30 southern Thai fishing boats cause panic in Sattahip Bay
Fearing terrorist attack, authorities descend on fishermen
Due to high seas and weather conditions in the southern
waters of Thailand, 30 Thai fishing boats made their way into Sattahip Bay this
week, searching for cuttlefish from which they make their livelihood. However,
when the vessels entered the waters that surround the navy installation, local
residents and naval personnel went on full alert, fearing a potential terrorist
More than merely concerned, residents in the Sattahip
district were truly frightened because the boats were from the three Muslim
dominated southern provinces of Thailand which have seen a spate of violence
over the past few months and were worried the boats and crews may be arriving
for some evil purpose.
Marine police, navy personnel, Sattahip district
administrators, village headmen, the Volunteer Civil Protection Unit and the
Volunteer Village Police gathered forces to protect the area. Crime and drug
suppression officers were also called to the scene. About 50 people were
divided into teams to board the deep-water fishing vessels and investigate.
Pol. Lt. Col. Navee Choodet, commander of ship Sor Bor 2,
Por. 2, Gor Gor. 2, Royal Navy, Sattahip explained the search was made because
of requests from Sattahip administrators, the village headman, and Sattahip
residents. He said, “They all had doubts and were afraid that something
similar to what is going on in Thailand’s three southern provinces might
happen here. They were worried about terrorist bombings because although many
fishing boats from the southern province of Pattani come to Sattahip, they
normally come in one by one, and not in a group this large.”
Navee said the local fisheries also noticed there were many
boats from the south coming to anchor in Sattahip Bay and the Samaesarn
district. Although migrating fishing grounds are a normal part of the industry,
this prompted district officials to request an investigation.
Somchit Wornnampet, kamnan of Samaesarn sub-district said,
“Local village fishermen noticed there was an unusually large number of
fishing boats from the South coming to anchor in the area and I was told there
were many strange crews speaking in a dialect from the South. The villagers
were afraid that there might be an incident in the village, as they didn’t
know the reason for them coming. As village kamnan, it was my duty to report
the information to Sattahip district officials since Sattahip is also in a
secured military area.”
The teams spread out to search the boats for dangerous items and record the
details of documents from the captains and their crews. Many of the crewmembers
did not have licenses. On one boat, police found a camera with a gun hidden
inside of it. Continuing their search, they found 1 black camera used for image
enlargement; “Coated Image Moving” on the vessel “Sinsirisrap 4” which
was docked at the Suwit pier. Found in the sailor’s quarters, the crew said
they didn’t know who it belonged to. The ship’s captain was not on board at
the time. The camera was seized by the police for further examination. In
addition, 6 ships docked at the Pa Klaeng pier were searched and 14 Cambodians
who could not produce work permits were transferred to the Bay Police station
Local administration pushing for 2 a.m. closing times
MOI petitioned, Pattaya’s case under review
Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn revealed that the issue of
closing times for Pattaya’s nightlife venues is under review. He showed a
document from the governor’s office stating that a formal petition has
been delivered to the Interior Ministry to reconsider its social order
campaign in which venues must close at 1 a.m. around the nation.
Niran shows the document handed down by the provincial administration.
The push for at least 2 a.m. closing in Pattaya is in
progress, with the petition citing loss of business: the business owners
have also sent a formal request to the Interior Minister to review the
changes following a meeting with provincial officials on October 26.
The document, as shown by the mayor, states: “The
province of Chonburi, in conjunction with the district of Banglamung and
Pattaya City, concerning the closing and opening times for entertainment
venues under the Ministry of the Interior’s 2004 law, wish to inform
that business operators from Banglamung, Sriracha and Sattahip met on
Tuesday, October 26, 2004 at Pattaya City Hall and that business owners
from these areas have formally requested that Pattaya entertainment
venues request that they be allowed to close at 2 a.m. and that the
Interior Ministry has been informed of the request.”
The province of Chonburi has received formal
notification from the Department of Local Administration which read,
“Your request has been lodged with the Interior Ministry and is under
consideration. We will notify you as to the outcome.”
The mayor added that it is imperative that business operators abide
by the law in the meantime. “The city is neither sleeping nor has
discarded the issue. I think that the decision will be favorable and an
answer will come sometime in December. If there is no further progress
we will proceed with the relevant government procedures to keep the ball
rolling and that we will also follow up through the provincial
administration as a matter of urgency. This is for the benefit of
business operators in Pattaya and for economic reasons to ensure that
Pattaya maintains its status as the one of the top tourist destinations
for foreigners in Thailand,” the mayor said.
Government to crack
down on fireworks
Less than ten years ago it was common to
see Thai youths throwing fireworks indiscriminately during festivals, but
the government is now tightening its grip on fireworks by announcing that no
less than five ministries would work together to help address the problem.
Issra Shoatburakarn, director-general of the Department
of Industrial Works, said that the Ministry of Industry will spearhead the
drive to control the production, possession, sale and use of fireworks and
the raw materials used to produce them. The ministry will work closely with
the Ministries of Interior, Public Health, Defense and Labor to produce a
unified set of criteria to be used in granting licenses to fireworks
manufacturers and traders.
The five ministers involved will sign a declaration as
soon as possible so it can be enforced before the Loy Krathong festival at
the end of this month. (TNA)
Mayor presents policy for city’s Prevention and Protection Volunteers
Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn recently called a meeting
to present policy instructions for the city’s Prevention and Protection
Volunteers. After attending an extensive training course in October, aimed
at upgrading their knowledge and expertise, volunteers were informed on
exactly what their duties would be and how they can best execute them.
The meeting included information on correct behavior
according to regulations laid down for volunteers, such as honesty, loyalty,
patience, curtsey, and not divulging classified official information. They
were also lectured on refraining from drinking alcohol, told not to make
false reports to headquarters, and generally conduct themselves with honor
Mayor Niran reminded them they are in public service and
projecting a good image is vital to maintain respect and trust from the
general public. These volunteers also help law enforcement officers carry
out their duties more effectively and lend a helping hand to citizens when
The mayor asked the volunteers to respect these rules
which require them to be sincere in helping society and remain conscientious
regarding their responsibilities. He also cautioned them to take their
duties seriously and not use humor on the public, which could be
misconstrued. Other dos and don’ts included a warning not to use their
power to intimidate people for personal benefit, and most of all, be proud
of their sacrifices while serving society.
Governor surveys Walking Street following 1 a.m. closing orders
Bar owners agree government policy is hurting business
Chonburi Governor Pisit Ketphasook recently toured South
Pattaya’s Walking Street to talk with some of the street’s business owners
in a move to gage their reaction to the now strictly enforced operating hours
for entertainment establishments. Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn, Worawit
Saisuphatpol, Banglamung district chief and Suntorn Kangsirikul, Walking Street
committee president and came along for the stroll.
Ketphasook (2nd left), Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn and the political
entourage talk with Walking Street business operators, who all say that the 1
a.m. closing time is hurting business.
All business owners stated that they were losing revenue
because of the Interior Ministry’s policy and unanimously called for a minimum
time of 2 a.m. Visitors to the area have visibly declined since the new order
went into effect.
The general consensus was that most businesses were losing
ground, and some even foresee closing their businesses, due to loss of profits.
One bar owner said, “This new policy is definitely hurting my business and
I’ve had to let some of my staff go. If this keeps up I may have to close up
The governor learned that Walking Street’s main business
begins at around 11 p.m. when most tourists, mostly foreigners, begin their
evening activities. During the late hours the tropical heat cools down and
visitors are ready to make the rounds of restaurants, bars and shops and enjoy a
stroll along the beach promenade.
Many tourists have voiced their displeasure at the early
closing times. As one foreign tourist put it, “These new regulations don’t
make any sense. Pattaya’s Walking Street is world famous for its vibrant
nightlife. The shorter operating hours are striking at the heart of an
internationally renowned tourist area and sucking the soul out of it. Why kill
the goose that lays the golden egg?”
After the survey, Governor Pisit revealed that by the end of
November he will review the plight of Pattaya business operators and push for 2
a.m. closing times.
The governor said he is aware of the problems and will inform the Interior
Ministry concerning Pattaya’s entertainment venues and the losses that are
being incurred. He said that a formal petition will be made to reverse the
decision, as the majority of business comes from foreign tourists and this is an
important part of Pattaya’s tourism industry.
Road Safety Day
enjoys large turnout
Public learns traffic laws and vehicle maintenance
In a move to further educate drivers on the rules of good
driving and reduce road accidents, a special activity was held for the
public in order to disseminate information on traffic laws and vehicle
from the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya, the Ge Laurant Foundation,
Banglamung School Interact Club, the Pattaya police station, Aksorn
Technology School in Pattaya, Mike Shopping Mall, and Mityont Pattaya Co.
Ltd. all took part in the annual Road Safety Day activities last week.
Judy Hoppe, Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya president
presided over the opening of the “Road Safety” event for the year 2004.
The activity was held at the Mike Shopping Mall, Pattaya Second Road.
Attendees included members of the Jomtien-Pattaya Rotary Club, city
officials, members of various organizations and the general public.
In her opening address, Judy Hoppe explained the aim of
the event: “Pattaya is growing at a rapid pace due to the soaring influx
of Thais from other provinces and rising tourist arrivals. This has resulted
in a tremendous increase in city traffic and puts great pressure on traffic
control measures. Reckless driving in Pattaya is endemic and the rise in
accidents, injuries and fatalities is not acceptable. Part of the problem is
that drivers don’t know the rules of the road, and do not properly
maintain their vehicles. The ‘Road Safety’ activity aims to provide more
information to the public on these issues.”
The day was divided into 2 main parts. First, traffic
experts gave a lecture on traffic laws and rules of the road. Just to make
it a bit more interesting, games were set up so that the public could
participate and have a little fun while they were learning.
The second part involved free motorcycle checkups given
by Mityont Pattaya Co. Ltd. mechanics, and the students and teachers from
the Mechanical Department at Aksorn Technology in Pattaya.
The Pattaya police station, headed by Pol. Lt. Col.
Somchai Phongsai, provided their facilities for this session, which had a
heavy turnout. Police officers also explained that proper vehicle
maintenance would not only make them safer, but reduce future repair costs.
A large crowd turned up to avail themselves of the free maintenance
Q-ticket; changing tubes and tires, front headlights, and breaks.
Rotary Club Jomtien-Pattaya president Judy Hoppe said, “I want to thank
all who cooperated in making this event possible; the Ge Laurant Foundation,
Banglamung School Interact Club, the Pattaya police station, Aksorn
Technology School in Pattaya, Mike Shopping Mall, and Mityont Pattaya Co.
Ltd. This activity has been so successful we plan to hold one every year.”
Katoey snatches wallet from British tourist in disco
British national Rick Pope, 44, and his friend Supattra
Sriprom, 31, were enjoying themselves in a local disco on November 10 when
two transvestites approached them in a friendly matter. Then one grabbed
Pope’s wallet and the two fled. The wallet contained 8,100 baht in cash
and an ATM card.
figures he will be popular with the inmates in jail.
Pope pursued the two ‘lady boys’ down the street to
another disco on Pratamnak Road, and called for police to arrest them.
Police officers were immediately dispatched to the discotheque and found the
2 men dressed like females drinking together.
Officers attempted to search the offender who stole the
wallet, but he made a run for it and threw the wallet into a ditch beside
the road. Undeterred, officers picked up the wet wallet and caught up with
the culprit, later identified as Chalermpol Thammasaeng, 20, from Petchabun
province. Pope and Supattra identified the man as the thief.
Chalermpol was taken to the police station for questioning. Admitting to
his crime he said he had grabbed the foreigner’s wallet because he’d run
out of money to enjoy Pattaya’s nightlife. He told officers he wasn’t
afraid to go to jail since he would be very popular with other inmates, and
that at least jail would provide him with food and shelter. Officers
accommodated Chalermpol by charging him with theft and placing him in
confinement where he can rest up from his exertive but illegal activities.
Two Canadians duke it out with Iranian tourist during barroom brawl
Bar owner calls for over 100,000 baht in compensation for property damage and loss of business
At 1 a.m. on November 12, Pattaya police were called to break
up a bar fight at the Polo go-go bar in Walking Street. The fight led to
property damages and police raced to the scene to control the situation.
William, Christian Poirer and Dolatmad Nasser Nader (not shown) found out the
hard way, rule #1: don’t get in a barroom brawl, especially not here, so far
away from home.
Arriving at the bar officers found 3 men engaged in
fisticuffs surrounded an apathetic crowd of onlookers gawking at the spectacle.
Police moved in to break up the fight, and took all three men to the station for
Dolatmad Nasser Nader, 40, from Iran received facial injuries
in the altercation with the two Canadians, identified as John William and
Christian Poirer, both 23.
The reason behind the fight was not clear but a dispute over
national differences coupled with a clear language barrier was a factor.
Police charged the three men with creating a public
disturbance and causing property damages.
The bar owner later turned up with a bill for the three men
claiming loss of business when 100 Chinese tourists from a tour group fled the
bar because of the violent outbreak - each tourist had paid 600 baht per head to
view the free shows. He said the total bill came to 127,000 baht. (We invite you
to do the math and form your own opinion.)
The three men were surprised at the demand and were led off to the holding
cells, as they did not have the funds to pay for the damages.
Thai woman busted for selling ecstasy
Australian boyfriend implicated
A sting operation organized by Pattaya crime suppression
officers ensnared an Australian man and his Thai female partner who was selling
the illegal drug ecstasy to foreigners in Pattaya entertainment establishments.
and Perry ended up behind bars after undercover police caught Supacahit selling
drugs. At least they were able to serve their initial time together.
The bust was made on November 8 as undercover officers
pretending to be tourists approached Supachit Phophet, 22, and asked to buy 7
e-pills at 1,000 baht each. When the deal was cut the cops kept up their
pretence and accompanied Supachit to a duplex apartment in Jomtien Beach where
she was living with her Australian boyfriend Marl Adrian Perry, 37, from
Melbourne. When she handed over the pills and accepted the money, officers
Since Supachit was the house owner and Perry had no drugs in
his possession, officers did not charge Perry with trafficking, but his urine
tested positive for drug use.
Supachit was charged with possession and trafficking of a class 1 illegal
drug. Perry was charged with drug use. The case is still under investigation.
Nervous man armed with a pistol is
Police received a report at 1:30 a.m. on November 6 that a
Thai man carrying a pistol had entered the Mum Aroi Restaurant on Pattaya Third
Road. When officers arrived, they found Jamnong Wichian, 26, out on the street
in front of the eatery. Jamnong seemed agitated and officers approached him
Police found the young man in possession of a 9 mm automatic
firearm loaded with 4 hollow-point bullets and 11 ordinary bullets. After a few
tense moments, officers relieved him of the weapon and ammunition and escorted
him to the Soi 9 police station for an interview.
Jamnong gave a statement that he bought the gun for the
purpose of personal defense, as he was scared that a teenager may injure him.
Unfortunately that was no defense and police charged him with illegal
possession of a firearm and he now awaits judicial proceedings.
School janitor shoots
Police received a report that the corpse of a young Thai
male had been found in the garden of the Ban Khaocheechan School in the
Bangsarae sub-district in Sattahip. Atchara Sonkiriwat, the school’s
director, met officers when they arrived to investigate the scene. The deceased
had been shot once in the back. No identifying documents were found on the
body; however, the left arm bore a Nazi tattoo and another tattoo spelled out
“Love”. The man was of mixed race, possibly the son of an African-American.
Further investigation revealed that the night before, school
janitor Wichit Chuaprom, 52, had heard noises coming from the school’s
computer lab and found three men and two women trying to make off with the
computer equipment. Wichit said he’d startled the gang and when they made a
move to attack him he fired 5 warning shots to protect himself.
According to Wichit, one bullet ricocheted off the wall and
entered the back of one of the men. As the gang fled over the school’s fence,
the mortally wounded man couldn’t make it over the barbed wire, and died in
Because Wichit did not report the shooting, investigating
officers suspect some collusion with the gang of thieves as there has been
other incidents in the area of computer theft from schools. Wichit was detained
and charged with a shooting death; however, police are still investigating the
matter. The deceased has not yet been identified.
English diver dies off Sattahip
Search and rescue team helicopter spots floating body
The body of an English scuba diver was spotted 15 nautical
miles southeast of Sattahip during a naval search operation. The man, later
identified as Andreas D. Andaree, 66, was diving with a Pattaya dive school
when he disappeared.
The captain of the dive boat contacted the Sattahip navy and
coast guard and Vice Adm. Jamnong Kittipeerachol ordered the search for the
lost diver. A naval helicopter located the body floating in the water and a
navy vessel was then dispatched to recover the deceased Englishman.
When divers arrived they found that Andreas still had is
scuba equipment attached and a large wound. The body was brought back to
Sattahip where police inspected the body before sending it off to the forensic
institute for a post mortem.
Pol. Maj. Damronrak Malitong, criminal investigation officer
in charge of the case revealed that the cause of death was unnatural due to the
wound and that police are continuing with their investigation.
Remand Center children given a new ray of hope through agricultural project
Nineteen children at the Rayong Remand Center, a juvenile
detention center for boys and girls, now have a chance to return to society
with newfound knowledge after completing a three-month organic gardening
project. The first group to complete the course received their diplomas on
Friday November 5.
Six of the students received distinctions for their efforts,
and a reduction in their sentence. The presentation was made at the center’s
president, Lewis ‘Woody’ Underwood (seated 3rd from right), and Helle
Ransten (4th from right), RLC welfare coordinator, sponsored the project and
intend to provide further support with more projects at the Remand Center.
Suwet Thantiwong (seated 2nd right), Rayong deputy governor is lending his
support to the project as well.
Because of the interest shown by Remand Center
administrators and support from the Rayong Ladies Circle (RLC) and the Jesters
Care for Kids charity, the children at the Remand Center in Rayong now have a
brighter future ahead of them.
project started with one piece of land on the boys and the girl’s side -
which grew quickly, encompassing all available pieces of land inside the
detention center. There are now 5 pieces of land being used.
The Rayong Agriculture and Co-operatives office, led by
office head Thitirong Rungrawd, provide assistance and technical knowledge.
“This project is a joint effort between the Rayong Agriculture and
Co-operatives office, Rayong Center for Skill Development, the Remand Center
and private organizations. Our aim is to educate these children while they
serve their sentences and when they leave they will have practical skills to
work with,” said Thitirong.
The organic gardening / farming project teaches the children
to cultivate crops - such as Chinese morning glory, corn and various other
vegetables - without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers. The end
result is chemical free vegetables that are then sold to local restaurants,
hotels and markets. The money earned is then put back into continuing further
“(Before this project) for most of the day nothing was
happening for the boys and girls. They just sat around and waited. That is why
we started the gardening project. The Rayong Ladies Circle and the Jesters Care
for Kids wanted to find a way for the children to learn some useful skills they
could use when they left the detention center. Luckily for the project, Khun
Bic, a very professional gardener, got involved. He has had years of experience
organic gardening. Having been involved in similar projects at two open jails
for adults, Khun Bic was perfect for the job. With great support from the
vice-superintendent Janyaa we started on the 1st of July,” said Helle Ransten,
welfare coordinator for the Rayong Ladies Circle.
“The children take part in a 3-month training followed by
an examination about gardening. Nineteen students receive a diploma the first
time and 6 of the best ones are now helping the next group, which started the
training on the 1st of October,” added Helle.
Presiding over the certificate presentation was Suwet
Thantiwong, Rayong deputy governor who handed out the diplomas to the children.
He thanked the efforts of administrators and the RLC and Jesters for their
concern over developing a brighter future for Thai children.
“We as a country are developing our economy but what we
have failed to do, as a country, is develop our society. Social problems are
all around us and we must each do our part for the future of Thailand,” said
“Rayong province is committed to helping to develop the
community and it is through projects like this that we achieve success. You
(the children) are the future and must take responsibility for your lives. Work
hard, be persistent and frugal, only then can you be successful in reaching
your goal,” said the deputy governor.
The Rayong facility holds boys and girls between 12 to 19 years old for a
variety of criminal offences. The current number of detainees includes
approximately 30 girls and 436 boys. They are serving time for a number of
criminal offences such as robbery, rape, drugs and prostitution.