HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

American arrested for “cyber - prostitution”

Police raid Hollywood pub

Royal Jomtien renovation stopped

BjØrndal continues to deny all charges

Young People Against Drugs visit local drug center

Fake Louis Vuitton sellers bagged

American arrested for “cyber - prostitution”

Robert Callenissen, 52, an American, and his wife were arrested last week at their residence in Jomtien and charged with "cyber-prostitution" for operating a web site called

The couple had opened an employment agency as a ‘front’. In ‘back’ they were sending pictures of Thai woman over the Internet for purposes of ‘cyber-prostitution’. There were many ‘orders’ for Thai women and many went overseas thinking they would be engaging in honest work, but instead were tricked into prostitution.

The girls sent letters to the International Crime Police (Not INTERPOL), telling of their plight. The American was posting pictures and information about the Thai women on the site entitled

Officers found 4 folders of pictures at the man’s home. Pattaya Police Chief Pinit Satcharoen ordered his squad to question the man’s wife, and partner in crime, Praphada Chantasiri, 28. Her job in the scam was to recruit young women and watch over the ‘business’ of sending women overseas to work. In the end they were all ‘tricked’ into prostitution. Praphada had also set up a women’s club which would hold regular ‘get togethers’ and lull the unknowing maidens into complacency. She then would persuade them to apply for work abroad.

As usual, Praphada confessed to everything, stating that her husband indeed was a very bad man who made her help him sell unwitting girls into prostitution. The couple also managed the Pacific International Distributor Ltd. of Thailand. Mrs. Praphada stated she was the unwilling manager of this company, which made from 50-100,000 baht a month from clients. They now have more than a hundred satisfied customers.

Praphada said they never thought police would get wise to their insidious business as they had been operating for many years now without any problems.

Police officials said there were many foreigners doing this type of thing in Thailand and they were going to stamp them out, but good.

‘This destroys the reputation of Thailand!’ said a police officer.

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Police raid Hollywood pub

Drug - test 600 patrons

Lieutenant General Nopphadon Somboonsap, Commander of the Narcotics Suppression Division, led a squad of over 100 officers in a raid of the Hollywood Pub last week after police received a tip that an ‘Ecstasy’ party was in progress at the entertainment venue.

After police sealed all exits, General Nopphadon mounted the stage and announced to the 600 revelers that a urine test of everyone in the pub would be done ‘on premises’.

Approximately 100 of the people tested positive for drugs.

Picture: 600 people were required by police to take drug tests during a raid of the Hollywood Pub last week.

Police also performed body searches on all 600 people in the pub, did personal histories and fingerprinted the partiers.

Police released people for the time being but warned everyone that arrest warrants would be issued for anyone found to have criminal records.

The urine was sent to Bangkok for further testing.

General Nopphadon said the ‘bust’ in Pattaya was a result of the arrest of a big time speed dealer in Chiang Mai. The dealer confessed that he was preparing to sell the drugs in Pattaya.

The Commander said he knew that some establishments in Pattaya stayed open after hours, but added that he would not usurp the power of the local police and would let them take care of cleaning up the city.

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Royal Jomtien renovation stopped

Pattaya Mayor Pairat Sutthithamrongsawat filed a complaint with Pattaya Police last week, stating that no permit has been issued for the current renovations at the Royal Jomtien Resort Hotel.

Ninety-one people perished in the fire that gutted the hotel last year and scores more were injured in what remains the largest hotel fire disaster in Thailand’s history.

Surin Tripol, the engineer in charge of construction, said the renovations of the hotel began over two months ago, and were scheduled for completion in time to reopen next year.

Police have suspended work at the site, and are now questioning building executives about violating a construction ban for work at the hotel. Police have also confiscated all tools and equipment.

Police Colonel Pinit Satcharoen, superintendent of Pattaya police station, said that construction or renovation work was banned for safety reasons after the fire last July left the building unstable.

City officials inspected the site and insisted no permit had been approved.

Mr. Surin said that 20 percent of the work was already completed, including windows and doors being fitted to 300 rooms and the installation of an air-conditioning system.

Pol Col Pinit stated that police would investigate if the owners received permission for renovation, and if they did, from whom. If they are found to have been proceeding without the proper permits, they could be charged with making illegal renovations and charged 100,000 baht in fines.

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BjØrndal continues to deny all charges

Norwegian Alf Oddvar Bjørndal, accused of child molesting, appeared before the Chonburi Court again on 15 May 1998. Accompanied by two lawyers, Bjørndal once again denied the charges against him.

One of the lawyers would not give his name and neither would tell reporters whether they were personal or court appointed.

Chonburi province prosecutor, Khun Anon, told reporters that he has received the full police report and is confident there is a case against Bjørndal. After reading the files thoroughly, the prosecution believes they can get a conviction. "We have enough evidence to be able to convict Bjørndal," said Khun Anon.

Bjørndal has lost a lot of weight and looks unhealthy, but is still fit enough to stand trial. Looking older, he exudes little of the confident charm formerly evident. Chonburi prison guards say he is well-behaved and gets along well with the other inmates in the prison.

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Young People Against Drugs visit local drug center

Members of the ‘Young People Against Drugs’ project visited Pattaya as part of the Bangkok Port Police’s campaign against the use of drugs. Police Lieutenant Colonel Jirat Phichitchai, the Head of the Ban Poon Sri Drug Rehabilitation Center welcomed the group.

Police Major Nareucha Suwannalapha, Expert Advisor to the project, told Pattayans that it was aimed at drug users between the ages of 10-20. In operation for more than a year, there are over a thousand members. All are co-operating in the fight against drugs.

One of the main causes of drug use in young people is boredom and a feeling of hopelessness. The program has implemented many projects to give youth a sense of self-worth. There are sports and music programs for young people in the Klong Teoy areas. These emphasize quality with expert teachers.

Colonel Jirat, head of the Ban Poon Sri Center, does not agree with arresting young drug addicts. He believes that this puts them into the ‘criminal justice’ system, which then becomes a ‘way of life’. Instead of learning how to ‘say no’ to drugs, they learn to depend on them even more. They also learn criminal techniques.

The program’s first goal is to help the public understand that young people who use drugs are not ‘bad’.

The matter must be discussed openly and rationally, so it may be solved.

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Fake Louis Vuitton sellers bagged

Thai representatives the Louis Vuitton Company of Paris filed complaints with Pattaya police on behalf of the French company. The two representatives found vendors selling fake Vuitton products at roadside stalls between Central and South Pattaya.

The company is legally registered in Thailand and complains that the ‘fakes’ are causing loss of revenue to the company. The company is also disturbed about the extremely low quality of the ‘fake’ product. If taken overseas, this could have a deleterious effect on the company’s reputation.

Police found that vendors were indeed selling fakes at a lower cost than the real product.

After questioning, police arrested three vendors and confiscated over 100 fake Vuitton products.

All were taken to the Pattaya Police Station for questioning. All confessed as usual, admitting to planning to sell the confiscated bags.

The vendors were charged with sale of counterfeited merchandise. They were not charged with violation of copyright laws.

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Created by Andy Gombaz, assisted by Chinnaporn Sangwanlek.