causes anxious moments
Anxious moments ensued, as rescue personnel were unsure
whether the gas was explosive or the fumes toxic. Police and fire trucks
immediately transferred passengers out of the area and redirected traffic
away from the scene.
The fire department then doused water onto the truck to
prevent an outburst of fire and contained the gas leak within a few hours
by spraying compressed air onto the leaking truck.
Experts from the gas company later assured the
authorities that the gas fumes were non toxic.
The bus had been traveling from Sattahip to Korat. No
details were released as to the number of passengers on the bus, but the
Sawang Boribun Rescue Unit transported four injured people to Bang Lamung
The driver of the truck, identified as Nikorn Singkhorn-Ad,
was determined to have caused the accident when he ran a red light at the
intersection of Krating Lai coming from Rayong.
Elections scheduled for 29 April
Public questions the 1,000,000,000 baht
The Chonburi Election Committee announced new senate
elections will take place on Saturday, 29 April. Advance voting for
handicapped people and people out of country will take place 15-17 April.
Seventy-eight seats will be voted for in 35 provinces.
The 78 candidates who had won the seats in the previous election were all
deemed to have been involved in some sort of voting malfeasance, which did
not pass Election Commission scrutiny.
All three Chonburi candidates, Sombat Phechtrakul, Pol.
Lt. Gen. Preecha Padibatsarakij and Rear Adm. Wiroj Amtakulchai did not
pass the screening and therefore Chonburi voters will once again be asked
to go to the polls.
Data collected by the Election Committee that consisted
of input from the Private Development Network, the Democratic
Organizational Foundation and other private organizations, identified 80
counts of wrong-doing involved with the election process in Chonburi.
On 24 March the Election Committee confronted a number
of the candidates to ascertain if they intended to try to remain on the
ballots during the new election, but no clear response was forthcoming
from any of the candidates.
The election process in Chonburi, consisting of a wide
range of influential persons, received close scrutiny by the Committee
from the start. However, the Committee has not made it clear exactly what
irregularities took place during the first election. For instance, it is
unclear as to whether officials in various levels of government situated
in the sub-district communities were involved in orchestrating support for
one candidate over another, by either entertaining or presenting favors to
voters. It still has also not been made clear if the candidates themselves
were directly involved in any wrongdoing.
Chonburi candidate Sombat Phechtrakul was sited by Bang
Lamung police with possible election fraud involvement after two men were
arrested on election day transferring voters to the polls. Evidence
indicated votes were bought at 200 baht apiece. What the two men exactly
confessed to, is again, also unclear, but the matter is to be resolved in
court, and whether Sombat will be involved in the 29 April election or not
is still to be decided upon.
Two days before the election announcement, a group of 500 Chonburi
residents conducted a
peaceful demonstration behind the Provincial Government Administration
building to protest the senate election process. They wanted to know the
reasons for holding the new election. Members from the community presented
petitions to the government leaders demanding answers; protesters in
Bangkok presented similar petitions at the Parliament building.
Chonburi Governor Sujarit Pachimnan and Wichit
Chitwised, an associate of the Mayor of Saen Sukh Municipality, Kamnan Poh,
explained to the crowd of protesters the circumstances surrounding the
call for new elections. Although the rationale provided did not
specifically identify concrete reasons, the two officials smoothly handled
the affair and the protesters disbursed just before noon.
The Provincial Police Commander has reported that he
has already assigned additional police officers to all voting locations in
the province. Specific instructions to provide full support to the 29
April senate elections have already been issued, thus insuring it is
conducted fairly, and that security is maintained.
Estimates of the overall cost to support the second
election project runs to over one billion baht.
Later killed in attempt to flee
by Boonlua Chatree
Pattaya Police Lance Corporal Wiwat Thika was murdered on
April 1st while attempting to subdue a drug dealer. The gunman, 28-year-old
ex-convict Mongkhon Sriphong and his younger brother/accomplice Kraisorn
Sriphong were both arrested within 2 days. Mongkhon was later killed in an
attempt to escape.
On the fateful night, police had set up a checkpoint at
Soi Ko Phai and Thepprasit Road opposite Soi Jularat. The Sriphong brothers,
riding a motorcycle, ran the check point and attempted to flee down Soi
Jularat. Motorcycle officers, including Lance Corporal Wiwat, immediately
helicopter pilots coordinate their search for the two suspects, one of whom
gunned down Pattaya Police Lance Corporal Wiwat Thika (inset).
Police Corporal Amnuay Bunlert was able to run the
motorcycle down in Soi Jularat. He was in the process of controlling
Kraisorn when Mongkhon started to run, just as Lance Corporal Wiwat arrived.
Lance Corporal Wiwat ran after Mongkhon and managed catch
him from behind, but Mongkhon wheeled around, took the officer’s pistol
from his holster and shot him once in the leg and twice in the head before
fleeing into the woods.
Corporal Amnuay, who was trying to control Kraisorn, had
only managed to put handcuffs on one of Kraisorn’s hands when the shots
were fired. In the commotion, Kraisorn was able free himself from the
corporal, and he too ran off into the dense woods, but with the handcuffs
Lance Corporal Wiwat was transferred to Bangkok-Pattaya
Hospital where he survived the night, but succumbed to his wounds by
A massive manhunt ensued, with over 200 police officers
surrounding the area, led by Pattaya Police Chief Pol. Col. Phinit
Satcharoen. The suspects’ red Suzuki motorcycle was confiscated and its
Chonburi Provincial Police Commander Pol. Maj. Gen.
Phanuphong Singhara Na Ayuthaya then arrived to take charge of the search. A
police helicopter was brought in with searchlights to assist, but 2 hours of
searching on the first night produced nothing.
The next day, 2 April, Kraisorn was caught and arrested.
During interrogation, he told police his brother Mongkhon had shot Lance
Corporal Wiwat. Police also learned that the brothers had just recently been
released from jail where they had been incarcerated for theft.
At 10:00 a.m. on 3 April, Mongkhon was arrested in the
area of Soi Jularat. He confessed to shooting Police Lance Corporal Wiwat.
He said he was carrying 200 amphetamine pills when he and his younger
brother came upon the police and, not wanting to return to prison, he told
his brother to run the checkpoint. He said saw an opportunity to escape when
Lance Corporal Wiwat relaxed his grip on him. Mongkhon said he went for the
officer’s gun, then shot him three times.
Mongkhon said he was able to sneak out of the wooded area
and deliver the 200 amphetamine pills to friends. He then returned to the
wooded area to wait for his friends to sell the drugs, planning to use the
money to continue his escape.
Mongkhon told police the gun, a .38 cal, was still
concealed in the woods, so he was taken, in handcuffs, by a group of
officers to the area to retrieve the weapon just 200 meters from where he
Mongkhon then made another attempt to escape by jerking
out of the grasp of the police officer holding him as he neared the spot
where the weapon was concealed. He pounced on the weapon, still handcuffed,
and frantically fired off five rounds. The officers jumped out of the way of
the gunfire; one drew his own weapon and shot Mongkhon three times. When the
shooting stopped Mongkhon Sriphong was dead, still handcuffed, with Lance
Corporal Wiwat’s weapon in his hand.
Pattaya Police Chief Pol. Col. Phinit Satcharoen and
Provincial Police Commander Pol. Maj. Gen. Phanuphong Singhara Na Ayuthaya
responded to the second shooting by saying that since Mongkhon had made
another attempt on a police officer’s life, he died a suitable death. It
was fortunate that no other police officer was injured during the conduct of
Later, when Police Lance Corporal Wiwat’s mother heard
the news of Mongkhon’s death, she requested to see the body. Once there,
she agreed that justice had prevailed, but asked where her son’s weapon
was, as she wanted to shoot the man one more time. The request was denied.
Police Lance Corporal Wiwat was survived by his mother Mrs. Anong Singsae,
his 29-year-old wife Ananthita and his eight-year-old daughter. His body
will be taken to Phetchabun Province for final services.
arrested for sexually abusing underage girls
Second offense in under 3 years
70-year-old John Maurice Praill (sic) from Great
Britain was arrested on March 31st for sexually abusing two girls, aged 13
The girls told police that Praill had persuaded them to
go to his home on Soi Ko Phai on March 12th. After arriving at his
address, the girls said Praill forced them to have sex with him and
refused to allow them the leave.
John Maurice Praill from Great Britain makes his second appearance in
Pattaya Mail, this time for molesting two young girls.
A police search of Praill’s house turned up three
tubes of KY jelly, two viagra pills, four soiled cloths and one face cloth
with lipstick stains.
Tourist police transferred Praill to the officer on
duty at the Pattaya Police Station’s Women and Children’s Rights
Office for further investigation and disposition.
This was the second time Praill was arrested for child molesting. In
December 1997, Praill appeared in Pattaya Mail after being charged with
molesting a young boy, a charge which Praill denied. At that time, he was
fined and released.
restaurant owner accused of raping 13 year old girl
Chamnan Chosuwan, owner of the Chamnan Restaurant, was
arrested for raping a 13 year old girl. Chamnan is best known for donating
to local school charities.
Chosuwan protests his innocence after being arrested for raping a 13 year
The girl, whose name has been withheld, told police
that Chamnan first confronted her on the morning of 31 January. She said
Chamnan stopped his car, a black Toyota, as she was walking in the area of
the Chaimongkhol Temple, and using a pistol, forced her into the vehicle.
He then took her to a place near his restaurant on Pratamnak Road, Nong
Prue. She said the 45 year old man threatened to kill her and took her
into a room where he had his way with her. He later released her with
further threats on her life if she revealed what had taken place in the
The girl said she was frightened and uncertain of what
to do. Then, on 1 February Chamnan took her to the same room, and again
threatened and raped her. A further similar occurrence happened on 20
The young girl first described the incident to the wife
of a police officer who made the incident known to the girl’s father.
The father immediately contacted his lawyer, Kalp Phimsakul, and reported
the incident to police.
Police officers assigned to the Pattaya Women and Child
Rights Assistance Center were assigned to investigate the case.
Pattaya police arrested Chamnan at his restaurant at
1.00 p.m. on 1 April. At the police station he denied the young girl’s
accusations, even as she stood pointing him out as the rapist. Chamnan was
charged with committing rape of a minor and using a weapon to threaten her
life. He is now in custody awaiting trial.
Wai Wai sponsors
A representative from the distributors of “Wai Wai”
Noodle Products, Assistant Professor Thiraphan Lothongkham, recently
issued seven vendor carts to young unemployed persons, along with
financial assistance whereby helping to establish them as local
entrepreneurs. Bang Lamung District Chief Wichien Chavalit and Pattaya
Mayor Pairat Suttithamrongsawat took part in the ceremony, with Mrs.
Uraiwan Thienthong, the Director from the Ministry of Interior’s Local
Education Administration office.
Wai Wai Noodle Company is sponsoring young, unemployed people with noodle
carts to help them launch a new career.
The program was implemented to assist deserving persons
that are out of work and who lack the skills in finding suitable
employment opportunities. Consideration was given to young people unable
to find meaningful employment that could possibly leave them wide-open to
the damaging amphetamine drug epidemic rampaging throughout the Kingdom.
The program helps individuals to be self-reliant and independent, without
becoming a burden on society.
The Thai Foods Production Company (Wai Wai) has to date already
sponsored 250 of the vendor carts at a cost of 18,000 baht apiece. The
company has assembled food preparation experts from the Sothiwech
University to provide instructions to the new vendors in how to prepare
the many different varieties of noodle dishes. Additional instruction is
also presented on running a business with franchise information. The
program has drawn a lot of interest in the provinces with a large crowd of
people wanting to become a part of the idea.
born at Pattaya Elephant Park
Mother and child doing just fine
Pattaya Elephant Park “hit the jack-pot” in this,
the Year of the Dragon when a baby elephant was born on March 17th.
and child are doing just fine, thank you, with baby Samson playfully
running around his pen.
On 31 March, park management proudly showed off the
healthy baby bull elephant as it joyfully played around. The elephant
birth is considered very lucky and the management feels certain the Year
of the Dragon had something to do with the auspicious event. They are
planning a special Auspicious Birth Ceremony to celebrate the event and
are inviting the Minister of Tourism to participate in the ceremony.
The baby elephant was given the name “Samson”. He
was born to the mother elephant named “Phang Radsamee” and the father
named “Numsek”. The mother carried the baby for a total of 24 months
before Samson decided to appear at approximately 11:00 p.m. on 17 March.
Samson’s mahout is a 25 year old man from Buriram named Jorn Udeeram.
The two are inseparable as he looks proudly after the baby elephant each
day and night. Samson’s appearance is not only cute but it is said his
physical traits are exceptional, as he has large ears and a long trunk
extending to the ground. His playful character has been attracting the
attention of everyone passing by.
Rebuilding of the
boat ramps in Jomtien delayed further
OCEF funds could be used to help
The decaying boat ramps in Jomtien that have been in need
of repair for two years, yet are still being used to service visiting
tourists. Only the one ramp situated opposite the Thai Commercial Bank is
still serviceable; the second ramp is opposite Soi 14.
ramps in Jomtien are deteriorating.
City Maintenance Director Sittiphap Muang Khun reports
that, “the ramps are continually inspected,” but goes on to say, “it
is still undecided whether the repairs are worth the effort. Alternatively,
a more suitable location offering a neater appearance could be a better
The TAT is in control of 140 million baht in budgeted funds from the
Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund to support such projects. The upkeep of
the ramps falls within this budget. Mayor Pairat Suttithamrongsawat held a
meeting with TAT representatives on March 29 to discuss the ramp improvement
project, but as of yet, no details of the meeting have been released.
New ecommerce laws
“Computer technology, especially ecommerce, is an
important technological avenue that has a large impact on the economic
development of countries. (This new way of doing business) is prompting
the development of supporting laws in order to keep up with international
markets,” Environmental and Science Technology Deputy Minister, Dr.
Athit Urairat said when he chaired a Ministry of Science seminar on
computer technology from 24-26 March at the Montien Hotel in Pattaya.
and Science Technology Deputy Minister, Dr. Athit Urairat (center) chaired
a seminar on computer technology covering new laws pertaining to
The Ministry has formed a sub-committee which is
curently working on drafting new laws to support computer technology.
Business, education and communications on the Internet
now involve over 300 million people from 186 different countries.
Various speakers on the subject included Dr. Pairat
Tachayaphong, the Director of the National Science and Technology
Development Agency, and Dr. Thaweesak Koanantakul, Director of the
National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC).
The discussion focused on laws pertaining to business and electronic
signatures, computer crime, and the protection of personal information.
Best New Company
Bartercard - the international barter exchange company
- has been voted the best new company in Thailand by the Australian-Thai
Chamber of Commerce.
Judges for the association commented that the
company’s uniqueness had given it the edge over the other strong
nominations within the category. Graham Brain, managing director of
Bartercard (Thailand) said, “This endorsement is confirmation in our
belief that we have an excellent service and a company which can prosper
in Thailand as it has done in other parts of the world.
“We have operated in Thailand for nearly two years
and in that time we have established a professional, innovative method of
doing business. Both Thai and international companies have swamped us with
their enthusiasm for the system and their willingness to make it work for
“Our rapid development is down to the commitment from
our members and the systems that we have put in place for our staff and
customers,” he said.
In less than two years, Bartercard has attracted over
450 member companies who have collectively traded over 200 million trade
baht via the system. The company’s services, along with operational
activities, are governed by strict quality-controlled procedures, and
further supported by quality improvement systems.
The company is now planning to create a network of
franchised offices within Bangkok and other regional cities; develop full
ecommerce capabilities; and focus on greater interaction with the banking
Brain added, “The next 12 months will see dynamic
development for this company and we expect the foundation of a franchise
network to create huge interest and rapid growth for the company
throughout the company.”
residents implement a Community Group
Bang Lamung District Chief Wichien Chavalit took part
in a meeting introducing the recently organized “Pattaya Lanna Thai
Community Group” at the Pattaya Champ Hotel on Pratamnak Road.
Mrs. Pakawan Sameujai, the Lanna Thai Group Secretary
and owner of the Khrua Phanya Inn Restaurant situated on the first floor
of the Champ Hotel, introduced the group of members from the northern
region now living in Pattaya. The Lanna Thai Group was organized to
preserve the customs of the north and participate in the many Pattaya
festivals, presenting the varied traditions from Lanna culture to visiting
The group was established with 130 members. They
elected as their first president Professor Phongphan Satjareun from the
Din Decha School in Bangkok and wife of Pattaya Police Chief Pol. Col.
Pinit Satjareun. The community plans to participate in the up-coming April
Pattaya City Festival. Displays of costumes, music and traditional dance
from the Lanna Thai area will be on show.
A group of students from the Mae Jan District in Chiang
Rai Province performed a traditional dance and played Thai musical
instruments whilst raising educational funds for their school during the
evening’s entertainment. A fashion parade, displaying traditional Lanna
costumes made from silk, entertained the audience. The show was
orchestrated by students from Chiang Mai University. Students from the
north attending Pattaya public school #8 also took part in the
inauguration performing a traditional Thai dance.
CGU Life Insurance
opens branch in Pattaya
The British based CGU Group Life Insurance Company, the
largest life insurance company in England, opened a new branch in Pattaya
on March 30. The new office is located at 3/110-111 on 3rd Road, tel.
(038) 370817-8, fax: (038) 370819.
Busara Ungphakorn (left), Mayor Pairat Suttithamrongsawat (center) and
Sopin Theppajak (right) cut the ribbon to officially open the new CGU Life
Insurance branch in Pattaya, as (back row left to right) CGU Chief
Executive Officer Ron Huntley, Pattaya City Councilor Vichai Rodpin and
General Manager Pichit Pichetvivatana look on.
The 300 year old company, which has been offering life
insurance in Asia for 100 years, has branches operating all over the
world. The CGU Group is currently working towards becoming the largest
life insurance provider in the region. CGU currently has main offices in
Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia and 50 other offices in 14 countries in
Asia. CGU established their Bangkok office in 1997.
Phantusak, Managing Director of Tiffany’s Show and Woodland’s Resort,
congratulates CGU Pattaya Branch Manager Amorn Malhotra.
CGU Life, which has combined with the Commercial Union
Plc. Company and the General Accident Plc. Company, has over two billion
USD in assets.
Amorn Malhotra has been named as branch manager of CGU
in Pattaya. He and his staff of qualified personnel will be able to
provide services to customers on the Eastern Seaboard and the East Coast.
CGU plans to double its sales force under Pichit
Pichetvivatana, Agency General Manager. Plans to open a second branch
office in Pattaya this year are already underway, with the goal of
increasing sales 80% by the year 2003.
CGU Life Chief Executive Officer Ron Huntley and
Pattaya’s Mayor Pairat Suttithamrongsawat conducted the ribbon cutting
ceremony for the new Pattaya office, presided over by Mrs. Busara
Ungphakorn, Department Specialist from the Department of Insurance. Agency
General Manager Pichit Pichetvivatana and the CGU Thapphaya 2000 Branch
Manager Amorn Malhotra, along with a group of honored guests also
participated in the grand opening.
Lax laws open
gates to child trafficking
from Child Labor News Service
Child trafficking in South and Southeast Asia is rising
due to lax enforcement and the inadequacy of laws established to fight it,
the International Labor Organization (ILO) said last week.
“The increased number of projects and governments
involved in combating child trafficking has not stemmed the tide of children
who fall prey to traffickers,” said an ILO report released at a recently
concluded three-day international conference on child labor in Jakarta.
In South Asia, the report said children are being
trafficked for forced or bonded labor, as well as for camel jockeying,
forced marriages and even the sale of organs. Sexual exploitation is also
rife, with recent research suggesting there are about 200,000 Bangladeshi
children in the brothels of Pakistan and another 300,000 in the brothels of
India, where there are also tens of thousands of Nepalese children working
in the commercial sex business.
In Southeast Asia, most trafficking victims are forced
into prostitution, though others are trafficked for bonded labor, domestic
work, forced marriages, adoptions, and more recently to work for begging
gangs in Thailand, a phenomenon also seen in Vietnam.
The report said an influx of paedophile tourists has
increased the demand for child prostitutes in Nepal, India, Sri Lanka,
Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. It said the age of child prostitutes is dropping
on account of prevailing misconceptions.
While all South or Southeast Asian countries have laws
relating to the trafficking of children, they are generally incomplete and
ineffective. With the possible exception of Thailand’s laws, none meet
For example, several countries do not define children as
under the age of 18, the guideline set in the Convention on the Rights of
Another problem the report cites is that child victims of
trafficking are often treated first as illegal aliens and second - if at all
- as victims of crime.
The report said that in much of the region, corrupt
officials, police or military are involved in child trafficking and
prostitution, with some owning brothels themselves or protecting those that
they personally frequent. Recruiters also form networks with law enforcement
officials in order to get protection.
Copyright 2000 Pattaya Mail Publishing Co.Ltd.
370/7-8 Pattaya Second Road, Pattaya City, Chonburi 20260, Thailand
Tel.66-38 411 240-1, 413 240-1, Fax:66-38 427 596; e-mail: [email protected]
Updated by Chinnaporn Sangwanlek, assisted by