HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

City wants insufficient tap water and flooding problems solved quickly

Greenpeace Caravan promoting marine resource preservation in Thai Gulf

City to remove stray dogs from the streets this month

Grand merit making ceremonies are planned in honor of Her Majesty the Queens Birthday

New beach vendor guidelines to be implemented

Mayor says all drain covers within the city to be fixed within 15 days

Governor Pisit Khetphasook meets the press

Female pickpocket slices through foreign woman’s handbag at Soi Buakow market

Swedish National arrested for child sex offences abroad

English tourist found dead in hotel room

Wanted Belgian caught in Pattaya

Police briefs

City wants insufficient tap water and flooding problems solved quickly

Complaints from foreign tourists add to city’s woes

Veerachai Somchart

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.

Chonburi 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

Veerachai Somchart

The Eastern Seaboard received “famous” visitors last week when the internationally recognized Greenpeace organization toured the area to promote marine resource preservation.

The Bike caravan rode down Pattaya Beach Road, encouraging local citizens to become aware of the ecology and environmental problems in the Gulf of Thailand.

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 Basket”.

The bicycle tour began from Victory Monument in Bangkok and proceeded through Samutprakarn, Chacheongsao, Chonburi, Pattaya and Rayong provinces.

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.

Weerawat 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 before.”

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 or

City to remove stray dogs from the streets this month

Owners to face fines if their pets bite people

Songklod Kaewvisit

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.

I 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

Songklod Kaewvisit

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

Suchada Tupchai

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.

Mayor 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 accordingly.

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

Veerachai Somchart

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.

Missing 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 unanswered.

Chonburi 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 government orders.

The second was (naturally) referring to the continuing - and now downright ridiculous - saga of “The 101 Walking Street businesses”.

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 any different.

Hedi, 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 report.

Officers on duty presented her with mug shots of notorious female thieves in hopes of attaining identification, but with no success.

Swedish National arrested for child sex offences abroad

Wanted in Sweden for child molesting and sex offences

Boonlua Chatree

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.

Sven 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

Boonlua Chatree

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.

Thirty-four 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 authorities.

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 sleeping.

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 years.

Alleged 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 years.

Stuer, also known as David John Stuart, carried a bogus English passport, which he allegedly used to leave and re-enter the kingdom several times.

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 prevalent lately.

Police briefs

arrested on drugs charges

Boonlua Chatree

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 proper authorization.

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 agents’ costs.

“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)

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