City wants insufficient
tap water and flooding problems solved quickly
Complaints from foreign tourists add to city’s woes
Water! Water! Some residents have too much and others
don’t have enough. Pattaya’s serious flooding problems and areas which
still lack adequate tap water were the topics of a recent meeting held at
city hall and chaired by Chonburi Deputy Governor Preecha Kamolbutr. The
meeting was attended by personnel assigned to address these pressing issues.
Deputy Governor Preecha Kamolbutr said, “... we must continue to support
the local police in order to catch criminals ... Otherwise all our hard work
will be for nothing.”
Kamol Pachornkorn from the Pattaya Water Authority
explained that presently there are three projects underway to solve the
problem of tap water running dry in some areas.
“First, work is now in progress on the expansion of
main water pipes in Pattaya, which is being helped by a 40 million bath
budget. This project is scheduled to be completed in November of this year.
The second solution will be to increase water flow around Khao Thappraya and
Khao Talo. Third, we must find more water resources, and East Water Company
is already working on feasibility studies for this,” Kamol said.
Mayor Pairat Suthithamrongsawat, addressing the flooding
situation, said that since July 22, extremely heavy rains have flooded
Second Road and Sukhumvit Road as well as many communities in the city.
“Right now, there is so much construction going on in the city that the
building sites are contributing to the blockage of the drains and
waterways,” Mayor Pairat said. “I believe that when most of this
construction is finished, and improvements in the drainage systems are
completed, the flooding problems will be over.”
However, a ‘hotline’ has been set up for people in
distress and in need of help. The contact number is 038 427 960.
On another note, Deputy Governor Preecha told committee
members that a number of tourists from Vietnam, Hong Kong and Japan had
registered formal complaints with the Tourist Authority of Thailand and with
agencies in their home countries. These tourists concluded that Pattaya was
an unsafe place to travel to after they had been bitten by snakes, and had
their personal items stolen from hotel rooms.
The deputy governor emphasized the fact that all hotels
and tour operators need to raise their safety and security standards to
avoid such events. “I attended the road show in Japan along with local
business representatives and city administrators. It was reasonably
successful but we need to maintain a high level of cooperation between the
government and private sectors to ensure that visitors are safe and are not
subjected to thefts,” he said.
“As Surat Mekhawarakul, past president of the PBTA, has
stated, and I agree, we must continue to support the local police in order
to catch criminals and ensure they receive the necessary penalties.
Otherwise all our hard work will be for nothing,” concluded Preecha.
Greenpeace Caravan promoting marine resource preservation
in Thai Gulf
Petitions distributed and signed to send to the government
The Eastern Seaboard received “famous” visitors last
week when the internationally recognized Greenpeace organization toured the
area to promote marine resource preservation.
Bike caravan rode down Pattaya Beach Road, encouraging local citizens to
become aware of the ecology and environmental problems in the Gulf of
Fifty cyclists and accompanying support vans took a road
trip from Bangkok to Rayong, beginning on July 31 and ending August 4. The
message they were spreading was “Save the Gulf of Thailand - Our Food
The bicycle tour began from Victory Monument in Bangkok
and proceeded through Samutprakarn, Chacheongsao, Chonburi, Pattaya and
On July 31st, the first day of the caravan, Dr. Jirakorn
Gajasenee, executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Thara Buakumsri,
toxics campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia, and John Nuvo, a singer
with an environmental career, gave the cyclists a pep talk, saying the main
aim of the project was to strengthen communities’ right to know about what
kind of chemicals and harmful waste products are being released into the
Gulf of Thailand. The caravan then traveled into communities such as
Klongdarn, Bangpoo, and Samkhao village in Samutprakarn to educate the
people of their rights.
Sangrattanaporn, Nanthachai Changmuang and Thanya Sooksiethong typed their
names into an email to put pressure on the government to modify the
environmental problems occurring around the Gulf of Thailand.
On August 1, the caravan proceeded to Chachoengsao,
Ang-Sila, Bangsaen Beach and Burapha University. At the end of the day they
rode from Koh Loy, Sriracha to Au-Udom and on to Laem Chabang.
On the early morning of August 2, the caravan moved on to
search the Laem Chabang Industrial Estate and toured Pattaya City. They
later went through Maptaphut Industrial Estate.
The aim of the tour throughout these cities and
industrial estates was to try and press the government to enforce a
mandatory toxics release inventory and to “strengthen the communities
right to know”. Greenpeace also released an ecology map to educate local
people about what has caused pollution in the Thai Gulf and how to prevent
it from happening further.
“There are more than 100,000 types of chemicals used in
manufacturing and commercial operations, and apparently, there are more than
1,500 chemicals released into the environment with no notification as to the
quantity or the risk of damaging the ecology and ecosystem,” said Thara
Buakumsri, toxics campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
“Greenpeace believes that local people should be told
about this so they can react promptly, and learn what and how to react to
prevent this from happening. People could help by speaking out when there is
a problem,” Thara continued.
Thara added, “For the past 40 years, both Thai and
foreign scientists agreed that the Gulf of Thailand was one of the most
plentiful (sea life) places in the world, but now it is decaying. Greenpeace
is hoping that this campaign will encourage local people to become more
aware of the environment around them and the Gulf of Thailand will not
become worse but will improve and will be the plentiful place it was
Many people have signed a petition, which will be
presented to Prime Minister Taksin Shinawatra, to try to force the
government to create an inventory of chemicals being released into the
environment, with the aim of reducing this practice and hopefully cleaning
up the Gulf of Thailand. Anyone can sign this petition by sending an email
to www.Sainam.org or www.greenpeace.org.th
City to remove stray dogs from the streets this month
Owners to face fines if their pets bite people
Starting this month, the authorities will take measures
to remove more stray dogs from Pattaya City streets. The move follows a
complaint from a foreign tourist who was savagely bitten by a stray dog
while jogging on the beach in North Pattaya. The woman received a bite 3
inches long, 2 inches wide and half an inch deep, which required many
stitches. Such incidents are damaging to the improved image that city
officials are trying to so hard to maintain.
plead not guilty. But if I bite you, my owner could face stiff penalties.
Samai Leetranont, supervisor of the Service and Hygiene
section for the Pattaya Hygiene and Environment Department, after being
informed of the incident, said that despite the city carrying out a
vaccination and neutering program in June this year and removing over 180
dogs from the city and relocating them to Srakaew and Aranyaprathet, this
problem is still tough to tackle.
“Because Pattaya has many nooks and crannies there is a
good chance that we missed quite a few on the previous campaign. As for the
foreign resident being bitten while running along the beach, the guilty dog
was most likely one of the few that we missed, or perhaps its owner failed
to keep it under proper restraint. Whatever the case may be, we (the city)
will coordinate with the Chonburi Livestock Department once again to take
care of the remaining animals. We have surveyed the city and expect to catch
another 20 or so animals,” Samai said.
The city is warning owners who allow their dogs run to
run free, that if their dog bites someone, the owner will have to take
responsibility. If bitten, victims are urged to make a formal complaint to
the authorities and the owners could face stiff penalties.
Grand merit making ceremonies are planned in honor of Her Majesty the Queens Birthday
A grand merit-making ceremony, complete with 73 monks, a
presentation of robes, fresh flowers, food and other items is taking place
on August 9 outside the Mike Shopping Mall.
The ceremony is a culmination of local groups and private
enterprise to pay their respects to HM the Queen on the glorious occasion of
her 71st birthday.
Religious ceremonies incorporating offerings and prayers
are starting at 6 a.m., followed by traditional and formal displays of
respect to Her Majesty.
The event is open to all residents, and welcomes local
and foreign visitors alike. The aim is to also present Thai Buddhist
ceremonies to those interested foreigners intrigued with Thai Buddhism.
The event has been carefully planned by a number of local
associations with Mike Shopping Mall, where it will take place on the Second
Road side of the center.
New beach vendor guidelines to be implemented
Wandering vendors are now banned from the beaches
Beach business operators have long been a source of
headaches for Pattaya’s officialdom. Vendors are constantly squabbling
over operating spaces, and competition over customers often spawns quarrels.
Since vendors also take advantage of lax enforcement of regulations, the
city plans to introduce tougher measures.
Pairat Suthithamrongsawat has banned wandering vendors from the beach.
Mayor Pairat Suthithamrongsawat told a group of business
operators he met with at city hall last week that vendors who do not conform
to the regulations are supposed to be fined by municipal officers. However,
stubborn disobedience by so many vendors makes it difficult to enforce the
regulations. Currently there are 400 lots in use by vendors on Jomtien Beach
alone, and many others on Pattaya Beach.
In a move to create order out of chaos, a new beach order
has been issued. Wandering vendors will be banned from the beach. Those
found selling their wares will have said wares confiscated. The areas
specified for legitimate beach chair operators will be closely monitored and
if illegal vendors are caught peddling on their lots, the beach chair
operators will also be fined.
Repeated violations and fines will alert city officials
to review the permit which allows them to operate. Flagrant disobedience
could lead to revoking their permits, business closures, larger fines and
even jail sentences.
Another meeting at city hall will be called in the near
future after officials have had sufficient time to observe how these new
measures are working out. At that time, the regulations will be refined
Mayor says all drain covers within the city to be fixed within 15 days
Garbage collectors suspected of stealing drains to sell as scrap metal
Metal drain grates on a number of Pattaya’s roads have
gone missing and are not only a danger to pedestrians but also cause damage
to cars and motorcycles. The issue has been addressed a number of times and
many residents and tourists are fed up with waiting for action to be taken.
drain covers around town are causing problems for pedestrians and drivers.
The mayor said the problem will be solved within the next two weeks.
Following a recent government and private sector
committee meeting, Pattaya Mayor Pairat Suthithamrongsawat indicated that
all drain covers would be replaced within the next 15 days. The new grates
will be welded or chained together to prevent thieves from lifting them from
their respective points.
The grates, approximately 1-2 feet long, have
“mysteriously disappeared” over the course of time. Thieves are
obviously stealing the grates and selling them for scrap metal, which is
bought by the kilogram.
An investigation by municipal officers revealed that most
of the grates had been sold to scrap metal yards by a number of garbage
collectors who eek out their living selling recyclable crap.
The yards in which the grates were found are now being
prosecuted for receiving stolen goods. Once recovered, the grates will be
put back in place along with new drain covers.
Governor Pisit Khetphasook meets the press
Being hounded for answers on the 101 Walking Street saga and legality of Underwater World’s alleged premature opening
Recently appointed Chonburi Governor Pisit Khetphasook
met with local officials and members of the media at city hall last week.
The ever-vigilant newshounds brought up issues still yet to be resolved in
the region - especially after 3 recent governor changes in the province. The
revolving door of governorship in Chonburi has left a lot of questions
Governor Pisit Khetphasook
The first question raised was how Pattaya’s newest
tourist attraction, Underwater World, was allowed to open without the
necessary authorization from the local administration.
Supakorn Chusilptong, director of the Pattaya building
and public works department pointed out that concerning Underwater World,
the business operators and owners had applied for the necessary permits but
had not yet received them. They opened when construction was completed, but
as per regulations would have had to wait for 30 days before beginning to
operate. Whatever the case, the regulations state that they are liable for
fines of 500 baht per day or 10 times that amount if they refuse to follow
The second was (naturally) referring to the continuing -
and now downright ridiculous - saga of “The 101 Walking Street
Reporters targeted long-running star of this soap opera,
Nang Nual Restaurant, since its dispute with the city has dragged on for
years. Specific information as to just which parts deemed illegal will be
removed, when, and if they will be removed at all, has been hard to come by.
Evidently the business owner has launched another appeal
to the provincial administration but has yet to receive the documents. The
city nonetheless is prepared to move in and take the necessary action under
the current laws.
In response to the grilling, Governor Pisit said, “I
have recently arrived in Chonburi and have some knowledge of these issues
but have not had the chance to speak to relevant officers in charge of them.
In reality, the officers responsible must follow the law and take the
correct actions required.”
Governor Pisit continued, “The press is a group that
can help both the government and residents receive fair and just treatment
through publicizing these issues. Be assured we are not standing still but
we are cooperating with all the necessary departments to rectify these
problems. We will resolve these issues and as I am new to the province, I
will consult with deputy governor Pisit Boonchuang on the certain matters,
since it is he who has been tasked to get to the bottom of it all.”
Female pickpocket slices through foreign woman’s handbag at Soi Buakow market
Friendly banker cancels credit cards immediately
Recently Hedi Pavlopoulos and a friend went to the Soi
Buakow market. Since they had been going there on a regular basis and always
had a lot of fun, they had no reason to believe this particular day would be
still shocked from the incident, makes her report to the police.
While shopping, Hedi and her friend noticed a woman
following them around, but since the market is always busy, they suspected
nothing and eventually forgot about her. However, when Hedi was reached into
her handbag to pay for some shirts, she found her purse was gone. A closer
inspection of her handbag revealed that it had been cut open with a sharp
tool and the purse containing her cash, credit cards, ID and driver’s
license had been deftly removed.
Hedi was carrying about 800 baht in cash, but she knew
the loss of the other stolen items could lead to a lot of problems,
especially the credit cards.
Hedi headed straight to the Krungthai Bank, where the
credit cards were swiftly cancelled by helpful banker, Suchada. Then Hedi
spent the rest of the afternoon at the police station filing a formal
Officers on duty presented her with mug shots of
notorious female thieves in hopes of attaining identification, but with no
Swedish National arrested for child sex offences abroad
Wanted in Sweden for child molesting and sex offences
Acting on information and a court order from Swedish
authorities, local crime suppression police arrested Sven Edvin Jari Seveae
in Pattaya last Friday afternoon.
Seveae is wanted in Sweden for child molesting and sex
offences, and recently had his passport revoked by the Swedish government.
Edvin Jari Seveae (foreground) was arrested in Pattaya last week. He is
wanted in Sweden for child sex offences.
Local police tracked Seveae to Pattaya and arrested him
at his home is Khao Talo. He was charged with illegally residing in the
kingdom without valid travel documents. He was then taken to Pattaya police
station for further questioning.
The Swede had been residing in Pattaya for over a year
before the Swedish government revoked his passport. Since he apparently had
no record of offences in Thailand, it wasn’t until his passport was
revoked that police were able to act.
Seveae most likely will be extradited from Thailand to
face numerous criminal charges in his own country.
English tourist found dead in hotel room
Cause is still a mystery
Englishman Edward Quinlan, 34, was found dead in his
hotel room at 5 a.m. on Sunday, August 3.
Police questioned the man’s friend and a Thai woman,
both of whom had discovered the body, and were told that Quinlan had stayed
in while they went out for the evening. When they returned to the hotel,
Quinlan was still in bed. At first they thought he was sleeping, but upon
attempting to wake him they realized he had passed away.
year old Englishman Edward Quinlan was found dead in his hotel room last
Sunday night. Police have yet to determine the cause of death.
They immediately informed the hotel and local
An initial police examination of the room and the body
turned up no evidence of foul play.
Police surmise that the man suffered a heart attack while
The body was sent to the police forensic institute in
Bangkok for a thorough post mortem examination. The body will be flown back
to the UK for proper burial services.
Wanted Belgian caught in Pattaya
Sought in Belgium on drug charges, he’s been living in Pattaya for over 4 years
Guy Stuer, a 44-year-old Belgian national, was arrested
last Friday from his Soi Khao Talo home. Stuer is wanted in Belgium for
exporting and selling narcotics, and has been residing in Pattaya for over 4
Belgian drug lord Guy Stuer, aka David John Stuart (seated left), was caught
in Pattaya last Friday where he has been alluding authorities for over 4
Stuer, also known as David John Stuart, carried a bogus
English passport, which he allegedly used to leave and re-enter the kingdom
The foreign crime suppression unit’s Pattaya division
made the arrest after tracking down Stuer using a description and an arrest
warrant provided by Belgian officials.
He was taken to Banglamung police station where he was
charged with possession and use of falsified documents.
Banglamung Police Chief Pol. Col. Panya Mamen announced
the arrest, saying, “We have successfully detained Guy Stuer, one of the
most wanted criminals in Belgium. He is a dangerous person and is the head
of an international drug syndicate that operates out of Europe. The Belgium
Embassy asked the Thai government to start proceedings to arrest Guy Stuer.
A warrant had been issued and we now have him in custody.”
Extradition proceedings are underway.
According to the police colonel, the foreign crime
suppression unit and the tourist police have been busy keeping drugs and
crime out of Pattaya, as numerous foreigners are fleeing their home
countries to avoid jail time. This phenomenon appears to have become more
arrested on drugs charges
If you receive a knock on your hotel door at 1 a.m. and
you’re up to some hanky panky, then it just might be the local
constabulary calling to bust you. Such was the case of two Singaporean men
residing at a Soi 1 Hotel in North Pattaya.
Criminal investigation police raided the twelfth floor
hotel room of Tay Poh Song and Gary Tom Krung in the early hours Wednesday
morning. Police found the foreigners and two Thai women engaged in the
process of using illegal drugs.
An inspection of the room revealed used and full bottles
of ketamine (ya K), a small packet of white powder, possibly cocaine, and a
half packet of Viagra. Police instructed all four to get dressed and
accompany them to the police station.
The men told officers that they had driven from Bangkok
to enjoy the nightlife in Pattaya and as such were accompanied by two women,
later identified as Komkhai Wisetkhan and Arisra Kaewsikhao.
Police confiscated the drugs and remanded in custody all
four on charges of possession and use of mind-altering substances without
Government to crack down on
‘zero-dollar’ tour scam targeting Chinese tourists
The government has come up with measures to tackle the
so-called zero-dollar packaged tours, which lure Chinese tourists to
Thailand to spend on overpriced goods and services.
Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Chavalit Youngchaiyudh earlier
assigned the permanent-secretary for the Prime Minister’s Office to find
solutions to prevent Chinese tourists from being cheated, which had blighted
the Thai tourism industry.
Pol. Maj. Yongyuth Sarasombath, permanent-secretary for
the Prime Minister’s Office spoke out after a meeting of related agencies.
He said the problems stemmed from tour operators dumping prices of packaged
tours, and luring or even forcing tourists to spend money on overpriced
goods and services. He said the wide practice was adopted to cover tour
“Other problems include non-registered tour guides and
passports of tourists whose names were listed in other tour companies,
instead of the one they were using,” said Pol. Maj. Yongyuth.
Pol. Maj. Yongyuth said that government agencies will
work closely with their counterparts in other countries to provide stringent
control on tour operators and impose harsh penalty on offenders. “The
Ministry of Foreign Affairs will employ stricter measures to check the
passport problem, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the Consumer
Protection Board, and the Royal Thai Police will join forces in suppressing
illegal tour agents,” he added. (TNA)