5 director Wichai Chaimongkol and Director of International Cooperation Division of the YPPSD to have annual joint meetings with each country alternating the hosting duties.

Both sides agreed that drug smuggling, drug control and the resolution of drug problem in the Greater Mekong sub- region will be more efficient with close cooperation, especially the exchange of information on drug trade, drug rings and smuggling routes as well as equipment for drug production.
They will also cooperate on money laundering, chemicals, drug cases and blockades of drug smuggling routes.


Spas to register with the Ministry of Health

Dr. Boonruang Trairuangworarat, Director General of Health Support and Services for the Ministry of Health announced that new regulations will require businesses offering massage and spa services to register with the government.

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The Ministry of Health will start registering spa businesses in the North and held a seminar for spa owners on workplace operations at the regional level last week. Around 200 spa operators attended the seminar headed by Dr. Boonruang Trairuangworarat, Director General of Health Support and Services for the Ministry of Health.

Attendees were briefed on the upcoming regulations and registration that will be put in place with a draft law that they hope will be in effect by September 27, 2106. The draft law will be proposed to the Cabinet later this month for consideration and approval.

Dr. Boonruang added that this act will impose control and supervision of spa services, they will be divided into three categories; spa, massage for health and massage for beauty and will include protection and security for customers. These regulations will create confidence among customers to use the services and that they will be healthy.

Unregistered businesses that still use a spa or massage sign will face six months in prison or a fine of 50,000 baht or both.

In 2016 the Ministry of Health said there are about 1,605 spa service businesses in the country, of those the North has 322, of which 256 offered massage, 61 were spas and 5 do beauty massage. Chiang Mai had the highest number of 149 while Chiang Rai had 55. Last year revenues from the spa sector reached 30 billion baht, or 15 percent annual growth rate. They expect about 20,000 new businesses will register with the authorities.


Sting nets Yaba and 4 million in cash in Chiang Rai

Four suspects were arrested in a drug sting operation in Chiang Rai that netted 110,000 methamphetamine pills and over 4 million baht in cash.

The cash and Yaba seized by the police during the drug sting operation.

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A sting operation in Chiang Rai saw police arrest four Chiang Rai natives with 110,000 methamphetamine pills and 4.2 million baht in cash at the car park of the Sopha Resort in Chiang Rai.

Police set up a drug buy from the gang and met the first suspect, Arpha Chermue, age 22, who brought with him 44 packages of Yaba pills, totally 110,000 pills. They then linked him up with another suspect, 38 year old Archa Mayua who was staying in the resort. They then arranged a meeting with two more suspected traffickers at the PTT station in Rimkok, Chiang Rai.

All four suspects are being detained on drug trafficking charges, police are searching for more drugs that were hidden by the side of the road near Mae Fah Luang University.

The suspects confessed that they had been paid 10,000 baht each by a Mr. Arlo to deliver drugs to customers.


Chiang Mai man strangles wife over crying baby

Police bag evidence after a Wiang Haeng man confessed to strangling his Burmese wife because of the crying of their four month old baby.

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A Chiang Mai man told police he strangled his wife after their crying baby left him sleepless and angry during the night of May 30, 2016.
Chang Puak Police arrested Sak Sanghuang, age 25 from Wiang Haeng District at his rented rooms in Chang Puak. Mr. Sak told police that he had a fight with his wife around 2 a.m. due to the baby’s constant crying. He confessed to police that he had strangled her in a fit of anger and then fell asleep until about 4 a.m. When he woke up he found their four month old baby suckling his dead wife. That is when he felt guilty and turned himself into police.
The Chiang Mai Social Development and Human Security Office sent officials to find relatives to care for the baby and found the brother of the deceased mother who has agreed to care for his baby nephew.


Drunk driver sentenced to 2 years for killing 3 cyclists

 

Kongkarn Yonglan, the daughter of Chaiwat Yonglan, who was killed along with two other people by a drunk driver as he cycled along the road speaks with reporters about the Court decision.

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The driver in a case that shocked the nation a year ago on May 3, 2015 was sentenced to only two years in prison after she plowed into a group of cyclists while driving drunk on the Chiang Mai – Doi Saket Road at 5:45 a.m., killing three people.
The Chiang Mai Court sentenced 24 year old Phatsuda Jaireuan to two years in prison for both Civil and Criminal charges of negligence causing other people’s death according to Section 291, Land Traffic Act B.E.2522. She was sued by the daughters of Chaiwat Yonglan, the wife of Saman Kanta and the parents of Pongthep Kamkaew who were killed when she drove into their group cycling on the opposite side of the road.
The Chiang Mai Court had previously postponed the sentencing on September 9, 2015 after it was determined to adjudicate the Civil and Criminal cases simultaneously. In the civil case the families of those killed requested compensation of 4 – 5 million baht. At that time the defendant provided bail of 100,000 baht per fatality.
The Chiang Mai Court found Phatsuda guilty of causing the death of other people and was charged with misdemeanors according to section 367 and section 398 in accordance with Land Traffic Act B.E.2522 and was sentenced to prison for four years. The Court reduced the sentence to two years with no parole after the defendant confessed. Additionally her driver’s license has been seized.
The defendant posted bail again for further litigation. In the claims for damages the Court dismissed the claims of the daughters of Mr. Chairat but ordered the defendant to pay compensation of 1.7 million baht to the wife of Mr. Saman and 435,000 baht to the parents of Mr. Pongthep. Relatives of the deceased will have thirty days to appeal the decision on the compensation.


Police apprehend suspect in brutal murder in Lamphun

Suspect fled to Uttaradit after murder

Lamphun police coordinated with Uttaradit police to arrest Sataporn Reelieng in the brutal rape and murder of a nursing assistant in Lamphun.

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The suspect in the brutal stabbing of a nursing assistant in a dormitory in Lamphun was apprehended after he returned to his hometown in Uttaradit.

Sataporn or Eak Reelieng of Uttaradit was arrested for the murder of 32 year old Daungjai Kiewnormeung from Pa Sang, Lamphun on June 1, 2016. Daungjai worked as a nursing assistant at Lamphun Hospital and was found in a room in Muang District Lamphun. Her body was found naked from the waist down and with thirteen stab wounds at 8 a.m. on May 31, 2016.

The suspect re-enacts fleeing the scene of the crime with police after his arrest one day after the body of 32 year old Daungjai Kiewnormeung was found in her dormitory room in Lamphun.

Pol. Maj. Gen.Somsanga Charin, Commissioner of Lamphun Provincial Police and Pol. Col. Phon Puanpai, Superintendent of Muang Lamphun Police Station ordered the investigation of the brutal crime and police focused on a suspect who lived in the same building as the deceased. Sataporn Reelieng had disappeared immediately after the murder arousing police suspicions.

Further investigation into the suspect’s history found he had been charged with trespassing, rape and murder. The Lamphun Court issued an arrest warrant for Sataporn and Lamphun Police coordinated with Uttaradit to arrest the suspect.

Sataporn confessed that he had broken in to Daungjai’s room to rape her but when she resisted he stabbed her in the neck thirteen times and then fled the scene.


Huge bust yields 21 million Yaba pills in Myanmar

The driver of a 12 wheel truck carrying over 21 million Yaba pills was arrested in Myanmar after being stopped at a checkpoint in northern Shan state.

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Wichai Chaimongkol, director of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board Region 5 announced that narcotics police in cooperation with military and other police had seized a 12 wheel truck carrying 21 million methamphetamine pills at Kutkai in Northern Shan State in Myanmar.

A 12 wheel truck carrying 105 sacks marked as pet food was stopped in Kutkai in Northern Shan state with over 21 million methamphetamine pills.

The 12 wheel truck was stopped at a checkpoint where they found 21,050,000 pills in 105 sacks marked as pet food during the night of May 28, 2016. Investigators found that the drugs were of the same type found in Mandalay in March and to pills found in Yangon in July, 2015. The police and narcotics suppression officers are continuing to investigate the network in a bid to stop the flow of drugs.


Labor Ministry visits One Stop Service Center in Chiang Mai

briefed Inspector Theerapol Khunmuang of the Labor Ministry meets one of the applicants for a work permit at the One Stop Services Center.

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The Ministerial Inspector for the Ministry of Labor visited the One Stop Service Center at the Exhibition Hall of Northern Agriculture Products Center in Chiang Mai on Canal Road on May 30, 2016 to inspect the center.

Yaowapha Piboonphol, the Head of the Chiang Mai Provincial Labor Office briefed Inspector Theerapol Khunmuang during his visit on the services and facilities offered to employers of workers from Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos. The center provides work permits for migrant workers from neighboring countries due by July 29, 2016.

Migrant workers ready for the July 29 deadline to obtain work permits at the One Stop Service Center.

The Chiang Mai Office of Labor arranged for center staff to assist all alien workers as they must finish their work permit registrations by July 29, 2016. Those not completed by the deadline will be inspected and fined by officials before being deported to their own country.

The Chiang Mai Head said that the One Stop Services Center works in cooperation with Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office, Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Office, and Registration Center, Region 5. These offices have helped provide medical check -ups, issue health insurance cards, profile and registration documents, and also work permits from April 4 - June 2, 2016.

In total 19,773 alien workers requested center services so far. The One Stop Service Center is open for public services from May to June, Monday to Saturday. In July it will open for services from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Application and registration fees can be paid at the Counter Service of 7-11 stores or the Chiang Mai Provincial Labor Office. Once health exams in health insurance have been issued migrant workers will be given an appointment at the OSS Center to receive their work permits.

 

 
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

No new Zika cases in Chiang Mai so far

Murder gang caught in murder for hire case in Mae Jo

Police announce arrest of five men in drug cases


Two San Sai children diagnosed with Zika virus

Plans in place to cope with floods, landslides and strong winds for the rainy season

Twenty people arrested for gambling in Euro Cup

Lanna Expo to be held June 30 – July 6


Chiang Mai Airport holds emergency drills

Farewell interview with U.S. Consul General


Thai and Myanmar police to work together on human trafficking

Ukrainian ATM skimmers busted with 36 cards and a skimming machine

Malaysians arrested running fraudulent call center


Longkhod sub-district receives fire engine from Japanese government


Courts received permission from Army to use public lands for new buildings

Share Life Give Blood on June 14 at Central Plaza Chiang Mai Airport

Police track down suspects involved in drug trafficking

DTAC joins hands with UNICEF to produce parents’ handbook for the digital age


Ministry of Justice cooperates with Yunnan on drug suppression

Spas to register with the Ministry of Health

Sting nets Yaba and 4 million in cash in Chiang Rai


Chiang Mai man strangles wife over crying baby

Drunk driver sentenced to 2 years for killing 3 cyclists

Police apprehend suspect in brutal murder in Lamphun

Huge bust yields 21 million Yaba pills in Myanmar

Labor Ministry visits One Stop Service Center in Chiang Mai


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