HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Casino on Koh Larn - what are the odds?

Pattaya’s new walk - through underwater aquarium now open

Buddhist Lent begins next week Ahsalahabucha Day July 13, Khao Pansaa July 14

Mayor opens recycling project at the Sawang Boriboon Foundation in Naklua

Land encroachment dispute gives mayor a headache

MOI tells district chiefs to stop processing gun permits and provide a gun amnesty for heavy weapons

‘Som tam’ lovers flock to Pattaya 4 Fun to see who can make the city’s tastiest spicy papaya salad

Constant rain washes away part of Soi Khao Noi

City seeks ways to prevent flooding following heavy rains

Banglamung chief informs community leaders that MOI is scrutinizing their performance

Drunk and naked, woman prances into Pattaya police station after a heavy session

Japanese businessman found murdered in his condo

Unattended luggage holds Mini Siam Theme Park staff and police at bay for 4 hours

Chemicals connected with deadly wine located

Casino on Koh Larn - what are the odds?

Suchada Tupchai

The continuing debate over Thailand’s first legalized casino took a turn round the s-bend last week as the debate over the location of the country’s legalized gambling establishment hit the floor.

A recent Suan Dusit poll of over 8,000 people revealed that 52 percent were in favor of the idea and 32 percent opposed.

The meeting, held at the Ambassador City Hotel Jomtien, drew just over 200 of the expected 500 people to present their ideas and opinions on the matter. A number of investors from Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and the United States were also present to observe the proceedings.

Burintr Hiranburana, chairman of House committee on Finance and Banking said in his opening statement, “The legalization of gambling in Thailand is not new. It is currently illegal, yet there are gambling dens operating around the nation, which has created numerous social problems. On top of that, neighboring countries have opened casinos along the border, with almost all their trade coming from Thai nationals. This is hole is causing the country to lose over 400 billion baht per year. If we were to have a legalized venue, not only would we be able to plug that hole but also draw interest from outside the country and the government would benefit from the collection of taxes. The committee has suggested that the matter be considered and studied further before a decision is made. Lack of research and study could result in further social and economic ills, affecting Thailand’s stability. I suggest we meet again after further studying the implications and those venues in border towns before deciding where to build a casino in Thailand.”

House speaker Uthai Pimchaichon, posed his comments on the issue, “The issue has drawn interest from many departments. My point of view is that, and I’ve heard this on numerous occasions, a casino should be built either in Phuket, Surat Thani, Samui, Chiang Mai or Pattaya to further attract tourists to these areas. I would suggest that after observing the banter, if a casino were to be legalized in Thailand, it should not be in a major tourist center, but could be close by. The reasoning behind this is tourists will visit these centers anyway. If a casino were to be opened it would put a strain on the area, effectively asking the question, would a casino attract more tourists to that already busy center or not? Would it or would it not turn them away? Why not build a venue in smaller nearby service centers, for instance: Koh Pangnga or a place nearby Pattaya. The idea would be similar to that of Macao just outside Hong Kong or that of Las Vegas, which is in the middle of the desert. Would it not have greater benefit to these smaller areas and to the tourist centers if a casino were built outside of the main tourism center?”

Uthai continued, “If a casino is to be built outside a tourist city then a referendum must be taken to decide whether residents want the venue. If the results show favorably in that province then there is a possibility. Chonburi, or more specifically Pattaya, has shown a positive return. Personally, I would like to see the casino built on Larn Island but there must be a clear line for that community and it would also have to have special economic status as such.”

Professor Sukum Cheliwsap, director of the Suan Dusit Poll added, “We at the Dusit poll have undertaken a number of surveys at all levels and vocations among Thai citizens. The latest poll completed on July 4 involved 8,571 people. Of these, 52.23% were in favor of a casino and 33.8% were against. However, the most favored location for a casino was in the South of Thailand. The favorites came as Phuket, Songkhla, Surat Thani at 20.8%. The eastern region of Chonburi, Rayong came it a fifth place on the ladder with just 9.02% in favor of the location.”

Representing the National Police Bureau, Pol. Lt. Col. Tawornsak Thepchatri added his opinion, “Under the current 1935 legislation pertaining to the illegality of gambling, the opening of a legal establishment would create headaches for law in enforcement agencies. In the last 20 years there have been thousands of cases where illegal gambling has taken place with thousands more people taking part in the activity. If the law was amended to allow only licensed venues or the legislation was changed to allow such activities, police would face numerous cases where those caught could challenge the validity of the raid and in turn could press charges against police, creating a legal nightmare in the court system and for police officers.”

Itthipol Khunpluem, MP for Chonburi said, “The issue of legalizing a major gambling venue is still divided, with those against the move lacking confidence in the law and its enforcement. Apart from that, there are bound to be people with ill intent using the system to their own advantage. In order to prevent social problems and in the overall scheme a casino would have to be a complete entertainment package, which is the way the Taksin government sees such a place to be.”

Various opinions from different sections of the meeting continued with most people supporting the idea of legalizing a casino but agreeing not to allow small income earners or inappropriate persons to use such facilities. They also agreed that the venue should be a complete entertainment center.

Finally, a surprising point was made: rather than open just one casino in a specific place, why not open one in each of the six regions of Thailand: Central, Southern, Northern, Eastern, Northeastern (Issarn) and Western regions? The project would effectively be part of a consortium or public company with part of the revenue being returned to local communities, such as educational funds and other clearly defined sectors.

Pattaya’s new walk-through underwater aquarium now open

See the wonders of the deep without getting wet 

Songklod Kaewvisit

Underwater World Pattaya says Pattaya’s newest tourist attraction is the largest and most modern ocean aquarium in Asia, boasting a 100-meter-long, 6.4-centimeter-thick acrylic pedestrian tunnel through an underwater environment filled with dozens of marine species.

The mayor gets a firsthand look at life under the sea. 

Feeding time!

The rare shovelnose ray, a hybrid between a shark and a stingray.

Located just 200 meters south of Tesco Lotus in South Pattaya, the new theme park covers a total area of 12-rai and is housed in a structure similar to a large circus tent. “This enables the place to have natural light that nurtures the algae,” said Bruce Mackay, the head curator.

“The aquarium houses more than 4,000 marine animals, comprising more than 200 different species from the region as well as some rare creatures from overseas,” added David Hong, general manager and an investor in the project. Hong stressed visitors must-see the rare shovelnose ray, a hybrid between a shark and a stingray. “There are three of them at the aquarium that we purchased from local fishermen, who normally kill them for consumption,” he said.

The oceanarium is owned by Underwater World Pattaya Ltd and managed by Sovereign Marketing, a subsidiary of Singapore’s Haw Par Group. Marinescape took 17 months to construct the 4,200-square-meter center.

These Moray eels look daunting.

Fun for the whole family.

“Besides opening visitors’ eyes to the brilliance and diversity of undersea life, the Pattaya aquarium will also play an important role in education and marine conservation,” said Darong Yingchon, a curator and marine biologist with years of experience at public aquariums around the region.

Further expansion is already on the drawing board, with a good possibility that dolphins, giant octopuses, manta rays and perhaps killer whales will be added to the attraction.

“Our estimate of 600,000 visitors a year pales when compared to Sentosa, where there are 1.3 million each year. But we expect the Pattaya facility to grow in popularity as time goes by,” said Hong.

Buddhist Lent begins next week Ahsalahabucha Day July 13, Khao Pansaa July 14

All government offices, banks and many local businesses will close for a day when Buddhist Lent, or “Khao Pansaa” begins next Monday, July 14. Ahsalahabucha Day, an important holy day for Buddhists, this year is being observed on Sunday, July 13.

The Buddhist Holy Day of Ahsalahabucha falls on the 15th night (15 kham) of the full moon during the eighth month of the Buddhist Lunar calendar, this year equating to July 13. Ahsalahabucha means paying homage and worshiping on that day, Ahsalaha being the name of the eighth month in the Pali language.

Ahsalahabucha Day is worshipped because of three important events occurring on that day, called the “Triple Gem”, commemorating the first sermon given by the Buddha, called the “Dhammachakapavattama Sutta”, about the “Four Noble Truths” presented to the Buddha’s first five disciples. The sermon set in motion the “Wheel of Dhamma”, or “Dhammachaka”.

The sermon concluded that: 1. All things are a source of suffering from the constant cycle of birth, disease, old age and death. 2. Desire or the inability to obtain what one desires is the cause of suffering, resulting from cause and effect. 3. Freedom from suffering can be obtained after the complete cessation of desire. 4. The last of the Four Noble Truths is the “Middle Way”, or the path between extremes of asceticism and indulgence leading to the eliminating of desire. The Eight-Fold Path consists of possessing the correct: Views, Resolve, Speech, Conduct, Livelihood, Effort, Mindfulness, and Meditation (or Concentration).

Secondly, the day is considered to be the birth of Buddhism. The Buddha departed the location where he obtained his enlightenment two months earlier, and then went to a forest area in the city of Pharansi where he showed favor to five ascetics. These five became his followers.

Thirdly, the event of the first person to listen to the Buddha’s sermon, and realizing the truths contained therein, is also recognized on this day. This person became the first Buddhist monk and created the Buddhist order “Sangha”; so this day is known as “Sangha Day” as well as Ahsalahabucha Day.

The Thai government established the observance of Ahsalahabucha Day in 1958, with Buddhist temples throughout the Kingdom arranging ceremonies venerating these important historic events. Devout Buddhists participate in the ceremonies by presenting offerings to monks and listening to sermons and performing ritual prayers.

The entire day is revered and certain precepts are adhered to by the more devout Buddhists, or by those who have the inclination and opportunity to do so. The wien tian ritual ceremony is performed in the evening - many people go to nearby temples, bringing candles, flowers and joss sticks with them, where they walk three times around the temple’s sacred grounds.

“Khao Pansaa”
(July 14)

The day following the start of Buddhist Lent is another important Buddhist holy day and begins in Thailand with the custom called Khao Pansaa. This day falls on the first full moon (1 kham) of the Buddhist Lunar calendar during the eighth month of every year, which this year equates to July 14, and ends on the 15th full moon (15 kham) of the 11th month of the Buddhist calendar, or in mid-October. During a leap year it is identified during the “second eighth” month (the next leap year will be in 2004).

The term “Khao Pansaa” can also translate to entering the rainy season when monks return to the temple for the duration of the rains, usually to the temple where they were ordained, where they stay for approximately three months. The monks are not to depart the temples to stay overnight at any other location during these months. Although the rainy season is considered to be longer than three months, lasting up to four or even more, monks are only required to remain at the temples for three of the four months. During the last period of the rainy season they can then go elsewhere when the “Katin” ceremony is performed to present robes to the temples.

In ancient times, the act of monks going into the temples during the rainy season was not yet a custom. Monks would continue roaming from one domain to another, giving sermons and instructing people in the ways of eliminating suffering and disseminating Buddhist beliefs. This was unlike other religions of the time, as most people, including merchants and heretics, refrained from travel due to the hazards and difficulties involved in traveling during the rainy season.

Initially, stopping monks from traveling during the rainy season concerned the idea that it was inappropriate for them to walk about during the rainy season because many small living creatures were about (which they might accidentally step on) and the rice crops were in the ground. Therefore, it was established long ago that the monks would remain in temples during the rains for three months, discussing and studying Buddhist scriptures, following Buddhist disciplines, meditating and performing ritual ceremonies.

The custom of Khao Pansaa has continued to this day with three classes of ceremonies: a Royal Ceremony conducted by the King of Thailand, ritual ceremonies for devout followers of Buddhism throughout the Kingdom and ceremonies performed by monks in the temples.

The Royal Ceremony is similar to those performed by the general public, but more elaborate. The King and members of the Royal Family perform ritual ceremonies to pay homage to the Buddha and present Khao Pansaa candles and traditional garments worn by Buddhist monks to the temples.

Followers of Buddhism all over Thailand, with flowers and candles in hand will attend temples in the morning, bringing in food, necessities, money, traditional candles, garments and ceremonial items for the monks.

People having devout faith may refrain from the recognized eight offences for the duration of the three month rainy season just as monks do, while others may give up a single vice, with yet others giving up 5-8 offences just for the day.

The ceremonies performed by monks in temples revolve around rituals, and include accepting new monks who are taking the vows for periods of up to three months or more. Senior monks at each monastery also perform ceremonies to lead followers in worship and prayer.

The two main items presented to monks during Khao Pansaa are candles and the garments worn by monks, specifically the bathing robe. In former times, candles were essential for ceremonies, studying scriptures and performing various other functions. Candle offerings eventually developed into a custom that is still followed.

The presentation of garments worn by monks is said to have originated when, in former times, people would bathe in community areas, i.e., local streams, rivers, ponds and other sources of water, and monks required a bathing robe. The custom of presenting garments to monks continued to develop until it included presenting the entire arrangement worn by monks.

Khao Pansaa, July 14, is recognized as a government holiday. All government offices, banks and many other businesses close for the day to recognize the importance of the Buddhist Holy Day.

Everyone is invited to participate in the temple ceremonies and to refrain from offensive behavior for the day, and to make the same effort thereafter.

Mayor opens recycling project at the Sawang Boriboon Foundation in Naklua

Residents get ‘cash for trash’ and cleaner environment

Songklod Kaewvisit

The city’s latest environmental conservation drive took another turn for the better last Thursday afternoon as Mayor Pairat Suthithamrongsawat and his four deputies officially opened a new recycling depot in front of the Sawang Boriboon Foundation in Naklua. The campaign encourages residents to swap their trash for cash and preserve the environment at the same time.

City management, teachers and community leaders take a moment to remember the beginning of the new recycling project.

Residents from the community in Soi Post Office in Naklua, Sawang Boriboon personnel, Banglamung Cable TV and students, teachers and parents joined in the day’s event.

The aim of the project is to promote awareness in the community that most of the waste that people normally discard can be recycled and put to good use. The project also aims to reduce the amount of waste products produced by local schools.

The campaign focuses on the recycling of paper, glass bottles, plastic, aluminum, copper and bronze.

During the campaign kickoff, a large amount of trash was handed over with the proceeds from the exchange going towards improving the quality and availability of education for students at the nearby Pattaya School No. 3.

Land encroachment dispute gives mayor a headache

Squabbling neighbors suck Mayor Pairat into role of mediator

After the city built and widened dam and drainage systems to prevent land erosion and flooding in Naklua, reports have come in that that some people have illegally built home extensions that encroach on public land.

Pattaya Mayor Pairat Suthithamrongsawat surveyed the area and validated the complaints. The owners of the encroaching structures were told to demolish and remove their illegal extensions immediately.

During his visit the mayor also played mediator in a private argument. The dispute involved two residents who were unwilling to settle a case as one of them had extended his house and the other demanded that the additional construction be torn down because it obstructed the view and violated his rights.

The mayor ordered that a one-meter width be left between the two houses, and if there was no compliance, he would be forced to use legal means to demolish the extension.

MOI tells district chiefs to stop processing gun permits and provide a gun amnesty for heavy weapons

National ‘social order’ campaign will include reduction of firearms amongst the general public

The nation is evidently now awash with illegal firearms and deadly military weapons which are being used for criminal activities. In response to this serious social scourge the Ministry of Interior (MOI) has issued an order to stop processing gun licenses. The order came down after statistics showed an increasing number of weapons are used in crime and the death toll in these incidents is rising.

Under 1974 legislation all weapons, such as pistols and rifles, require a license from the district officer.

In addition to the halt on issuing gun licenses, an amnesty is being set up for the populace to hand in their military weapons, which will effectively become illegal in the near future once the law has been pushed through parliament.

All this comes under the current government policy to crack down on mafia related crimes and those ‘dark influences’. It was not made clear how many of these mafiosi, dark influences and armed criminals actually register their firearms before committing a crime with them.

‘Som tam’ lovers flock to Pattaya 4 Fun to see who can make the city’s tastiest spicy papaya salad

Suchada Tupchai

Residents and tourists flocked to the beachfront in Pattaya last Saturday to witness more Pattaya 4 Fun activities. The highlight of the second week of the 1 month-long promotion was the ‘som tam’ competition which awarded prizes for the city’s most delicious spicy papaya salad.

Winners of the ‘som tam’ competition proudly display prizes during the recent Pattaya 4 Fun event on Beach Road.

Over 100 people competed in 3 categories (professional, novice and the best show) to show their style using the mortar and pestle.

The panel of judges was left red-faced at the spice of the salad while the audience was entertained by teams from a number of hotels in the most fanciful display of making this popular Thai dish all week.

Sutthiya Darasee placed first in the professional category. In the novice category Poncharat Euartorn took the top spot. Chosen by the audience, winners in the most entertaining category went to the team from Asia Pattaya Hotel.

Extra prizes were awarded to the Siam Bayshore for the most beautifully dressed team, while the outrageous group from Alcazar won a prize for the most popular.

Visitors were later treated to a special concert and more cabaret from the boys at Alcazar, each event drawing large crowds. The Pattaya 4 Fun campaign is proving a big draw for residents and tourists.

Constant rain washes away part of Soi Khao Noi

Leaves residents to wonder when an accident will occur

Eakachai Kamolsri

Constant and persistent rain is taking its toll on the city’s infrastructure. In Soi Khao Noi, aka Soi Wat Boonsamphan, part of the road has been washed away. Approximately 20 meters over the railway line, a section of the road has disintegrated leaving a deep, 2.5-meter-long hole on the road shoulder.

Beware! A section of Soi Khao Noi, aka Soi Wat Boonsamphan, has disintegrated leaving a deep, 2.5-meter-long hole on the road shoulder.

Residents in the area are fearful of a fatal accident occurring because of the road’s condition and have requested officialdom to repair the holes immediately and upgrade the drainage along the stretch of road that is notorious for flooding even after the lightest rain.

The subject was brought to the attention of city council members and subsequently put forth for discussion and action at a council meeting.

Bureaucratic processes take time but whatever the case, who will take responsibility when someone is injured or killed in an accident?

City seeks ways to prevent flooding following heavy rains

Crews sent out to clear clogged drains

In light of the recent floods caused by heavy rains, Pattaya City officials are looking for ways to prevent the problems from reoccurring. The main cause of the floods was identified as a lack of capacity in the drainage system to handle large volumes of water. Drains clogged with silt and rubbish complicated the situation.

City officials have mapped out a plan to ease the problem should another heavy downpour occur. First of all, crews of municipal staff are busy clearing the city’s drains to allow water to flow more easily.

The second effort involves the current drainage system that allows water from Pattaya Second Road to wash down to Pattaya Bay. The project, which has been completed for some time, has run into difficulties in the area of South Pattaya.

A canal or ‘klong’ has been created by illegal construction. The large canal that runs underneath the streets is the main passage for draining water in the South Pattaya area. City officials are in the process of removing the intrusive structures to ease water flow and widen the outlet.

The Naklua Klong is already under the process of widening and should be completed soon.

Banglamung chief informs community leaders that MOI is scrutinizing their performance

Complaints from residents about abuse of power are mounting

Residents have been complaining that certain officials are abusing their positions and using their influence to their own advantage. As a result, a directive has come down from the Ministry of Interior (MOI) for all district officers to keep a close eye on their subordinates.

As part of the policy, each kamnan and pooyai ban will receive additional training as to their roles in the community, which will encompass laws and responsibilities.

At the monthly meeting in the Banglamung District Office, Somsak Yonokphan, Banglamung district chief met with village headmen, sub-district headmen and government officers. Topping the agenda was the recent announcement by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) through the provincial administration regarding the guidelines and policies on the duties of sub-district headmen or ‘kamnan’ and village headmen also known as ‘pooyai ban’.

During the meeting Somsak Yonokphan explained the importance of their position in providing service to the community. As village and sub-district representatives their job is to provide honest service and advice and resolve problems within their jurisdiction.

The district chief added that he is obliged to report to the provincial office of the MOI what is happening within the Banglamung area and notify the office if anyone is not performing properly.

New policies regarding administration sections in small communities were passed earlier this year, which state that those who misuse their authority are subject to criminal prosecution.

However, the MOI has also stated that civil servants will be rewarded for their efforts if their performance is outstanding and they contribute exceptional service to the community.

Drunk and naked, woman prances into Pattaya police station after a heavy session

Boonlua Chatree

Whoever said the graveyard shift in Pattaya was ever dull wasn’t there at around 3 a.m. on Sunday morning a woman wearing nothing but a smile pranced into Pattaya police station. Apparently upset over something, the women, later identified as Noi, was incomprehensible to police and reporters. Apparently she joined the festivities at the Pattaya Bike weekend and engaged in a heavy drinking session.

Noi’s night ended with her finally donning some clothes before heading in the direction of Pattaya beach, leaving local police to shake their heads.

Speaking loudly, she had no inhibitions about her state of undress and was not afraid to show or tell anyone about it. Police and reporters tried to calm her down and persuade her to don some clothing. After around 10 minutes the women agreed and she was handed a pair of jeans and a long sleeve shirt. She then made her way out of the station and into the night in the direction of the beach.

Amazed police officers let her go of her own accord since she posed no threat to anyone, although normal protocol would have been to charge her with drunk and disorderly conduct in public. However, since she was brave enough to walk into the station without a stitch of clothing, all duty officers could do was shake their heads that the woman had the audacity to commit such an act.

Japanese businessman found murdered in his condo

Police say they know who did it

Boonlua Chatree

Thirty-seven year old Japanese national Keita Samukawa was found in his condo room with his throat cut. Police believe that he may have been dead for three days, as apartment staff said they last saw him on Saturday with a young Thai man between 18 and 20 years of age. Keita Samukawa was a marketing manager for the Toichidentsu Company.

A police inspection of the room revealed traces of anti-retroviral drugs. Samukawa’s personal items from his room and car were reported to be missing.

Police suspect the killer stole Samukawa’s car and cash.

On Wednesday, police located the dead man’s car in the central province of Ang Thong, approximately 200 kilometers north of Bangkok. Investigating officers say they know the identity of the killer and expect to make an arrest in the near future.

Unattended luggage holds Mini Siam Theme Park staff and police at bay for 4 hours

Benign briefcase assaulted by navy bomb squad

Boonlua Chatree

At 8.30 p.m. on July 3 Banglamung police were called to inspect the mysterious appearance of a briefcase at the Mini Siam theme park on Sukhumvit Road. The head of security at the park reported he suspected the bag was in fact a bomb.

A navy ordinance expert examines the rogue luggage more closely after x-rays revealed it to be harmless. The bag had been left at the entrance to Mini Siam, and security feared it might have been a bomb.

Criminal investigation police arrived at the scene to find the 70cm x 50cm bag located next to one the two giant statues guarding the entrance to the park. After a quick examination of the suspicious item, police were unsure of the contents of the bag and called in specialists from the Ordnance Department at Sattahip Navy Base to investigate.

The navy teams brought in their bomb disposal experts and an X-ray machine to view the contents of the case.

The remote control unit revealed nothing out of the ordinary. Irked at the false alarm, navy officers nevertheless confiscated the briefcase.

Police now think some forgetful tourist left his or her bag behind or that someone mischievously left the bag there to scare staff and police.

Chemicals connected with deadly wine located

Police raid Soi Batman lawyer’s premises

Boonlua Chatree

The tragic death of one person last week as a result of drinking poisoned wine prompted a nationwide uproar resulting in an intensive investigation. Local and regional police traced the source elements of the deadly drink to a location in Soi Batman in South Pattaya.

Criminal investigation officers raided a shop house in the South Pattaya soi belonging to a lawyer. It was apparent that the owner of the business was aware of the impending raid since he fled before officers arrived.

Officers found three 200-liter barrels of chemical substances. They were later identified as gamma butyrolcatone (GBL) and Tetrahydrofurane (THL), the same constituents found in the bogus bottle of wine. Police confiscated the containers for further testing and as evidence.

Officers also found shipping documents addressed to a company in the United States.

One of the chemicals, GBL, has been used in western countries as a hallucinogen in minute quantities. Large doses cause reparatory failure and sudden death.

Last Friday evening Pattaya Tourist Police raided the Supaprint graphic design and print business on Pattaya Third Road, detaining Miss Ooythip Srikrot and Sonsak Prisananont. Officers also confiscated 1,000 stickers with the bogus Le Sante Winery labels and receipts from the job order.

The pair told police that they were employees of the company and provided them with as many details as they could remember. Officers then moved to the print house were the labels were printed. Officers also detained Miss Sompong Tongsuk, manager of PM Offset Printing.

All three told police that they had received the print order in February this year but thought nothing of it until the news hit the national media and newspapers. Miss Sompong told police she was shocked to see her work in the national newspapers and called police to offer full cooperation.

Police officials said that the three would not be charged as they cooperated fully in the investigation and apparently were conducting their business without knowledge of criminal intent.

Pol. Maj. Panya Marman, tourist police superintendent, said that criminal investigation police are now looking for the man who ordered the wine labels as well as some 600 liters of chemicals missing from drums found in last week’s raid in South Pattaya.

The chemicals contained in the deadly wine were shipped to the US and police believe that it is part of an elaborate drug ring since the chemicals are used in manufacturing narcotics.

Police are looking for Noraset Tunthawirote and two foreign nationals in connection with the poisonous wine. One man has been identified as Jon Erik Hamsten, a 28-year-old Swedish national.