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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:
Premprecha installed as Governor of Rotary International District 3340

Jomtien-Pattaya Rotary Club goes full circle with Switzerland

Local expat Rotarian honored by US Navy

Christmas in July Party

Thought for the week

Pattaya welcomes “The Link”

BCCT Property & Infrastructure Committee Luncheon

BCCT Breakfast Briefing

Soi Pattayaland 2 becomes “Pattaya Funland”

Chronicle of Foreign Criminal Elements in Pattaya - commonly referred to as “Foreign Mafia”

Premprecha installed as Governor of Rotary International District 3340

At the district assembly held in Ubon Ratchathani, Pattaya resident and Past President of the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya, Premprecha Dibbayawan was installed as Governor of District 3340 R.I.

H.E. Bhichai Rattakul congratulates the two champions of Rotary district 3340

The district assembly is one of the most important functions in a Rotary year, where seminars are held for the training of the directors of all the avenues of service, throughout the district, preparing them to take office in their respective clubs as of 1 July. The main event was of course the installation of the new District Governor of the district. The ceremonies were presided over by H.E. Bhichai Rattakul, the deputy Prime Minister and Past Rotary International Director.

Past Presidents Jon Tellefsen and Dennis Stark talk about what it’s like “To be a Foreigner in a Rotary Club in Thailand”. DG Premprecha presides as P.P. Peter Malhotra translates.

But it wasn’t only serious business. Rotarians had the opportunity to play a round of golf, or go on a tour of the border town in Laos, where cheap goods including fake Scotch whisky could be bought. At the gala evening Rotarians and guests were treated with the very traditional “E-san” cuisine and entertainment.

A portrait to keep forever. H.E. Bhichai Rattakul make Jomtien-Pattaya Rotarians feel very proud and happy.

The Rotary Club of Moon River in Ubon played hosts superbly to the core, making this get together of hundreds of Rotarians from the largest Rotary District in Thailand, covering all the Northeastern and Eastern regions of Thailand, one the most memorable ever.

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Jomtien-Pattaya Rotary Club goes full circle with Switzerland

This Friday, in the Royal Cliff Grand ballroom, there will be a ground-breaking event in the history of Rotary International in Thailand. For the first time ever, a foreign woman, Erika Keller, will be installed as the President of a Rotary Club in this country.

President of the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya Erika Keller

The Jomtien-Pattaya Rotary Club has chosen Swiss born Erika to be their leader for the new Rotary year 1st July 2000 - 30th June 2001, setting a new precedent for Presidents in the club. Interestingly, the Jomtien-Pattaya Rotary Club’s founding President was also Swiss, but not a woman!

Erika Keller, who has been featured before in the Successfully Yours column in the Pattaya Mail, is an ideal person to lead the local charitable organisation. Being able to speak, read and write Thai has meant that she has been able to reach much further into the Thai society and understand its needs, more than most expatriates. However, being proudly European as well means that she has been able to maintain and foster the interest of foreign companies as well as those of local organisations, in charitable projects here in this country.

As witness to that, the principal sponsors for the Installation night include Roche Pharmaceuticals, Diethelm Travel and Zurich Insurance, with co-sponsors Swissair, Bangkok Airways and the Pattaya Mail. Undoubtedly a wonderful mix of Swiss and Thai co-operation.

Erika has presented her goals to the Club for this coming year, with specific emphasis on child protection, drug prevention and support for the disabled and the elderly. She has made her motto “Don’t talk - help!” and this fits well into the Rotary International theme for this new Rotary year of “Create awareness - take action.”

To witness this installation of the first ex-pat lady President, the dignitaries include H.E. the Ambassador for Switzerland, the Mayor of Pattaya and a delegation from City Administration, various high ranking Police Officers from Pattaya and Chonburi District, members of the boards of directors of the Thai subsidiaries of Swiss companies, other high ranking officials from Rotary in Thailand and from overseas, other Pattaya Charity organisations, as well as all the members of her local Jomtien-Pattaya Club and her own friends and relatives - including her husband Bruno Keller, who will serve under her leadership as the Director of Community Service.

The Pattaya Mail adds its congratulations to those of so many people and organisations in Thailand. Hail, the President cometh! President Erika!

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Local expat Rotarian honored by US Navy

by Raquel E. Romero

Peter Thorand proudly accepts his distinguished service award from Admiral Fargo

In a ceremony held at the Royal Cliff Grand, the Commander in Chief of the United States Pacific Fleet, Admiral Fargo, presented the Navy Meritious Public Service Award to Peter Thorand of the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya. The recognition was awarded for his efforts in civic leadership and for assisting the U.S. Navy in strengthening its ties to the local community. In the comments delivered by Admiral Fargo, he mentioned that during the past three years, Mr. Thorand had been an invaluable asset to the United States Navy, especially in community relation matters. Thanks to his efforts, Peter has brought the Navy closer to the Thai community helping enhance our image on this side of the world.

Members of the Rotary Club of Jomtien Pattaya, along with Admiral Fargo and Captain Undesser at the presentation ceremony of the Navy Meritious Public Service Award to Rotarian Peter Thorand.

Mr. Peter Thorand has been involved in all Navy port visits conducted by the U.S. Navy to Pattaya. He has coordinated all community relations projects to include the distribution of HANDCLASP materials throughout all of Thailand. Through his efforts and initiatives all the schools in the Udon Thani district have been able to open libraries with the distribution of operation HANDCLASP books. He was instrumental during the construction of the second level to the AIDS hospice in Rayong and the SEAPARK during CARAT 96 and 98. The United States Navy appreciates the support that Mr. Thorand has provided to them and congratulates him for the superb job he has done.

Others present during the ceremony were: Admiral Stephen Loeffler, COMLOGWESTPAC; Captain Undesser, LCDR John Romero, JUSMAGTHAI; Mr. Peter Malhotra and Dennis Stark, past Presidents of Rotary Club and the Commandant Royal Thai Marine Corps, Admiral Chet Komolthiti.

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Christmas in July Party

Raising money for the Street Kids

Jingle Bells! “A little early,” I hear you say, but don’t you believe it. ‘After That’ on Soi Tosawarachi off Soi 7 is different and is having a Christmas Party on Saturday the first of July.

It may sound a little crazy, but it is all for a good cause: to raise money for the ‘Street Kids’ of Pattaya. Three live bands will be providing a great night’s entertainment: The East Coast Band from Delaney’s Irish Pub, Jaguar from Samsara and any musicians out there who would like to join in the fun are welcome to come and jam with After That’s resident band Flippers Jam.

A roast chicken dinner will be served (optional) at only 100 baht per head and will include entry into the draw for the many door prizes.

Also included in the evening’s entertainment is a crazy auction run by a professional auctioneer flying out from Perth Australia on a special trip just for the occasion.

Sponsorship for the event has come from many quarters too numerous to mention, but special thanks must go to Delaney’s Irish Pub and Samsara for the loan of their bands and assistance.

All proceeds from the liquor sales, auction and food will be donated to the Rotary Club of Jomtien Pattaya. The Rotary Club will administer the funds for the ‘Street Kids’ of Pattaya.

The venue is After That, Soi Tosawarachi off Soi 7. Starting a little early for most at 7:30 p.m. on July 1st, but it will be worth the ‘early rise’ to help give the homeless children of Pattaya a better life.

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Thought for the week

by Richard Townsend, Corporate Learning Consultant

Two essentials for face-to-face selling

1. We steer...

Salespeople must control the interview so that the process is always heading towards the opportunity to close the deal. The only way to control any conversation is to be the one asking the questions. Questioning technique is an essential sales skill that is often badly done, particularly by less experienced salespeople. There are two basic question types, open and closed. Knowing what they are and how to use them will greatly improve the quality of sales interviews.

Open questions seek broad answers and are easily used with prospective customers who will readily discuss their requirements. They should also be used at the beginning of the interview or when there is a need to gather background, opinions, thoughts and feelings or to gain a broad perspective regarding the ‘customer’ needs and wants. Two good starts to an open question are ‘tell me about xyz’ or ‘could you explain to me etc’.

Closed questions are used to redirect the prospect to specifics or confirm facts. Closed questions typically demand a yes or no response. Examples of closed questions are; ‘has this occurred before’, ‘when did this happen’, ‘how many’ or ‘when can we meet next’.

2. They accelerate...

The salesperson’s control of the interview direction is imperative. Salespeople, however, must allow the buyer to set the pace. Buyers come with their own personalities, preferences and motives. Allowing the prospect to participate at their own pace will avoid the problem of confusion over issues that could lead to major objections developing in the prospects mind. The skill is to develop a balance between ‘slow & boring’ and ‘fast & confusing’.

Again asking the right questions such as, ‘would you like me to skip the finer details at this stage’ (a too slow test) or ‘is their anything about our product/service that you would like me to explain further’ (a too fast test) is an important technique to master. While we may think the prospect is with us, or understands what we are explaining, it is often difficult for the listener to grasp the logic of our ‘argument’. Sellers are experts in their products and usually have a clear and precise understanding of what they are selling (or they should). It is a good idea when we are interviewing prospects to remember when we were first introduced to our product or service. As we where trained in the selling features, advantages and benefits, a clear picture of the product or service emerged. Recalling the questions that came to our mind and what we needed to find out to overcome our own confusion or doubts will give an insight into what our prospective customer may be feeling.

Worth a thought!

To contact Ric mailto: [email protected]

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Pattaya welcomes “The Link”

“The Link”, five very talented young musicians from America, will be making their debut appearance in Pattaya on Friday the 23rd of July when they will be taking center stage at Pattaya’s main concert venue, the Palladium.

“The Link” has included Palladium as part of their showcase club tour and promised it’s going to be one big party on Friday night that no one would want to miss.

“The Link” members Chad, Brent, Link, Von and Richard, when asked if they had ever had stage jitters, Richard the drummer replied, “Absolutely! When we performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland, which featured a star lineup that included George Benson, Santana, Earth Wind and Fire, Diane Reeves and Bootsy Collins with an audience of 50,000 die hard fans it was hard not to have stage fright.” Chad, the lead singer, went on to say, “It was one night we’ll never forget.”

Other exciting performances took place in Dallas when “The Link” supported Prince in concert, not forgetting Brent’s favorite gig with legendary soul singer Isaac Hayes at the Montreal Music Festival.

On stage or off, “The Link” cannot keep away from music - the sheer drive and enthusiasm helped them achieve recording sessions and special performances with Michael Learns to Rock, UB40, Envogue and Keith Washington to name a few. Their passion for music captivates audiences around the world with their favorite cover versions, smooth guitar licks, punch bass and rhythmic percussion - they’re funky, chubby and ready to party.

So join the party and chill out with “The Link’s” one night only live showcase at the Palladium on Friday 23rd July.

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BCCT Property & Infrastructure Committee Luncheon

“International Trends In Professional Property Services”

The BCCT Property & Infrastructure Committee is delighted to welcome Mr. Simon Kolesar, FRICS, President Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, who has kindly agreed to be BCCT’s guest speaker at a luncheon in the Regent Bangkok, Pimarnman Room on Tuesday 27th June 2000 from 12 noon.

Simon Kolesar is an experienced Cost Consultancy, Building Economics and Contract Procurement expert. He joined EC Harris, U.K. in 1973 as Junior Surveyor, and became a full Equity Partner in 1979. He is also President of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for 1999 and 2000.

His project experience includes involvement in a wide range of construction projects, primarily in the U.K. Sectors of activity include commercial, leisure, retail and industrial.

The cost of this luncheon is baht 600 net per person inclusive of VAT and soft drinks. Purchase of other drinks is on personal accounts. If you wish to attend please contact the Chamber office by Monday 26th June 2000, fax: 02 651 5354, e-mail: [email protected].

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BCCT Breakfast Briefing

“Environmental Management Systems As A Marketing Tool”

The BCCT is delighted to welcome Ms. Christina Cameron, who has kindly agreed to be BCCT’s guest speaker at a breakfast briefing on Wednesday 28th June 2000 from 7.30 a.m. for 8.00 a.m. start at the Shangri-La Hotel, Rattanakosin Room.

Christina Cameron is Sales & Marketing Director of AEA Technology Environment and manages a sales team based both overseas and within the UK. Previous to this position, Christina was Chief Executive of Safeguard International and was responsible for their business worldwide. This involved managing three operating subsidiaries in the UK, USA and Canada.

Christina also has many years of experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry where she has previously worked at Amersham International, Calmic International, Celltech Plc and American Monitor Ltd amongst others. As part of her work with these companies she undertook a variety of roles in Sales, Marketing and Business Development.

The cost of this breakfast is baht 500 per person including VAT. If you would like to attend please contact the BCCT Office by Tuesday 27th June 2000, fax: 02 651 5354, e-mail: [email protected].

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Soi Pattayaland 2 becomes “Pattaya Funland”

Soi Pattayaland 2, with a proliferation of new bars, nightclubs and restaurants, has rapidly established itself as the real “fun Soi of Pattaya.” Pattaya Funland, as it is so often called, is now attracting tourists by the thousands nightly and has become a “must see” area for locals as well as tourists.

Most prominent and popular among the many excellent clubs are Planet Rock, Bubbles, All Girls, Rodeo Girls, Lipstick, Classroom, Misty’s and Cats as well as others on the popular Soi. Dining spots include, in addition to Cafe New Orleans, the flagship for good dining on the Soi, are Palmer’s, for good English food. Cheers Bar with its jovial atmosphere, the Blue Parrot for Mexican food, the Viking Beachcomber Bar, which also serves good food. Shamrock Bar, a mainstay for years which can more than adequately and pleasantly fill your stomach, not to forget Sue’s Place and the Penthouse Hotel, all offering varieties of different food from different regions of the world. For more information on this great Soi check the website

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Chronicle of Foreign Criminal Elements in Pattaya - commonly referred to as “Foreign Mafia”

Editorial comment by Boonlua Chatree

When referring to the “mafia”, westerners generally picture organized crime originating in Sicily and migrating to America, with similar indigenous factions being found in just about every modern day industrialized nation.

During the past century, organized criminal elements have emerged in countries around the world and are not necessarily controlled by any one criminal element from any one country; however, the criminal activities and their organization are almost the same.

Different criminal organizations have evolved into sophisticated syndicates and networks with unlimited connections in all aspects of modern business. Their reach even dips into government institutions, and is supported by unlimited funds from criminal activities. Their enormous financial power enables them to recruit highly educated lawyers who research and utilize legal loopholes to achieve their desired goals, and if they are obstructed further in court, bribery and more excessive measures are often used as alternatives.

Foreign criminal elements in Pattaya are often referred to as the “foreign mafia”. Whether the term is applicable or not is probably only a matter of semantics for anthropological linguistic researchers to ponder, because it is well known to all who the term applies to.

The beginnings of foreign crime in Pattaya can be traced to the emergence of notable foreign criminal elements from Germany during Pattaya’s transition from a U.S. Military rest area for servicemen into a growing attraction for visiting tourists from Europe and other parts of the world. Their activities included controlling bars and creating an office to provide legal assistance to foreigners involved in court actions. This small number of miscreants later engaged in producing illegal visas and passports.

Criminal influences from Russia followed later, initially becoming involved in the flesh trade. They, too, later became involved in more lucrative criminal activities, which often focused on narcotics. Their method of operation would usually be to purchase narcotics from the northern region of Thailand, then sell the drugs to Russian clientele at Pattaya-based Russian restaurants. The reputed leader of the Russian drug trade, a man named Kostanon, was murdered by a Russian hit man on Soi 2.

Filipino criminal elements have also taken a shot at gaining a foothold in Pattaya, mostly by running illicit card games.

The Austrian criminal influence in Pattaya mostly concentrated on arranging travel for Thai girls headed for the sex trade abroad, with assistance from the spouse of a Pattaya police officer.

Criminal elements from England favored operating go-go bars as fronts for cocaine and heroin trafficking in the area of Pattaya Soi 2. Pattaya police also have on record the name of one British man who was involved in arranging travel abroad for Thai women in the sex trade under the guise of marriage with foreign men.

Criminal activities in Pattaya are not restricted to the west alone; the Chinese ethnic minority has also grasped opportunities to set up an organized crime syndicate in Pattaya. The Chinese mostly operate cons that involve swindling travelers through illegal money exchanges, but their activities also include muggings, robberies and murder. One incident on file with the foreign crime suppression unit involves the murder and robbery of a Karaoke owner. The murderers made off with 400,000 baht.

Police records indicate early Danish influence as being involved in the lucrative business of live flesh and the sex trade abroad.

American and Thai criminal elements took a new approach, counterfeiting visas and passports in the mail. Arrests of Thais were made, but the leader and other members evaded prosecution.

Another foreign criminal element from Canada traveled frequently to Thailand in pursuit of heroin. This Canadian was allegedly also making lewd videos involving young Thai males and females. The videos were being sold abroad.

A gang of South Americans burglarized tourist hotel rooms in popular tourist locations around Thailand. Other criminal involvement included stealing diamonds and valuable gems from jewelry stores and mugging people just completing withdrawals from Thai banks. The gang members have since fled prosecution to their homelands of Venezuela and Peru.

Norwegian bank robbers also appear on Pattaya police records after allegedly hiding out in Pattaya, but local police have been unable to make any arrests.

Finland’s name is also immortalized with records of heroin trafficking from a rented house in Soi 17, and a beer bar in Soi Post Office fronting the operation.

Criminals from Sweden joined with a Middle East criminal element to send women to the land of free sex, but the attempt faltered and they came to Pattaya to try their hand in the sex trade here. They are now operating sex tours that also involve Thai minors. Police have also linked this gang to a recent bank robbery.

Criminal elements from Denmark thought they’d have a go at it and ventured into the sex tour business in Pattaya, arranging liaisons with young Thai boys. They also brought in young boys from impoverished communist countries offering more of a selection for their patrons prior to the dismantling of the Soviet Union.

Another scam orchestrated by Danish influences was dubbed the “18 Mongkut Gang”. The gang operated a false mail order company advertising Thai merchandise. But those who fell for the advertisement and put in paid orders found that none of the goods were ever delivered. Once exposed, the operators ended up hiding out in Pattaya.

English representation is on the books again with the ever-promising go-go bar operation fronting and preparing customers for sex tours on floating barges. The organized criminal activities included exporting Thai girls to England, who carried heroin with them. A business having legal appearances was established to lure Thai females interested in working abroad, who ended up being drugged and forced into prostitution.

Criminal elements from the Netherlands entered the import-export business becoming proficient in the heroin and cocaine trade, along with other synthetic drugs from the European continent. The owner of a restaurant in Pattaya with Thai partnership also ran a business arranging marriages with foreigners.

German criminal elements on record are said to outnumber other countries centered in Pattaya and Patpong, with inclinations of spreading to some of the popular islands frequented by tourists. Opening beer bars covering other illegal activities is favored as a front for trafficking the same drugs popular in Europe, not to be outdone by their neighbors from the Netherlands; this includes the export of girls in the sex trade and money laundering.

Italy, France and Austria have all vied for some of the action monopolized by Germany, including the export of girls into the sex trade; however, not on the same scale. Switzerland’s accounts list other approaches to crime including bank robbery and the infamous con game “18 Mongkut” with proceeds going towards trafficking the drug “ecstasy” in local bars and pubs in Pattaya.

Russian women criminals began to appear in Pattaya soon after the Soviet Union went bust. These women were often involved in trafficking heroin back to the fatherland. Thai involvement with these Russians is also registered, with operators in Pattaya contacting other participants in Bangkok’s Asoke, Dindaeng and Klongtan areas. References have been made to hired assassins and part time body guards from Europe, specifically Germany, being used in the business dealings. Some murder cases are linked to hired assassins injecting overdoses of heroin and later incinerating the bodies.

Other criminal activities from China involve elements from Hong Kong and Macao, which have noticeably increased in Thailand after Hong Kong was returned to Mainland China’s control. In former days the Chinese gang of notoriety was called the “4 Kings”. This was later followed by a Chinese gang from Taiwan operating in Thailand called “14-K”. Both gangs were mainly involved in extortion, kidnapping and drug trafficking.

More recently, this gang became involved in “Luk Muu”, a crime involving the transfer of Chinese migrants from the mainland, through Thailand, on their way to a third country. The gang would house these people in various temples in tourist areas and have them sell religious artifacts until transport was arranged out of the country. Most often, the human cargo would be transported via boats off Pattaya’s shore to passing cargo ships beyond Phai Island.

A well-connected criminal from Pakistan takes up a lot of space in Thailand’s foreign criminal records. His business arranged travel for people from a number of countries in South Asia and the North African continent to Bangkok. These “mules” would carry narcotics out of the country using falsified passports meticulously drafted by travelers from China on their way to third countries. These young Chinese are identified as being gifted at forging passports for countries in Europe, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, but they are allegedly capable of producing passports for any country in the world.

A diligent group of Burmese, also famed for falsifying visas and passports, was producing illegal documents for Thai women on their way to Japan’s sex industry. The group was arrested along with a group of Thais that was also involved. All were released on bail to wait for their trial. Now Thai police are in the process of rounding up members of the group who have been hiding out with groups of illegal workers from Myanmar under Thai control.

Pattaya’s foreign criminal elements are similar to those operating in Europe, both groups involved with major criminal activities categorized into six areas.

The first, illegal gambling is a major source of revenue producing enormous profits, from slot machines to betting on football and boxing events.

Loan sharking businesses are another area, as gamblers and businesses requiring large sums of cash on short notice borrow at high interest rates (20% and higher), which contributes additional profits to the organized criminal elements.

The third category familiar to most countries the world over is drug trafficking. The main demand comes from the U.S. and Europe and is supplied by producers in South and Southeast Asia and South American countries. The organization of narcotics trafficking in Asia is an extensive network involving connections with the “Boryokudan” elements in Australia, along a line of connections with Singapore factions, “14-K” elements in Taiwan and connections all the way to Nigeria. The profits from narcotics are so astronomical it’s difficult to comprehend the amount of money exacted from the eventual sale on streets in major cities around the world. Inclusively, the countries caught up in the illegal production of narcotics end up experiencing added problems to local economic conditions which have disastrous affects on society as a whole.

A fourth category involves “black-marketing” to avoid taxes, recently popularized in East Europe and prevalent in Thailand. The merchandise sold is mostly technical and computerized equipment, but other major shipments of gold, liqueur and cigarettes add to the profitable business, which includes the sale of weapons.

The last two categories involve the sex trade and slavery, including illegal immigration. The United Nations has published an assessment identifying over 40,000 Thai women involved in the sex trade operating in Japan. Estimates of over 200,000 women are said to have migrated west from East Europe to engage in the sex trade - double the former number. The large number of women migrated on their own with hopes of finding a better means of existence than their former homeland, and ultimately ended up in the sex trade after having little choice or having been lured by others wanting to profit from their misfortunes.

The sex trade in Pattaya operates from the many beer bars, massage parlors and go-go bars, many of which are majority-owned by foreigners from many of the countries already mentioned. The businesses open under the guise of legitimate fronts but the main attraction and profits are a result of selling sex to visiting tourists. Estimating the number of girls engaged in prostitution in Pattaya could be up to 50,000 and the majority of girls surveyed indicate their reasons for coming to Pattaya were the attraction of the many visiting tourists having large sums of money to spend.

The many tourists visiting Pattaya also attracts others, including males and females with hopes of improving their social status one way or another. The same way foreign criminal elements are attracted to Pattaya, the area also draws many Thais looking for opportunities after being unable to find suitable employment in their home communities. The search for opportunity is fuelled by economic problems resulting from poor management and corruption, displaying poor examples for less fortunate people to follow.

Most everyone coming to Pattaya wants a part of the tourist’s baht. The state of the economy and the rampant spread of methamphetamine use has many not caring how they go about getting the tourist to hand over the money. The overall situation leaves little alternative for many, other than the available sex trade, selling narcotics, or other criminal actions with many unsuspecting people lured into drug addiction.

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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 Boonsiri Suansuk.