Jomtien Beach organization receiving stricter attention
City wants chairs kept “in-line”
City Hall wants beach chairs on Jomtien Beach to be set
up in an orderly manner, and is willing to arrest, fine and generally
ostracize any vendor who will not comply.
G&PS committee to solve Pattaya’s problems wants beach chairs and
umbrellas on Jomtien to be set up like this. They seem to think this will
attract more tourists, and have thus given it some priority. Admittedly,
it is a tough job keeping those beach chairs in line, but violators could
be prosecuted. Ten-hut!
According to city officials, many beach chair vendors
continue to flaunt the city’s objective of improving appearances on city
beaches by cluttering locations with unauthorised items and arranging
chairs and umbrellas in a haphazard manner.
Last week, beach chair vendors in Na Jomtien received a
surprise visit from Nirand Watanasadsathorn and committee members tasked
with organizing city beaches. The surprise inspection was part of the
Chonburi governor’s polices to improve tourism to the area.
The office director from Pattaya city maintenance,
Sittiphap Muangkhum accompanied the deputy mayor, as did Sanit Boonmachai,
chairman of the beach problems sub-committee of the government and private
sector (G&PS) head committee tasked to resolve problems in Pattaya.
Sittiphap announced that stricter measures were
underway to achieve the desired goal of improving the appearance of the
beach in order to attract more tourists to Pattaya.
He sheepishly admitted that measures taken in the past
were too lenient and beach chair vendors took advantage of the situation
by expanding areas and bringing in more equipment, which created the
undesirable appearance. The designated area for each vendor is 7 x 7
meters, which allows room for 40 beach chairs and 35 umbrellas, if they
are arranged in order.
Sittiphap said it has become necessary for city hall
“thedsakij” officers to start seizing unauthorized items brought onto
the beach, issue fines, and if needed arrest persistent violators and take
these cases to court. Individuals accumulating three violations could have
their operating permits revoked, Sittiphap said.
Minister of Interior conducts unannounced visit in Pattaya
Tours Walking Street
The Minister of Interior, Purachai Piumsombun, paid an
unannounced visit to Pattaya on January 28th. The first stop on his visit
was to Pattaya’s municipal police station, where he made inquiries and
poured over arrest records. His main focus was on cases involving
entertainment businesses operating outside of the prescribed hours and
other infractions connected with social reforms.
of Interior Purachai Piumsombun toured South Pattaya and Walking Street
during an unannounced visit to the city.
After Minister Purachai spent an hour going over the
arrest records, he remarked that everything was in order and said his
visit was meant to inspire enthusiasm among the police officers to
continue working fairly and justly in support his of social reforms.
Minister Purachai commended the record and made special note of Pattaya
having the highest arrest record in police region 2.
The minister emphasized that the issue of foreigners
married to Thai women who are operating shady businesses in the sex
industry and exploiting human resources for profit is a high priority
matter to resolve. He also included money laundering operations, business
scams and illegal undertakings involving foreign operated businesses that
result in profits sent out of country.
Later in the evening he conducted a tour in South
Pattaya along Walking Street, one of the main tourist attractions in
Pattaya, taking in the flavor and observing the activities.
The minister pointed out a few individuals roaming the
streets looking for handouts and police officers promptly issued
instructions to investigate. He also stopped to talk to individuals on the
During the visit the minister of interior also
commented on extending the walking area along Beach Road and prohibiting
motor traffic from Bali High Point and further north of the entrance to
Walking Street, suggesting that it seemed to be most suitable for the
location and easily adaptable.
A group of high-ranking police officers from the local
region received the interior minister and escorted on his trip through
Governor wants preparation details on “20th World Scouting Organization Jamboree”
Potential problems need to be solved now
The “20th World Scouting Jamboree” being held at
Yao Beach in Sattahip is scheduled to take place December 28, 2002 thru
January 8, 2003. Preparations started nearly four years ago to support the
arrival of some 30,000 scouts (14-17 years old) from 157 countries.
Problems in budget and logistics need to be addressed quickly.
Phanthusak, member of the Jamboree Preparation Committee, has identified
shortcomings and financial requirements to support over 30,000 scouts
expected to attend the “20th World Scouting Organization Jamboree” at
the end of this year in Sattahip.
Chonburi’s governor , Chadej Insawang, was critical
of the committee’s organizing preparations. The event will take place in
Sattahip, a location under his jurisdiction. The governor said that he
needs to be better informed. At the moment, all he knows about the
preparations is that the provincial police bureau is tasked to provide
security, and the committee has received a B500 million budget allocation
in support of the event.
Problems with preparations are just now coming to his
attention, said Chadej. So far no one from the private sector has shown
interest in the contract to collect waste on the site where 400 toilets
are positioned on location. He said a meeting with the Sattahip
sub-district administration organization (SAO) is scheduled to enlist
support, discuss the payment procedures, and the B10,000 cost for each
scout attending the jamboree.
Thailand has been trying to host the World Scouting
Jamboree since 1993. The jamboree consists of 24,000 scouts from over 150
countries and another 6,000 scouts, both boys and girls, from Thailand are
expected to attend. Funds from the education department, irrigation
department, and other government agencies have been allocated to support
the event, but the sum is insufficient to support all the requirements.
Previously, Thai Airways submitted a proposal to
provide financial support but the committee rejected the offer and the
governor has been asked to present the problems before the committee.
The World Scout Bureau and the World Scout Committee
established a requirement that precludes outsiders from the general public
from entering the grounds to observe the activities. Plans to set up
booths selling merchandise from the “One Tambon - One Product Project”
is under consideration and also needs to be discussed with the committee,
possibly organizing a separate area outside of the Jamboree location.
Another area of concern pertains to individual fees for
each scout attending the jamboree. Participating scouts from outside of
Thailand are paying as much as B10,000 per head, and some countries like
the United States are paying a service charge as much as US$670 for each
participant. A pro-rated fee has been established, starting at US$91 for
scouts attending from families with limited financial earnings.
The area selected and undergoing preparations for the
jamboree belongs to the Royal Thai Navy. It is located on 2,800 acres
(7,000 rai) along a beautiful stretch of beach at Hat Yao in Sattahip. The
area is divided into four different community camps, each providing a full
range of utilities, conveniences and sanitary preparations. Also included
are postal and telephone services, money exchange service, dining
facilities, toilet facilities, living quarters, medical facilities,
stores, exhibition and activity buildings, and reporting offices for
Tifpar Company donates sports equipment to city schools
Combined effort with Mikes Shopping Mall
Mekhawarakul (3rd from left) and Thomas Kunzelmann (center) donated table
tennis equipment to city schools in Pattaya.
City schools in Pattaya now have new sporting
equipment, thanks to Tifpar Company and Mike’s Shopping Mall.
The sporting equipment was donated at Mike’s Shopping
Mall on January 24, following a table tennis tournament organized by Surat
Mekhawarakul, the general manager of Mike’s Group.
Thomas Kunzelmann, representing the Tifpar Company,
manufacturers of table tennis equipment in Thailand, along with
administrative personnel presented the equipment to teachers and students
from the city school system.
The table tennis tournament was a combined effort by
Mike’s Shopping Mall and the Tifpar Company. The tournament helped to
promote the sport of table tennis by introducing the sport to young people
12 years old and older from Pattaya City Schools 1, 3, 5 and 7. Other city
schools will be invited to take part in the 2nd tournament to be held in
the coming months.
FCCT elects new executive committee
The annual general meeting of the Foreign
Correspondents Club of Thailand on January 25, 2002, has elected a new
President: Rodney Tasker, the Far Eastern Economic
1st Vice-President: Christopher Johnson, Reuters
2nd Vice President: Ms. Jeanne Hallacy, AsiaWorks
Correspondent Secretary: Evgenii Belenky
Correspondent Director/Publicity: Michael Elmore
Correspondent Director/Membership: Marc Laban
Correspondent Director/Programme: Ms. Sarah Stewart,
Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Recording Secretary: Ms. Mira Kim Prachabarn,
Thai-Korean Chamber of Commerce
Treasurer: Julian Spindler, Spindler & Associates
Associate Director/Publicity: Lin Neumann
Associate Director/Membership: Ms. Karen Emmons
Associate Director/Programme: Dumrus Rodchanapiches,
Over a thousand gather at Buddha carving to renounce drugs
Ceremonies held throughout the Kingdom
Naval personnel, police officers from Sattahip, Pattaya, Banglamung and
Phlutaluang, and members from the general public and business community
took oaths to stay drug-free at a mass ceremony at Khao Cheechan in
Chonburi on January 29.
More than 1,000 people gathered in front of the huge
engraving of the Lord Buddha on the cliff facing at Khao Cheechan near
Pattaya to participate in a special ceremony against drug use on January
Chonburi governor Chadej Insawang and the assistant
secretary from the Drug Prevention and Suppression Office, Mrs. Rasamee
Visatawet led the ceremony, which was held as part of the a new
inspirational theme “Combined Efforts for Thais with Pure Hearts”
being conducted throughout the Kingdom.
The drug prevention and suppression office, with their
new push against drugs, hopes to gain participation from everyone in the
collective effort to stamp out the drug problem.
The ceremony was attended by police officers from
Sattahip, Pattaya, Banglamung and Phlutaluang, along with personnel from
Thai Naval units at Sattahip and many businesspeople from the Chonburi
Through the new campaign, the drug prevention and
suppression office also hopes to inform the general public and business
operators on the legal aspects involved in drug suppression, as well as
enlist assistance from the general public to continue the fight against
The ceremony included sacred oaths taken in the name of
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej to stay drug-free, followed by the
governor presenting symbolic pins to participants, signifying the united
stance against drugs.
Special police continue crackdown on copied merchandise
Sellers running scared
Special units from the Pattaya municipal police have
been conducting a number of sweeps in areas around Pattaya, raiding
vendors peddling illegal merchandise having registered brand names.
Following recent directives from the National Police
Bureau demanding more intensive action on merchants selling copied items
protected by international laws, the number of raids in Pattaya has
confiscated a large cache of copied clothing with registered trademarks in
recent raid. However, all sellers managed to flee before being arrested.
One operation on January 21 resulted in two arrests and
the confiscating of a large quantity of leather-goods and clothing
Another sweep organized by assistant suppression
superintendent, Pol. Lt. Col. Sakrapee Phreawphanich, and special
suppression unit inspector, Pol. Maj. Ekasit Tupanich, was conducted on
January 28 targeting vendors setting up shop along the streets in South
News of the crackdown must be spreading around the
market areas, as hired sales people are now on the alert and are
abandoning their merchandise as soon as they see the police coming.
During the raid on January 28, 4,000 pieces of clothing
with popular name brands worth as much as one million baht was confiscated
by police. When police approached, however, the sellers disappeared.
Penalties are apparently either too heavy and not worth the profits made
in the illicit trade, or the menial salary given to sales personnel is not
worth taking the rap.
Willi Berke and Pornphen released on bail
Homebuyers take plight to Interior Minister
German Willi Berke and his Thai wife Pornphen, arrested
last week for allegedly swindling 28 million baht from potential
homebuyers, were released on bail, despite recommendations from the police
officers involved in the case not to do so. Bail was set at 2 million baht.
Upon hearing the news, the homebuyers, many of whom
paid in full for homes to be built but never received ownership documents,
became concerned, especially after many allegedly received threats.
The nine homebuyers took their plight to the minister
of interior, Purachai Piumsombun, who was in Pattaya paying property
taxes. They caught up with him at city hall and presented him with a
letter detailing the alleged wrongdoing.
The interior minister summoned the Banglamung district
chief of police, Pol. Col. Supoj Kasemchayanant, and the police officer in
charge of the case, Pol. Maj. Atapool Sarakul, and they together reviewed
the case files. Minister Purachai then instructed the police officers to
closely follow the case. He also contacted the consumer protection agency
telling them to “ensure justice is achieved.”
The homebuyers received reassurance that their concerns
would receive adequate attention, and that the courts would take every
aspect into consideration and look out for their interests.
After receiving assurances the homebuyers departed
feeling somewhat better now that big guns were aware of their plight.
Before the minister of interior departed he left some
words of wisdom for the people of Pattaya, remarking that it was
everyone’s civic duty to pay their taxes in order to continue
development. He said everyone should be willing to contribute, and they
should volunteer to pay taxes due in order to improve conditions in the
community and create a better life for all.
Mayor Pairat Suttithamrongsawat reiterated Minister
Purachai’s remarks, hoping others would follow the minister of
interior’s example and become inspired to join the campaign to
voluntarily pay taxes due the government.
Beggars bounced off streets
Not good for Pattaya’s image
Pattaya police, assisted by the Chonburi Assistance
Agency and district officials, organized a sweep last week, clearing 32
beggars off Pattaya streets. All 32 were remanded in custody.
Police concentrated their sweep on the areas around the
Grand Hall Market in Soi Bua Khao and Wat Chaimongkol in South Pattaya.
The arrests included a group of Cambodians, 11 males
and seven females aged from 2 - 84 years; each had entered the country
Fourteen Thais were also arrested, five males and nine
females, mostly from Pichit Province.
All were charged with vagrancy, and the Cambodians were
also charged with entering the Kingdom illegally.
The Cambodians told police a Cambodian woman, who they
only knew as “Chong”, had organized transportation to Pattaya. They
said she charged each 200 baht for the trip, and after arrival she also
organized their new employment as beggars in different areas around the
They said Chong required each person she brought into
the city illegally to work off a 3,000 baht debt. Afterwards, they were
free to continue begging independently and keep all handouts.
The sweep was in support of the provincial governor’s
goal of improving the city’s image and ultimately improving tourism to
Other areas being targeted include protecting
consumers, organizing city beach areas, suppressing prostitution, and
supporting the minister of interior’s social reforms directed at
underage persons and anti-drug campaigns.
Distraught man gives it up on Pattaya 2nd Road
Locals convinced it was the result of evil spirits
Pattaya police were notified by tourists just before
midnight on January 29 that a man lay dead on the side of Pattaya 2nd Road
near the entrance to Soi 2.
Police examined the body and found no indications of
foul play. The body was later identified as Thon Phanchumphin, age 31,
formerly from Nong Khai, who had been residing with relatives in Ban
Fameeachakan, Moo 1, Nong Prue. Other than his frail and emaciated
features, there was no explanation for the cause of death.
Witnesses told police that they had seen the man
hanging around the area for the previous three days, and that he
frequently drank leftover alcohol left by tourists in the bars. Prior to
the incident, witnesses saw him drinking from a spirit house in front of
one of the bars, after which he passed out on the footpath and died.
A short while after police arrived, a woman arrived
identifying herself as Thon’s mother.
Mrs. Phanphen Phanchumphin told police her son’s
death was all her fault because she drove him away from their home. She
continued crying without describing the exact circumstances involved in
the dispute at home, although she indicated that he probably had not eaten
for many days.
The body was transferred to the Banglamung Hospital.
Israeli arrested for sexually abusing minors
Four teenage boys in his room at the time of arrest
Israeli tourist Yehuda Aharon Zvi, 61, was arrested
from his room at the Day-Night Guesthouse on January 31 and charged for
allegedly having sex with underage boys.
tourist, Yehuda Aharon Zvi, was arrested for allegedly sexually abusing
minors in Pattaya.
Pattaya Immigration Police Inspector, Pol. Lt. Col.
Somchai Erbab, led a team of police officers to the hotel after tourist
police had received reports from other guests at the hotel that Zvi had
been regularly bringing adolescent boys back to his room.
Four young Cambodian boys, aged 15-17, were in his room
at the time of his arrest. The boys told police their parents had been
arrested for illegally entering the Kingdom and left them to fend for
themselves on the streets of Pattaya.
During a search of the room, police also found pictures
of Zvi with naked Cambodian boys as young as 14 years of age.
Zvi was transferred to the Pattaya municipal police and
charged with harboring foreigners illegally residing in the Kingdom and
sexually abusing minors under the age of 18. If convicted, Zvi will face
between five and 20 years imprisonment. His name and personal data were
also added to the blacklist to prevent him from entering the Kingdom in