HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Campaign launched to reduce death tolls during New Year festival

General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh pays surprise visit to Pattaya Police station

Pattaya and Banglamung residents pay respects on HM the King’s 75th birthday

Children - take care of your teeth and gums

Over 5,000 turn out for the Anti-Drugs march

Marathon road construction project angers public

Upcoming holidays update


Teenage gang member arrested for stealing from service girls

Two female ‘yaba’ agents busted in Soi Arunothai, Central Pattaya

Fight breaks out at concert

Cops follow their noses to marijuana-smoking vendor

Police arrest rapists just one hour after the crime was reported

Campaign launched to reduce death tolls during New Year festival

Interior Minister Wanmuhamadnoor Matha has announced that three ministries will join forces to launch a campaign aimed to reduce accidents and death tolls during the coming New Year festival.

The Ministries of Interior, Transport and Communications, and Public Health have agreed to join forces in launching the campaign, which began on December 16.

The agreement was reached at a meeting of ministers of the three ministries, and representatives of other agencies concerned, to make preparations for accident prevention because of Thailand’s record of high road fatalities during this annual holiday season.

“In launching the campaign, the three ministries will seek cooperation from the public and private sector, as well as the general public in promoting public awareness on three safety guidelines, including no drunk driving, use of seat-belts, ride motorcycles carefully to ensure safety, and always wear safety helmets when riding motorcycles.” Wanmuhamadnoor stated.

“After the tripartite-cooperation campaign was launched on December 16, the laws will be strictly enforces and violators will be arrested,” he said.

The campaign aims to reduce death tolls of road accidents during the coming New Year festival to no more than 500, said the Minister.

Officials of agencies involved in safety control have been asked to be on duty from December 27 - January 2, so that they will be fully-prepared to assist New Year revelers. (TNA)

General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh pays surprise visit to Pattaya Police station

Pattaya facilities deemed overcrowded and some prisoners will be moved to provincial jails

Boonlua Chatree and Songklod Kaewvisit

Deputy Prime Minister General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh recently visited Pattaya police station in his capacity as head of the National Police Bureau to check on the facility’s prisoner holding cells.

Deputy Prime Minister General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh in his capacity as head of the National Police Bureau recently visited Pattaya police station to check on the facility’s prisoner holding cells.

The deputy PM was greeted by local commanding officers and regional police commander Pol. Lt. Gen. Pakorn Sampakij and guided on an inspection tour through the station.

During his inspection, Gen. Chavalit found conditions unacceptable, as 164 male and female prisoners were crammed into the confined spaces of the small cells. Deeming the holding facility full beyond acceptable capacity, he gave orders that the majority of prisoners be moved to provincial prisons in Trat and Chonburi to relieve the overcrowding.

Gen. Chavalit told local officers and the press that this was just a regular inspection with no special agenda and he had wanted to see how the Pattaya police station operated.

The deputy PM went on to inspect the various departments and equipment used in controlling traffic and the operations center, and made positive comments regarding current use of the latest equipment for serving and protecting the public.

Before leaving the Pattaya police station Gen. Chavalit Yongchaiyudh called for all police officers to work hard and protect and serve mindfully as it was their duty to the community.

He stressed that quality and efficient service is an important part of police service. Vigilance and correct behavior on the part of law enforcement officers will benefit both residents and tourists. He reminded them that since Pattaya police station is the face of the police in Thailand, firm and correct actions are necessary.

Pattaya and Banglamung residents pay respects on HM the King’s 75th birthday

Joining ceremonies around nation, Chaen Chuensiva, Banglamung district chief led officials, residents and local businesspeople in Pattaya and Banglamung in front of the Banglamung District Office at 7 a.m. on December 5th to pay their respects to HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej on his 75th Birthday.

Government officials lead the paying of respects to HM the King on his birthday December 5.

As part of the early morning activities, officials made merit with 76 monks leading the religious ceremonies, presenting alms and flowers to honor His Majesty.

Later in the day ceremonies continued at Pattaya School No. 3 in the Sawang Fah Temple with students parading from the school grounds to the district office, and residents from around the city joined in to officially pay respects to their beloved king. Ceremonies were mirrored around the country as people celebrated the birthday of the ‘Father of the Thai Nation’, who is also currently the longest reigning monarch in the world.

Children - take care of your teeth and gums

Teeth protection exhibition held in Pattaya

An exhibition targeting dental health and hygiene was recently held to create awareness of the importance of taking good care of children’s teeth.

Even exhibitions on teeth care can become uniquely fun, cultural experiences.

Presided over by deputy mayor Wutisak Remkijikarn, and Wananporn Jaemjamras, the director of Pattaya Health and Environment Department, the exhibition held at Pattaya School Number 9 was well attended by over 1,000 teachers and students.

The exhibition provided information on prevention of dental problems and stressed that treatment alone is not sufficient. Children must be educated on how to take care of their teeth and gums, which will prevent dental problems in the future.

The exhibition included education on diseases of teeth and gums, a healthy-teeth contest, demonstrations on proper brushing techniques, and a drawing and slogan contest.

Over 5,000 turn out for the Anti-Drugs march

Songklod Kaewvisit

Mayor Pairat Suttithamrongsawat led a crowd of over 5,000 marchers to swear-in for the avoidance of illegal drug use and participate in the Anti-Drugs parade held on December 10. The mass of marchers began their parade at Pattaya police station Soi 9 and made their way down to the end of Walking Street.

Participants in the parade dressed up special to denounce illegal drug abuse.

The anti-drug parade was formed by people from many sectors of the community including representatives from the Lions Clubs, Pattaya Business and Tourism Association, Rotary Clubs, Pattaya Hotels Club, Eastern Hotels Association, Gold Merchandisers Club of Pattaya, and YWCA of Bangkok-Pattaya.

Officials from various governmental departments joined in the parade to show sincerity and unity the cause to fight drug abuse and addiction. Marchers in the parade all wore black shirts with the slogan ‘Pattaya Drugs Free Zone’. The money raised from the shirts sales will be contributed to the city’s anti-drugs fund-management.

Surat Mekavarakul, president of the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association, said Pattaya citizens should unite and protest against illegal drug use to help repair the city’s image. He said that Pattaya’s reputation and popularity has suffered greatly in the past few years because of the rising drug-related crime rate.

Surat stressed that Pattaya City is a famous tourist destination that generates huge revenue each year and that if members of the community sit by and do nothing to reclaim the city’s safety and respectability, the business community will suffer because of it.

The Anti-Drugs parade will now take place each year on December 10 to continue the fight against drug abuse and trafficking in the city.

Marathon road construction project angers public

Eakkachai Kamolsri
Photo by Ariyawat Nuamsawat

The signboard near a small road resurfacing project in Soi 16, Central Pattaya reads “starting September 28th, 2002 and finishing February 23rd, 2003 - all together 150 days” was most likely well-intended and made an effort to inform the public.

Soi 16 in Central Pattaya is still a mess and residents believe the contractors are stalling.

The section under repair, however, is creating mass chaos and tremendous inconvenience for people using the road. But the real outrage is that the time-frame to do this simple repair work is far too long. One hundred and fifty days? Surely not!

People living in the area claimed that the contractor of the project deliberately abandoned the work and should be reprimanded. They say the road can be resurfaced and usable long before February 23rd and want the contractor to stop stalling.

The uncovered drains are very dangerous for pedestrians and vehicles navigating this area, especially at night. Motorcyclists who have to use the road are zigzagging around the treacherous holes and hazards which are very risky.

Residents in the area are pleading for this mess to be completed properly. Pattaya is beginning its peak tourist season and situations like this should not be tolerated.

Upcoming holidays update

Many Thailand businesses to take 5-day holiday during New Year festival

Thai people will have the opportunity to celebrate a longer New Year festival this year, as the cabinet approved a 5-day holiday during the New Year period.

Government spokesman Sitha Thivaree said the cabinet approved December 30 as one more holiday day during the New Year period, “This allows Thai people to have five consecutive days off for holidays during the New Year Festival, from Saturday to Wednesday - December 28 to January 1.”


Eakkachai Kamolsri
Photo by Ariyawat Nuamsawat

During the rainy season, not only is there flooding on the ground but also on the footbridge over the Sukhumvit Highway; yes it is true. It is quite slippery up there, and it is certainly not a safe place for children of Pattaya School No. 5 who cannot avoid its daily use. If you take a closer look at the stairs’ width, they are not, well not very surprising here, equal, and misstep accidents often occur causing injuries. The bridge surface was carelessly designed and was not even correctly sloppy; no water drainage was incorporated. Any improvement yet authorities? Please check out the footbridge opposite Soi Nernplubwarn, Sukhumvit Road.

Teenage gang member arrested for stealing from service girls

South Pattaya area unsafe for solicitors

Boonlua Chatree

A gang of teenage hoodlums has been mugging tourists and young female South Pattaya service girls in the wee hours of the morning and fleeing with their valuables. The cops are onto these young thugs and finally caught one out of a group of three on December 11.

Thanks to doughty officers, dark South Pattaya streets are now safe from at least one late night mugger.

Criminal investigation officers planned a sting operation to catch the young miscreants following numerous complaints. Undercover officers posing as tourists flashed their expensive mobile phones in the Pratamnak area as bait, waiting for the gang to strike. Three young men were spotted carrying lumps of timber and knives waiting for a victim to come along.

Officers rode a brand new bike pass the gang, and the gang struck out with the lump of timber, barely missing the rider, who ducked out the way in time. Police sprang into action in an effort to catch the criminals, but the youths saw them coming and fled. As police gave chase the trio crashed their bike in the middle of the road and made a run for it on foot.

Only 18 year-old Surasak Sapvichien was captured and taken to the station for interrogation. The teenager admitted to his crimes saying that he and his friends used weapons to mug tourists after 2:00 a.m. When bar staff finish work they ride around grabbing mobile phones and whatever else they could get their hands on. He and his friends sold the items and used the money for personal expenses, saying that it was easy money that they didn’t have to work for.

Surasak was charged with theft and armed robbery and is no behind bars. Police are still looking for Surasak’s two friends who will meet the same fate when caught.

Two female ‘yaba’ agents busted in Soi Arunothai, Central Pattaya

Police raided an apartment room in Soi Arunothai, Central Pattaya and arrested two women in possession of 188 ‘yaba’ amphetamine pills after police learned that both had been selling the class 1 illegal drugs to youth in Pattaya for years. The criminals were identified as 29 year-old Bangern Boonyaphan, and 45 year-old and Pranom Nootpoon.

After their arrest both women confessed that they not only were making a lot of money selling the drugs but they were also addicted to them. Bangern and Pranom told officers that they bought the yaba pills in Ang-sila district, Chonburi at 50 baht per tablet and re-sold them in Pattaya at 80 to 120 baht each. They were transferred to Pattaya Police station.

Fight breaks out at concert

Off-duty cop gets arrested for trying to break up skirmish

The Noknoymalaiporn concert in Pattaya on December 9 turned out to be a little more exciting than the organizers planned. The performance by the famous folk-singer from Thailand’s Northeast was anything but dull. Some spectators got so wound up they ended up in a fight.

A group of volunteer peach keepers got a little carried away with a real cop during a brawl after a recent concert.

About 1:00 a.m., shortly after the concert had finished a fight broke out amongst a group of young men. Sunya Samati, a police officer who was off duty at the time and enjoying the concert, went in to stop the fight but was arrested by the Volunteer Force of Pattaya before he could take out his identification and show that he belonged to the official police force. During the fight he also received a couple of smashes in the face and was taken to the hospital to get stitched up.

Pol. Maj. Sukrapee Preawpanit, Pol. May. Krit Siriprasertchok and Pol. May. Taratep Toopanit ordered the 30 members of the Volunteer Police Force of Pattaya to the police station and demanded an explanation.

The 5 men from the Volunteer Police Forced who busted the off-duty cop were identified as Pratep Masook, age 40; Duang Boonmachay, age38; Paitool Boonrad, age 36; Wattana Pookpaya, age19 and Anutep Nantakit, age 35.

Later, Mayor Pairat Suttithamrongsawat went to the police station to try to smooth things over. He asked Pol. Mayor Sukrapee to convince Officer Sunya Samati not to press charges against the volunteers. The mayor explained that since they are only volunteers they thought they were doing the right thing but had made a mistake.

Cops follow their noses to marijuana-smoking vendor

Also had a handgun - caught with a smoking gun?

Pattaya police patrolmen were cruising around the city checking things out when up on Pratamnak Hill the smell of burning marijuana caught their attention.

Caught with a smoking gun? No, just caught smoking with a gun, Sriton Rongkaew was arrested for possession of marijuana and an unlicensed handgun.

Officers Worawut Chaysuwan, Jaruek Putri, Somkit Promchukaew and Tongpaw Tongkaw followed their noses and the odor led them to the Radio Station Tower, which is a popular place for people to sit and admire the lovely view of Pattaya.

Still on the trail of smoldering dope and the delicious smell of barbeque from nearby vendors, they found vendor Sriton Rongkaew, age 42, smoking the illegal drug. After searching Sriton they found a bag of marijuana mixed with cigarette tobacco. He also had a 22-millimeter pistol.

Sriton was arrested and charged for possession of a class-5 drug and for carrying a firearm without a license within city limits.

Police arrest rapists just one hour after the crime was reported

Boonlua Chatree

An employee of a central Pattaya hotel reported to police that two teenagers were robbed and raped in their 17th floor hotel and were on their way to Banglamung Hospital for treatment. A troop of criminal investigation officers led by Pol. Maj. Col. Anant Thamchaikul from Pattaya police station arrived at the hotel and examined the room. Police found scattered pieces of broken glass and a 3 meter long piece of rope that had been made from bedding material. The items were confiscated as evidence.

Police then searched the room opposite and found many beer bottles on the floor and searched for fingerprints. Through police records they identified one of the criminals as Sangad, a middle-aged man with a dark complexion.

The teenage victims, aged 18 and 19, told police at the hospital that they came to Pattaya for holidays and checked in to the hotel a few days before they were attacked. They said in the morning when they were ready to go out of the room, two Thai men threatened them with a gun and told them to return into the room. The girls told police that both criminals tied their wrists and ankles, then raped the younger woman. After the two had completed their ‘business’ they ran off with a notebook computer, a wristwatch, two mobile phones, and 4,000 baht in cash. The girls helped one another to untie their bonds and reported the incident to hotel security.

Not long after, police began a manhunt throughout the city. Officers finally spotted two suspects matching the victims’ descriptions drinking whiskey at a Bar in Soi Bua Khao.

Police then arrested the two men and took them to the police station for further questioning.

The criminals were identified as Sangad Singhtosiri, aged 22, and Witthaya Phalarit, aged 35. Both men confessed to their crimes and were charged with theft and sexual assault and have been detained and now are waiting for court proceedings.